The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

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…

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Well you guys, this is it – my first ever 1-star review. Words cannot describe how much I detested this book.

About a month ago I posted a little rant on why I hate thrillers: (my quotation format is obnoxiously large and look-at-me)

The genre seems to be full of mediocre to bad writing, relies on gimmicks and cheap surprises which are usually predictable, and/or there’s usually a level of fucked-uppery that I just cannot get on board with – excessive drug use, abusive relationships, gruesome murders, the worst kinds of people, poorly-written supernatural stuff, you get the idea. And also, I hate the sense of dread that accompanies the story…I don’t want to feel dread when I’m reading, I want to feel anticipation or excitement! Thrillers just seem to pool together all the bad, depressing, dark stuff that I don’t like.

The Girl on the Train seems to fit every single one of the things I hate. Generic writing, horrible people I would never want to be around, rampant alcoholism (hello, main character), nasty murder…basically the same list as above except for supernatural forces. Rachel, the “protagonist”, is a sloppy drunk without a backbone or ambition – she’s distinctly unlikeable. She’s scatterbrained and still hung up on her ex, and does outright stupid, stalkerish things because of it. What’s more, none of the other characters are the least bit likable either – they’re purely there for plot development. Most of the secondary ones seem to be in some kind of relationship with each other, illicit or not, and after a while I stopped caring altogether about their plights. Why care, when all of them are detestable?

I picked this one up because two of my friends raved about it, and the only reason I kept reading was to find out who was behind the murder in the end. When I finished, all of the ugly emotions within the book filtered into me and left me feeling foul-tempered and nasty myself. I just can’t think of a single positive thing from this experience. Hell, just writing this review has me all snappy and irritated now.


One thought on “The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

  1. Mel, I was deeply disappointed with this book. The hype was huge, but I think I expected something different 😭


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