06 October 2015
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Title: The Girl on the Train
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
I hate it when this happens. I hate it when I guess the bad guy’s identity halfway through the book. But then, there were only 6 characters here, 3 women and 3 men, and it wasn’t hard to see that 2+2 is 4.
The Girl on the Train is the most popular novel at the moment. If you ask me, I think it’s overrated, but then, anything today is overrated. However, this book did exactly what it was supposed to do: it entertained me. There are books on my Kindle I have been reading for weeks and still haven’t reached the half. This book is 326 pages, and I read it in 1.5 days. Not because it was the best story written in the last decades. The Girl on the Train was easy to read. Sometimes it became monotone, sometimes it dragged too much, but overall it managed to keep my interest, mostly because I wanted to be sure I’d made the right guess regarding the baddie.
While I was reading, I couldn’t stop thinking about what an amazing plot twist must await me by the end. So many people praised this book for the twist and the mystery and the suspense. But the ending was a lot like a Hollywood thriller. The whole book was like a Hollywood thriller: building up the tension, slowly, sometimes very slowly, then BAM! A short confrontation, a bit of a cliché, and voila, the end.
I agree with other readers that there was a lot of filler. 100 pages could be easily edited out and the book wouldn’t lose anything. I also notice that many readers didn’t sympathize with any of the characters, but in my case, I did like Rachel. OK, I didn’t really like her, but I was interested in her story. God, she was so pathetic. Such a low-life. And I genuinely wondered how she would end up. I admit to having felt as desperate as her at some points of my life, but thankfully I haven’t reached such lows (maybe somewhere in the future LOL). She was hopeless. Every time she reached out for another bottle, I groaned. I can’t say I was rooting for her and wanting her to brace herself and start over. I was just interested in her life and her future. I did wanted to know what would be the end of someone like her.
The other two women interested me less. In fact, I really disliked Anna. She was supposed to be happier than Rachel, but she was even more pathetic. At least Rachel was a drunkard, which explains her stupid actions. Anna was just neurotic.
And Megan was the least interesting. She was the “gone girl” but I couldn’t care less. The whole story is built around her disappearance, and I didn’t care about her. A bit strange, I have to admit. I think I was more interested in alcoholic Rachel’s story, than in Megan’s whereabouts.
I advise newbie authors to take a look at this book. This is a great example that you can do well without a purple prose, that you don't need to tell about every character's hair and eye color, that you don't have to describe every item in the room to write an enaging story. It doesn't mean that you have to copy this author's writing style, but rather that you can omit a lot of unnecessary stuff and get to the story sooner.
Many compare this to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. I wasn’t crazy about Gone Girl either. I have read all 3 books by GF, and the GG is my least favorite. So it’s no wonder that I wasn’t smitten away by The Girl on the Train. I kept rubbing my hands in anticipation, wondering what kind of fantastic, uber-unexpected, unheard of twist I was going to read. And then… meh!
I guess I should keep my expectations low. Just to avoid disappointment.
The Girl on the Train Paula Hawkins mystery review suspense thriller
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