The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Published January 13, 2015
This was a book that was chosen for my other book club (I have two, haha) and it’s a book that I have heard compares to Gone Girl but since I’ve only watched the movie and haven’t read the book, I can’t really give a good comparison. However, I did enjoy the movie so I was expecting this book to be somewhat similar. In a way, it was. It had the thriller and “who can I actually trust” aspect that was similar to Gone Girl but I think that was where the comparison ended. The characters and plot were very different.
Rachel, the alcoholic, in this book, was completely pathetic. After she lost her husband to Anna, she became needy, lonely, pathetic and worse, an alcoholic. She spent her days taking the train to and from London and would often drink on the train, on her way home and while she chilled at home. She had no life and lived vicariously through Jess and Jason – a couple she named after she realized the train she took stopped nearby their house every morning. And because she had no life, she became obsessed with the disappearance of “Jess” or Megan, her actual name, and went out of her way to try to help even though there was nothing she could really do.
Not only that but the main reason why I found her pathetic was the fact that she would call her ex-husband on a regular basis usually when she was drunk and would end up doing something she regretted because every time she sobered up, she’d check her phone and find out what she did the night prior. It was never pretty. And while everyone else had secrets, I felt like Rachel was the one person who didn’t have any secrets – nothing important anyways.
Anna and Megan – the other two females in this book and the other two POVs in this book. I hated Anna with a dying passion. I felt like she took things too far such as calling the police because she saw Rachel in her neighborhood. Talk about extreme. And I also felt like she had no compassion – she was the one who seduced Tom, Rachel’s ex-husband, and didn’t feel bad in any way for doing so. In fact, she felt justified. I just felt like for someone who stole someone else’s husband and life, she should be at least a little more patient and/or compassionate. And she wasn’t. Megan was also incredibly stupid. In the beginning, she was fine but I felt like she wandered around a lot and was never faithful to her husband who clearly loved her. Instead, she slept around trying to find something she couldn’t even describe. And when she was murdered, after reading what had actually happened, I thought she was totally asking for it. She didn’t realize the situation she was in, her assailant’s mod, the environment, what was going on, nothing and bam, she was killed.
As for the killer, I didn’t see it coming until the middle (there’s a scene where it becomes painfully obvious) and then it’s a straight shot from there. I wish there was a larger plot twist involved with the killer because to be perfectly honest, once I knew who the killer was, everything just fell into place and the book no longer enticed me as much as it did before.
I wouldn’t consider this book as creepy more like this anticipation that was building up until the middle when it was obvious who the culprit was and then the anticipation died. However, the few plot twists that occurred were interesting and my book club definitely had a very interesting discussion about it. Some of us absolutely loved it, some of us were in the middle (me!), and others hated it with a dying passion. They claimed it didn’t even come close to Gone Girl even though it was obvious that was what the author seemed to be going for.
Overall, interesting book – the one thing I can say is that the book, overall, kept me engaged. I read the whole book in a day only because I just wanted to figure out everything.