22 Apr 2016

The Girl On The Train ~ Book Review



I read The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins after a bit of procrastination, and found it was brilliant!

The Girl On The Train - a gripping and intriguing story of 3 women and how their lives got entangled in a mystery.

I read this book in my Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. Before I started reading, I got a sneak peek of its sample. As it has repetitive scenes from the same train journey to and fro, I got tired and decided not to continue. This book was a bad choice, I thought. It was left untouched for more than a month. You bought it, cos you wanted to read. So better continue, my mind echoed. I resumed the book, only expecting this train journey was going to be a boring one but the track changed, so was my view on the book. Once I got the grip, the book turned out to be one hell of a journey that I did not want to end sooner. It came as a surprise and kept me hooked till the end. 

As the story opens, we first meet the main narrator - Rachel, the girl on the train, who is miserable, wrecked and a total drunk, longing for a so called perfect life with her Ex. She boards the same commuter train every morning from Ashbury to London. The train stops at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. Evidently, that was where she lived once with her Ex and she has memories associated with that neighborhood. As she glimpses out of the train window, she sees a couple in one of the houses every day. Now, bored and desperate, Rachel starts to observe them. She calls them 'Jess and Jason’. She delights herself with the fantasy of watching that couple living a pleasant life. And then one day, she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s more than enough to change her course of life. She finds herself caught up in a mystery and got a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.

Then comes Megan. She is apparently, Jess in Rachel's view. Megan is married to Scott aka Jason. As the plot thickens, we get to know her better. The main story revolves around what happens with Megan.

There's Anna, who lives in the same street of Megan. She’s the wife of Rachel's ex husband Tom and they have a kid. She is paranoid with Rachel's bombarding behavior.

I was literally traveling with these 3 women, each with their own flaws and intricacies. I enjoy reading different perspectives in stories and so, Paula Hawkins's storytelling style allows me to see through these three characters. The story travels between past and present and it helps me to see things clearly.

This is the author’s first thriller and her writing is excellent. Well paced, neatly structured story line made me glued to the book as much as Rachel's addiction to her drinks. The flow was superb. If I've to say a thing that confused me, they are the dates. I had to turn the pages back to reassure the dates but then I loved this timeline.

One night drunk Rachel returns home bleeding and she remembers nothing what happened to her and how she got injured. With her blackout, she couldn't recollect the memory. As she tries to find out what happened that particular night, eventually that leads her to the mystery and she becomes much more than just the girl on the train.

Blackouts happen, and it isn't just a matter of being a bit hazy about getting home from the club or forgetting what it was that was so funny when you were chatting in the pub. It's different. Total black; hours lost never to be retrieved. ~  Excerpt from The Girl On The Train.

The author superbly interlinked Rachel's subconscious memory and her imagination. The progress, of Rachel discovering the truth behind her blackout, takes time but it is slow enough to enthrall the readers.

The plot is convincing and no loose ends. The character building and their relationships were complex. Nobody is reliable and their life, messy. It was interesting to see such flawed characters in the lead. With such unreliable narrators, particularly Rachel, this is a spectacular read. 

Basically, there’s a mystery to be solved and it's thrilling to figure out the truth. My mind constantly works when I read any thriller by guessing the twist and most of them fall right in place, but this book did not let me guess, not even once, not until I almost finished, which I believe is the strength of a good thriller.

The Girl On The Train is a terrific book which has every right element for a mind blowing psychological thriller. It is definitely worth the read.

Altogether, it is a compelling story that keeps you arrested throughout. Perfect book to read on a journey.

Grab this book in Amazon.in.

#girlonthetrain

21 comments:

  1. [ Smiles ] Thank you for providing me with another one of your book reviews!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to know you following my book reviews, Renard :)

      Delete
  2. Wow! I feel like reading this book right now. Great review, Meera :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Purba. Hope you'll read it soon. :)

      Delete
  3. I have come across positive reviews for this book before, and the cover -- though simple -- is still attractive. Will try to read it sometime. Now I have started reading Immortals of Meluha :)

    Destination Infinity

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've seen mixed reviews for this novel. If you're reading this book, do let us know your views. Enjoy the Meluha. :)

      Delete
  4. Yet to read this, and hence will read the review later. Don't wanna get pre fixed ideas :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cool. Let me know how you like the book :) but hey, I think you can read my review. There'll be no spoilers.. :P

      Delete
  5. Nice review, Meera. I read the book and the narration is really gripping...loved the style of Paula... :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, the narration was superb. Her writing style was addictive too. :)

      Delete
  6. Thank you for the great review, Meera. I've been on the fence about this book for a while.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy to make you jump the fence on this book,Vashti :)

      Delete
  7. I totally miss reading, the review is really good...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do give it a read. I bet you wont be disappointed :)

      Delete
  8. The author's first thriller?
    Must have a look.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. She has written romance novels under a different name but this one is her first attempt in thriller. It was sure a good read.

      Delete
  9. And a great review too. I would suggest adding Pros and Cons for easy readability.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It was a slow read at first, but I really liked the ending and was able to relate with protagonist/antagonist's predicament. I can't remember his name, but whatever reasons he gave seemed convincing at that time. I thought it was a tedious read till two-thirds of it, but the last act was good.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Will try getting this book
    http://shilpachandrasekheran.blogspot.ae/?m=1

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great review! I also thought that Rachel was an interesting lead as her character was so unreliable. It was quite refreshing to see that in a novel. Have you read anything else like this book? Gone Girl for example?
    Jess
    http://readbyjess.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  13. I haven't read the book The Girl on the Train but I've seen the movie. I also had the feeling that I should skip as it was probably really boring or something but then was pleasantly surprised to find that it was a lot more interesting than the poster looked. At the end the twist was quite a shock and it made for a great suspense movie.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...