~ Spoiler Free Review of The Girl on the Train by: Paula Hawkins ~
Summary: Rachel takes the train every day, and during every commute, she passes by this one house with the perfect couple. However, the perfect couple in Rachel’s mind isn’t as perfect as she thinks they are. Then one day, something bad happens to this perfect couple and Rachel witnesses it.
So, here is some background as to why I picked this book up. I went to Sam’s Club with my aunt, and this book was on sale for like ten dollars. I saw the trailer and thought the movie looked pretty thrilling. Plus, Emily Blunt is cool. Additionally, my friend who recently finished this book, recommended me to read it. So, thank you to my aunt for buying this book for me, and here’s my review now that I have finished reading it.
First off, right off the bat, it’s too predictable. I guess who the real killer was way too early into the book, and I didn’t sway from it much even as more evidence was being revealed. Maybe, I am just good at predicting things, but that does make a book less thrilling. It’s fine predicting the correct ending. In the end, it’s the journey with its twist and turns that are the most important, and that is where this book falls short. If every single character becomes a suspect at some point, then it becomes too unbelievable and easy to rule out. For ME, I didn’t think there were any twist or turns. I didn’t read any shocking revelations at all.
Talking about characters, my major compliant about books in general is when there isn’t even one character you can root for. To ME, it’s as if the reason to read disappears. At the end, the author wanted us to sympathize with the victim, but I really couldn’t. The saddest part about this is that the victim’s story line were the parts I looked forward to the most. Yet, I was not sad for her. Every single character was flawed, and a lot of books do this. However, there has to be at least one redemption story or else what’s left besides flawed and annoying characters?
One of the lamest thing about this book is that instead of showing, the book actually tells you – tells the readers – how the murder was committed. And this was done in the most basic way possible. The murderer admits to everything in a confession sort of way right at the end when he wasn’t even compelled to. Oh, I understand he was cocky, but to just tell readers the motive and every step in a basic confession… Oh, I felt like I just watched a kids cartoon where the super evil villain just has to explain to the hero step by step their plan before the hero gets out of whatever bind they are in and saves the day so the kids can understand the full picture.
Honestly, I feel as if I am sounding like a hater that drank way too much hater-ade because I do want to like the book. I mean it is a New York Times bestseller and it is going to become a major motion picture. So, what was I missing when I read it? Okay, searching my brain, there is one thing I liked about the book. I think the author did an awesome job with the creation of the narrator. I actually genuinely hated and got tired at how unreliable Rachel is. She seems like a real person. I think a great writer is someone who can evoke emotions in a reader, and there were times I was like sighs…, seriously?, Rachel! – I can’t be in your head anymore.
This next part WARNING might have a small spoiler, but it doesn’t ruin anything. If you don’t want to know, you can skip to the last paragraph. So, you know how the main part of this book is her riding the train every day and checking out the perfect couple until one day she sees something she should not have seen. Well, I was expecting this to be evidence of the murder. I was expecting it to maybe even be a scene of the murder or a violent outburst of some sort, but it wasn’t and I was disappointed. They made this part sound so cool on the back on the book, but her most important memory isn’t even what she saw on her train ride.
Overall, besides how believable the main characters seems (which is super commendable), I was truthfully disappointed with this book. None of the characters really wowed me and there were no real twists and turns. It didn’t deliver as a thriller, and for me, figuring out the killer was too easy. I think the only reason why I kept reading till the end was just because I wanted to confirm my guess. It was confirmed, and then the ending was whatever.