Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Joint Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Author: Paula Hawkins
Publisher:January 2015
Date of publication: Riverhead books

A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

This book has gotten a lot of hype and has been compared to Gone Girl. So, naturally, we had to do a joint review.  For me, it was just an OK read.  I pretty much had it figured out by the 6th disc, so there were no real surprises for me in the end. I thought it was a good debut effort, but not totally deserving of the hype it has received.

I thought the book was kind of depressing.  None of the characters are very likable and I found myself not sympathizing with them much.  That includes the dead woman.  The story waffles between the present and about a year before.  I did find the switch pretty easy to follow.  I did like that the audiobook was narrated by three different women.  I'm not sure I would recommend this one as a must read, but maybe if you have exhausted your TBR pile.

I agree with Kari's assessment of this book.  I thought it was pretty good, but not totally WOW!  I thought the whodunit was a little predictable, and the why was really pretty obvious.  The different narration and time switches were handled well and weren't too confusing, which isn't easy to pull off.

This book made me sad.  Rachel made me so frustrated.  I don't understand alcoholism and addiction, so it just drives me crazy to read about it.  I just want to go in and tell the characters to get their act together and quit drinking.  

While I thought this book was ok, I wasn't totally blown away by it.  Would I recommend it?  Maybe.  

1 comment:

Dorothy Borders said...

My reaction to and review of the book were quite different from yours. I did find it a compelling read and hard to put down. The characters are unlovable and frustrating, not unlike those of Gone Girl, but more than anything the book reminded me of the old movie Gaslight. The bad guy was easy to figure out - there were plenty of clues. But I found the writing crisp and I enjoyed reading it. Maybe reading rather than listening makes a difference.