Monday, 25 June 2018

Review: The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

Publication Date: January 2015
Publisher: Doubleday Publishers
Source: Borrowed

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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…

 So this was a book I had seen EVERYWHERE around a year or two ago. Probably one of the biggest PR campaigns I'd ever seen around a novel to be honest. I'm not usually one to read hyped up books, mostly because I often feel that the hype surrounding it will make it read as not as good to me because I'll be constantly waiting to reach that level of "wow" in the novel. 

So when I found the opportunity to read this, I decided to give it a go. I am very glad that I did. I'm not usually a big reader of adult mystery novels, my last one being Before I Go To Sleep- which I also enjoyed, but after reading and loving this maybe I should change that. 

The Girl On The Train centers around Rachel, an alcoholic and divorced woman who rides the trains to London and watches a couple who live near the train tracks. She then witnesses something she should not have seen and is plunged into a world of dark secrets. I really loved the many different women portrayed in the novel and the different sides it showed to being a woman. As we see with the main characters Rachel, Anna and Megan, we see secrets, lies, cheating, addiction and betrayal. I though all of the female characters and voices in the novel were very strong and brought such a great voice to the plot. 

I loved the addictive nature of this novel. I really struggled to put it down once I picked it up and sped though the novel in a few days. Hawkins writing style is so descriptive and her characters are extremely complex and unpredictable. I loved the unreliable narrator we found in Rachel as her alcohol problem made her side of the story sometimes questionable to the reader. 

The plot was very well written, there were no slow points and it read as very smooth flowing. Although I found the ending a little disappointing as I had predicted it from the very first chapter, I still really enjoyed the suspense and tension which was so well written in the novel. 

The novel centers around the theme of secrets very heavily. Whether they be small secrets, or dark guilty ones- everyone in the novel had something they wished to hide and Hawkins delved into each one so well. I really enjoyed the slightly unusual setting of the train and really enjoyed how it grounded the story each time we revisited it. 

Overall this novel is a wonderfully addictive thrill ride. I would definitely recommend it if you are like me and have not read many adult thrillers or if you are looking for a quick fast paced read this summer! (TIP: Avoid the film adaptation- not good.)

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