The Girl on the Train

Thoughts tgottbyph by Paula Hawkins, Penguin Random House 2015, 336 pages EBOOK

Challenge: For Neighborhood Bookclub
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Type/Source: eBook/Kindle
 Why I read this now: Club discussion scheduled for Dec 6th.

MOTIVATION for READING: This has been a very hot book and has become a book that ‘everyone’ has read. Except me. Actually, about half our club hadn’t read it and the others voted to read it anyway so it was selected. With the movie out in theatres now, I wanted to read before seeing the film.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: A young lady named Rachel rides the train to London everyday to put up the appearance of going to work even though she has been sacked months prior for a drunken mishap with a client. She drinks way too much and is usually snockered on the train ride home and drinks into the evening as well. As her train goes by and is often stopped for a spell right at the spot where she used to live, she views and regrets her old life in her old neighborhood. She can’t let go of her ex-husband who has a new wife and baby. She also imagines a story for a neighbor couple until something happens and she is pulled into the real life mess of this real life couple where the wife goes missing and the husband is suspected. It’s messy, confusing (back and forth in time and has 3 unreliable narrators), and it took me to the half-way point before it wasn’t a ho-hum get-on-with-it-already mystery.  But guessed it, I did! — nothing really surprised me.

WHAT’s GOOD: It was OK. It didn’t suck, but I can’t think of anything brilliant to say here in this spot so I’ll just keep moving on… Oh! Just thought of a compliment! I thought the imaginary names for the neighbor couple would get confusing with the true names and yet it didn’t, so that was a plus. Deftly handled.

What’s NOT so good: It was just really hard to cheer and root for any of the characters. Even the poor girl who goes missing is never really mourned. None of the feels…

FINAL THOUGHTS:  It was OK. I liked Gone Girl much much more. That one had me laughing with all the crazy twists and turns. Train Girl didn’t have any funnies what so ever.




RATING: Three slices of pie. I was constantly irritated with the dates with each narrator change. I couldn’t remember if we were on the same few days or few months prior and it BUGGED me to no end.

One more thing – I hate reading mystery thrillers on the Kindle. It’s just too hard to flip back and forth when you want to check something.

On the other hand – the Kindle is the EASIEST way to find if any pie was mentioned… 

Pie Mentions:  Only magpies.

A tiding of magpies. One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told.




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23 thoughts on “The Girl on the Train

  1. I read another review of this recently that called it “serviceable.” I am in agreement with you both! I read it quickly (plot was interesting enough) but characters were very thin. I certainly didn’t think it merited all the publicity.

  2. Yeah, I didn’t like this one. I have a hard time with books that get a lot of hype, because I tend to be waiting for something BIG and EXCITING to happen and then when it doesn’t I’m just disappointed. I didn’t care about any of the characters, either, so felt very ‘meh’ about the ending.

  3. I was underwhelmed by this book as well, But mostly because my expectations were too high due to the hype. I think it is a decent thriller. And the Gone Girl comparison isn’t fair at all. They are very different books in tone, plotting and style.

    1. There are bound to be comparisons what with the unreliable narrator and dislikable characters and genre. I don’t blame the marketing dept from using that angle to drive attention.

  4. Hard yes to the problem of flipping back and forth on an e-reader! This is one of the reasons I don’t use my e-reader nearly enough since moving back to Louisiana. Having my nook was a lifesaver when I took the subway to work every day, but it did make it harder to flip forward and read the end.

  5. I liked this story good enough, probably about as much as you. The majority of it was filled with the most unrealistic of consequences and not very likely scenarios. It was the transformation piece of the story that saved the book (especially the ending) for me. I quite adored that portion.

  6. sarahsbookshelvesblog

    Agreed – I liked Gone Girl much more. And I guessed the ending of this one about halfway through…tough for a plot driven book.

  7. Jennygirl

    I was just the opposite on Gone Girl and Train Girl. I couldn’t finish Gone Girl because I despised both both characters equally. Train Girl was such a train wreck I had to know what the heck happened. Not sure about the Train movie though. I did see Gone Girl ad enjoyed it very much! Crazy girl!

  8. Yep. Not impressed with this one either. I guessed the ending way too early too, and that is a no-go for any mystery-thriller in my book. I don’t want to guess the ending. I either want to be shocked or so caught up in the characters that I don’t even think about guessing the ending. This one had pretty boring characters that, like you said, where difficult to root for. But now you can say you read it!

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