Book Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train coverTitle: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Genre: Mystery / Psychological Thriller
2016 (2015)
Publisher: Black Swan 
Pages: 409
Started: 12th March 2017
Completed: 12th March 2017
Rating: 3.5/5
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…

into the waterThe Girl on the Train is a bestselling novel of British author Paula Hawkins. In 2016 it was adapted into a film of the same name starring Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, and Luke Evans.

Hawkins is due to publish another novel titled Into the Water on the 2nd of May 2017.

I was left disappointed by this book. There was a lot of hype surrounding The Girl on the Train and I tried to ignore it and go into the book with an open mind but I was still left disappointed. It took me a while to get into the plot as it didn’t immediately grab my attention. I enjoyed certain aspects of the plot but ultimately was over complicated in places but also very repetitive and boring in others. It just wasn’t for me.

I enjoyed that The Girl on the Train was centred around complicated female characters but the male characters were flat and predictable. I found it difficult to relate to any of the characters but I did find the female characters very interesting. Rachel wasn’t what I expected, she was much more of a wreck than I previously thought she would be but that was a pleasant surprise because her flaws and severe behaviour made her a realistic but interesting character.

I did enjoy Hawkins’ writing style and I enjoyed the different points of view that the story is told from. I’m glad that every point of view was in the voice of a woman with different issues because it’s great to see a book where the focus is on strong female characters. Each voice was recognisably their own and very different from the next. I do think that Rachel was my favourite to read because her behaviour was so extreme and her blackouts led to an intriguing narrative.

This novel just wasn’t for me. I do think that it’s a decent novel but I was let down after so much hype. I’m torn on whether I would recommend it because it is a good novel but I was personally disappointed by it.


14 thoughts on “Book Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

  1. I completely understand, there was too much hype around it, which made me not want to pick it up because I feel I would end up feeling as you did – utterly disappointed. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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