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Review: The Girl on the Train

January 29, 2015

The Girl on the Train

As she commutes to London on the train each day, Rachel watches one particular house and the couple who live there.  She is fascinated with them and imagines names and lives for them.  One day she sees the woman kissing someone other than her husband and the next day she learns the woman has been reported missing.  Frantic with worry, Rachel inserts herself into the investigation and things gets rather complicated.

I’m sure most people have heard about The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins by now.  It’s received a lot of buzz and rightly so.  It’s best not to know too much about this book that’s filled with unreliable narrators and fraught with tension.  I picked it up at a very busy time and could not put it down – I had to know what happened and read it in just a few days even though I had lots going on.

I found Hawkins writing to be sharp and thought she did a wonderful job building suspense.  I didn’t figure out the mystery but found its conclusion to be very satisfying.  The Girl on the Train was my first book of the year and will probably make my list of favorites.  You don’t want to miss this book!

Review copy provided by Penguin Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
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40 Comments leave one →
  1. January 29, 2015 6:42 am

    Sounds like a great book to start the year!

  2. techeditor permalink
    January 29, 2015 6:43 am

    I read this, too. But I saw Rachel as a raging alcoholict. She doesn’t have a great imagination; she is delusional.

    Riverhead is doing a great marketing job for this book, right down to its very clever cover. But, after all this hype, THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN disappoints. While it my attention, it is not as unputdownable as claimed until the last couple of chapters. It wasn’t for me.

    Rachel, as a result of her delusions, which are a result of alcohol, has opinions about people that are often based on nothing and are always wrong. The entire book is about her alcoholic blackouts and figuring out what really happened.

    Some things about this book are aggravating. For instance, during tense moments, characters, especially Rachel, bite their lips, often so hard they draw blood. I could just imagine all the people walking around with bloody mouths they had chewed.

    The biggest aggravation is difficult to describe without saying too much and spoiling the story. It has to do with how everything is explained in the end.That is what I call a cheap ending, to convenient and too hard to swallow.

    Yet, even considering these and other faults, the book still rates high simply because it kept my attention more than many otheer books.

    I won this ARC from the publisher and librarything.com.

  3. January 29, 2015 6:56 am

    This seems to be the book everyone is reading right now. Glad to hear you liked it, too!

  4. January 29, 2015 7:46 am

    I’m 2/3 through with it right now. And I’m feeling a little better about it than I was yesterday when I commented on Diane’s blog. LOL

    I’m going to finish it and I suspect it will be one that I will remember for a while. I still don’t care for Rachel all that much. 🙂

  5. January 29, 2015 8:00 am

    I am so glad to hear that this book was worth it! I have been seeing this around a lot but wasn’t too sure if I should read it. I think I will go look it up now.

  6. January 29, 2015 8:17 am

    Great review Kathy! I have this book on my list. There is a positive buzz about this one lately.

  7. January 29, 2015 8:19 am

    I liked this one, but didn’t love it….I think because I guessed the ending and I usually don’t do that! I was really interested in the psychological elements, but the thriller part was underwhelming for me. I posted a spoiler discussion for this one yesterday.

  8. bookingmama permalink
    January 29, 2015 8:23 am

    I enjoyed this one a great deal! Messed with my mind and very fast paced.

  9. January 29, 2015 8:30 am

    This one is definitely making the rounds!

  10. January 29, 2015 8:30 am

    My book club just made this our May choice. Looking forward to it as it sounds like it will be controversial!

  11. January 29, 2015 9:18 am

    I’m almost finished with the audio – I agree, it’s good, and best to go in not knowing too much about it.

  12. January 29, 2015 9:54 am

    You’re right. I have seen this everywhere. IF I HAVE TO ADD ONE MORE BOOK TO MY TBR PILE, I THINK I WILL LOSE MY MIND! Okay, I feel better now. I’ll see about picking this one up.

  13. January 29, 2015 9:56 am

    I happy to see your review on this. It is up next for me. I just finished another book with an unreliable narrator, ONE STEP TOO FAR by Tina Seskis. I was disappointed in the ending of that one. Hoping this one is a winner for me! At least it will be an interesting read!

  14. January 29, 2015 10:22 am

    I just read and reviewed this and understand how there is a backlash against it from some folks who don’t think it lived up to the hype. I really enjoyed it, and no, I didn’t like Rachel but I couldn’t blame her for being an alcoholic, so I decided to “be on her side” and root for her to find out who was the killer, though I will say she has other mental issues to address besides her drinking 🙂 Stalkerish! I liked it because it was so different for me, and I love something refreshing and out of the ordinary when I can find it. For me, a 5/5.

    Last year, Gone Girl was the book everyone buzzed about. I only read a few chapters and put it aside. So many folks loved it and I was in the minority who found the MCs irritating. I do want to see the film though.

    • January 29, 2015 10:38 am

      One comment about Gone Girl. The 1st half is good, and the 2nd half is excellent. If you decide to try it again, don’t put it aside. The 2nd half definitely makes the book worthwhile.

  15. January 29, 2015 10:34 am

    Yours is the first review I’ve seen, and you’ve made me really want to read it!

  16. January 29, 2015 10:45 am

    I’ve got this book waiting for me and can’t wait to pick it up!

  17. Patty permalink
    January 29, 2015 10:53 am

    Oh boy! I can’t wait!

  18. January 29, 2015 11:21 am

    I am so tempted to veer off the queue and read this one…now! But maybe next week…or the week after. Thanks for sharing.

  19. January 29, 2015 1:40 pm

    I want to read this book so bad but I have a couple of other books I have to read first. Ugh!

  20. Diane (@bookchickdi) permalink
    January 29, 2015 1:57 pm

    I read this one in two sittings and enjoyed it as well.

  21. January 29, 2015 3:46 pm

    I must’ve been under rock since I’ve missed the hype for this one. It looks fantastic and I just added it to my wishlist 🙂

  22. January 29, 2015 4:32 pm

    I just started the audio today -so excited!

  23. January 29, 2015 10:09 pm

    When you read a book so early in the year but just know it will make it on the favourite list, you know its a goodie, thank you. Definitely will read this.

  24. January 29, 2015 10:37 pm

    I have this in my TBR. Such an intriguing synopsis – glad to see you enjoyed it!

  25. Beth F permalink
    January 30, 2015 7:42 am

    This is on my list, but I think I’m going to hold off a bit before reading so my expectations aren’t so high.

  26. January 30, 2015 1:04 pm

    I liked this one too! Read it in one day.

  27. January 30, 2015 8:46 pm

    I agree with everything you said Kathy. It’s my favorite book so far, I don’t think I’ll forget it.

  28. January 30, 2015 10:04 pm

    oh I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’ve got it on my list to get to soon but wasn’t certain it would live up to all the hype. excited you think so!

  29. Literary Feline permalink
    January 31, 2015 12:41 am

    I’ve read a couple reviews of this one I wish I hadn’t read, I admit, because they gave too much away (your review is perfectly safe!). I am still looking forward to reading (in my case listening) this one though and am glad you liked it!

  30. January 31, 2015 7:43 am

    This book is everywhere! I’m so curious to read it.

  31. January 31, 2015 12:21 pm

    I loved the marketing campaign they did in NY on the subway. That was fantastic, and this book is on my radar.

  32. January 31, 2015 8:18 pm

    My book club chose this for March and I’m so excited to get to it!

  33. booknaround permalink
    February 1, 2015 10:50 am

    I’m afraid to read this one because of all the hype. But if you think it’s going to be on your favorites list at the end of the year and the year’s only just started, well, I might have to reconsider my reluctance.

  34. booksnyc permalink
    February 1, 2015 11:51 am

    I am glad to hear you liked it so much – I have seen so many people saying they stayed up late at night just to finish it. I love when a book is that compelling!

  35. swright9 permalink
    February 1, 2015 5:24 pm

    Sounds like a doozy of a read. Thanks!

  36. February 1, 2015 11:22 pm

    Love your review, Kathy! I think it will be a hard one for me to review. I just finished listening to it last week and like you I was hooked.

  37. February 4, 2015 1:05 pm

    I’ve read almost all the chatter about this book and had decided to pass it up — until now. Your review is causing me to rethink my decision. I at least have to know this satisfying conclusion. Thanks, Kathy, I think.

  38. February 4, 2015 11:40 pm

    Seen this everywhere. Really want to get to this one.

  39. Jennifer permalink
    February 7, 2015 10:10 am

    I’m glad that you read and enjoyed this one. I’m just about to start it. The senior level at my school is considering adopting this for summer reading!

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