Review: The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

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In The Girl on the Train, Rachel watches the same couple as she rides by on the train. After noticing something troubling, and hearing about it on the news, Rachel goes to the police to offer what she knows.


Why this book?: This book is being compared to Gone Girl, and my aunt just adores this book. We decided to exchange these books. I read The Girl on the Train, she reads Gone Girl.

What do a drunk, a bitch, and an Amy Dunne cardboard cut-out have in common? This book.

Comparing this book to Gone Girl is not accurate at all. The ‘unreliable’ narrator isn’t trying to deceive, as they are constantly drunk so they literally have no idea what was going on. The ex-wife Anna is only there to complain about the drunk protagonist, apparently having no other life other than that. And the character that is supposedly similar to Amy Dunne had so little part in the book that it feels as if the author cut out the basics of Amy’s character, and left everything else behind.

The characters were very unoriginal, most of them being annoying, predictable, and oblivious.

Considering I could type ctrl+f on the book and type “I need a drink “, probably a good portion of the book itself will come up. The characters literally had phrases that they would repeat over and over and over, and they would probably come up at least once in each of the women’s POV chapters.

The male characters were even worse. They were basically all the same character, with different names plastered on them. I had to go off setting and description to determine who was who, mainly because I stopped caring.

Sexist and clichè, to say the least

Not only were every male character sexist, when given the chance, there was a full paragraph from the protagonist, Rachel, that really irked me:

“I liked my job, but I didn’t have a glittering career, and even if I had, let’s be honest: women are still only really valued for two things — their looks, and their role as mothers. I’m not beautiful, and I can’t have kids, so what does that make me? Worthless.” – Pg 42

To say that women had no worth if they weren’t beautiful or if they could have children is just horrible and disgusting. I understand that the author was probably trying to convey the sexism in society, but Ms. Hawkins made no attempts to dispute this statement, and continued the story as if there were nothing wrong with it.

As the book wrapped up, things just kept getting worse. The pacing all through-out the book was horrible, only getting faster when Rachel was drunk, and slowing down for the rest of the book, but it got unreasonably fast as we got closer to the end. The end exploited the character’s obliviousness to the extreme, and made the ending the most predictable and boring “fast-paced” ending I have ever read.

Final Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Overall?

This book had very few merits. The writing was pretty impressive, especially because I normally am not a fan of first-person POVs. The characters were basically cut outs of other characters from other people’s books, or carbon copies of another one. Some comments and statements within this book were fairly offensive, and it got quite annoying that an ‘unreliable narrator’ was actually just a love-sick alcoholic.

Would I Recommend?

This is one of those books where I really don’t have something to say for this. I wouldn’t stop you from reading this book, I wouldn’t say “don’t read this book, even if your life depends on it”. But seriously. It’s not worth it.


22557272Additional Information:

Published: January 13th, 2015

Publisher: Riverhead Books

Page Count: 336

Genre: Mystery/Psychological Thriller

Synopsis: via Goodreads

EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. 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.

UNTIL TODAY
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 goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

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