[Review] The Girl on the Train written by Paula Hawkins

girl on the train
Title: The Girl on the Train

Author: Paula Hawkins
Publisher: Transworld Digital
Date of Publication: 15 January 2015
Number of Pages: 336

Rating: 2 stars

Summary: Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.

Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.

Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

Review: This book is done a MAJOR disservice by being compared to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Readers like me, who hated Gone Girl, may well decide to skip Hawkins first novel (in her own name) thinking, in error, it is going to be another load of insincere, trite, loathsome rubbish. Readers like me, thankfully, are wrong. Well, slightly wrong. Girl on the Train is better but only so very slightly.

I am not going to say I enjoyed the book or that I found it to be one of the best things I’ve read this year. It isn’t.

The characters are vile, completely unlikable and so incredibly human. There is no escaping the brutality of their lives and even though, each one is completely unreliable as a narrator, each of us knows someone similar.

There is also the constant (and tedious) reminders that Rachel is a drunk. Thanks. Got it in my head after the first 30 times a drink reference was made.
why is she

There is the repetitive cycle of alcohol, bitching, sex, alcohol, bitching, whining, alcohol. But then, if this hadn’t been part of the book, it would not have reached 336 pages.

There is the predictability of the “bad guy” speech.

There is the stock option for portraying the current wife and mistress. If you’ve ever watched anything on the Hallmark channel, you’ll know exactly what is going to happen. Or…

There is also the lack of believable motivation for Rachel. I don’t get it. Why is she?

There is a very good range of wallpaper characters who are there but are not there and don’t really serve a huge amount of purpose.

There is even the cover tag line of “You don’t know her. But she knows you.” What does that even mean? I’ve read the book and it doesn’t mean anything. I actually thought I’d liked this book but having sat here to write the review, I have discovered I really didn’t.

So yeah. I give it 2 stars because while it is better than Gone Girl it doesn’t deserve more. I might, in the future, if the month has an “r” in it, read something else that purports to be like either of these but someone remind me that I don’t actually want to. Thanks.