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Book Review // The Girl on the Train

girl on the train book review

The Girl on the Train

Author: Paula Hawkins
VGB Rating: 3/4 Gold Bars




The Girl on the Train” is a New York Times Bestseller that is gaining more and more popularity due to it’s theatrical release coming this October. Rachel Watson lives in a downscale suburbia apartment in London and takes a train every morning and every evening to commute to work. After getting fired for drinking on the clock, she continues to make the commute so her roommate won’t know that she was fired. In Rachel’s mind, she will continue the charade until she gets another job…until then, why worry her roommate? On the plus side, she enjoys the train. She enjoys staring out the windows as towns, people, life pass her by. Some mornings she catches a glance of a couple on their patio in the same neighborhood she used to live in. This isn’t just any couple to Rachel, she pins as a golden couple and begins to daydream about their life together. She gives them pseudo names and imagines what their relationship is like. Every morning and every evening she looks forward to seeing them sipping their coffee on the patio and losing herself in the fake world she has created for them.

Rachel’s incessant daydreaming about her golden couple may stem from her recent divorce from her ex-husband, Tom who she is obsessed with. She misses her life with him and would do anything to go back in time and correct her mistakes and try again. Ever since they divorced she has delved into the dark world of alcoholism, depression, and she seems to be on the brink of a psychotic break. Rachel finds herself getting blackout drunk and quite often ends up harassing her ex and his new wife and child. She wakes up most mornings with angry messages from Tom who tells her to leave him and his family alone.

Sad and unable to move forward Rachel dives deeper and deeper into a dark place that is now her day to day life which consists of her train rides and obsessive and outlandish thoughts.

One morning on her train ride she notices a newspaper with a recognizable face. It’s the woman that she sees most mornings, one half of her golden couple. Her name is Meagan and she is missing. Shocked and obsessed, Rachel needs to find out what happened to her. She needs to find the reason she went missing, she needs to know the whole story. Did she runaway? Did someone hurt her? As she sticks herself into a terrifying situation she will find out that maybe she should have kept her distance. Rachel realizes that the her golden couple wasn’t all that she made them out to be, that everyone has secrets and people keep secrets for a reason.

My Thoughts

The Girl on the Train is a dark psychological thriller that keeps you guessing. I honestly was a little scared to read this book. After reading Gone Girl I decided that I couldn’t read these types of books again. I mean, I literally bought Gone Girl one evening, ready the whole thing and wanted the book out of my house so bad that I returned it the next day. These types of books give me nightmares. I mean, who thinks of this stuff?!? The Girl on the Train isn’t as disturbing to me as Gone Girl and I enjoyed it. I pride myself of being able to guess plot twists or who the killer is. Well, you got me Paula Hawkins, I didn’t see this one coming until you were ready for me to start catching on!

It’s hard to get a good summary of the plot of this book because there are so many twists, turns, characters, and relationships. The author did a great job of being able to let us dive into each character and their relationship to the other. I kept thinking, “this person is crazy…Oh not as crazy as this one though!”

I was intrigued by the movie trailer that I saw when I was at the movies a couple weeks ago. I bought the book and knew immediately I would write a book review on it for the blog. It’s intense and keeps you wondering…what happened to these characters that made them act the way that they do? Grab a cup of coffee on a Saturday morning and give this one a chance. I recommend you read it during the day and not before going to sleep 😉 You know, just to try and steer clear of some weird dreams.

Read Next: Guide to Summer Reading: Psychological Thrillers

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