The Girl on the Train Book Review

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Purchased At: Fully Booked Greenbelt 5 for 399pesos
Number of Pages: 329

The Book Was About...

The Girl on the Train is a psychological fiction thriller dubbed as 2015's Gone Girl. It tells the story of Rachel Watson, a divorced alcoholic who takes the same commuter train day and night to London. In her everyday commute she will always have an eye to a couple she calls "Jess and Jason". For her, they are the description of a perfect couple until one day she sees a shocking incident on her usual train commute. An incident she can't keep to herself and will change her life forever.

Characters...

Rachel Watson - Rachel is a young troubled alcoholic woman who serves as one of the main narrator in the book. Divorced with Tom Watson, she struggles to fight her addiction to alcohol and bring her life together again while living with her friend from college Cathy. Her alcoholism causes her to lose her job yet she still goes to the same train commute in complete denial. One Saturday Rachel seen an incident that changed her life. She soon find herself caught in finding who the suspect is and getting involved with everything not knowing there is much more to the story.

Tom Watson - Tom is Rachel's ex-husband who now lives together with Anna (new wife) and daughter Evie. The character of Tom is very quiet until the last few pages when his true self is revealed. He is described as a good father to Evie but can be a very manipulating husband both past and present or with Rachel and Anna.

Anna - Anna is the new wife of Tom and mother of Evie. Anna may seem like a weakling but proved to be a powerful character towards the end of the book. She hates the presence of Rachel in her and her family's life. She once got help baby sitting with Megan Hipwell who disappeared one Saturday night. 

Megan Hipwell - Megan is the "Jess" in Rachel's mind. She disappeared one Saturday night and was later found out to be dead and pregnant. Megan is described as a very likable lady who doesn't want to be rejected and abandoned. Despite her perfect life with husband Scott Hipwell, Megan struggle inside. She then dealt this with the help of psychologist, Dr. Kamal Abdic. Soon it was revealed what truly happend to Megan and how she binds all the characters in the story.

Scott Hipwell - Scott is the husband of Megan who can be a little workahalic. He had a misunderstanding with Megan on the night of her disappearance. As the husband, Scott was the first point of person on Megan's case. 

Dr. Kamal Abdic - Dr. Kamal is the psychiatrist whom Megan is seeing. Soon Megan developed transference to Kamal manifested by her erotic attraction to the latter. Kamal became a point of interest in Megan's disappearance after Rachel tip seeing them together on the patio from the train a day before the Saturday incident. Rachel also manage to set appointments with Kamal for her alcoholism.

Cathy - Cathy is Rachel's friend from college. She a room on her place to Rachel and had since then looked after Rachel's.


My Review...

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is part of my 17 Books Before 2017 Challenge. This book actually showed on the recommended books to read after Gone Girl. If you've been a reader of this blog you know that Gone Girl became part of my Books I'll Be Reading This January 2016 and I accomplished that goal and made a book review you can read here.

The Girl on the Train reminded me soooo much of my experience reading Gone Girl. Though they have very different story line, both books are exciting to read and will keep you guessing and grasping for more. They also follow the same format where key characters narrate what happened to them like a chapter. Rachel, Anna and Megan were the ones sharing their stories and at some point I find myself going a page/pages before just to make sure I know who was talking. 

Unlike Gone Girl though, I didn't see myself from any of the character which made me a bit off (and lazy reader) towards the first few pages. It was when the incident happened that my interest grew and made me stick into reading the book until the end. I just can't stop reading like I need to know what will happen next. It was one of the few books you can definitely finish in one seating if you try so because it is easy to read and though I skip some lines I still have the full picture in my mind.

However from someone who have read (and loved) Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins lost its sense of surprise along the way. I already know who did what and even guessed what will happen in the end at the back of my mind. I also felt a bit off how the book ended in a very fast-paced manner. The last pages were revelation after revelation and though I've already predicted the who, what and how I still want to savor the story. I just wish Hawkins took her time writing the ending.

This book is a definite must read for those who enjoyed Gone Girl or any thrilling-mystery book fanatic. 

Rating: 4/5

5/5 - Beautifully written, exceptional reading experience and highly recommended
4/5 - Well written, fun reading experience but not my favorite
3/5 - Okay writing, okay reading experience
2/5 - What did I just read reaction - confusing - boring
1/5 - Worst book ever

Have you read The Girl on the Train?

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