Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

by Whit
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

My fellow LQ contributor, Kathleen, included The Girl on the Train in her list of captivating audiobooks to listen to, and I am happy to say that I wholeheartedly agree with her: This novel is a roller coaster ride of thrills, and I loved it. Rather than listening to an audiobook like Kathleen, I decided to read the book the old school way. It took me just one day to finish it. I neglected my work, I neglected my chores, I basically ignored everything around me until I was done, tossing the book aside at night and thinking, “Boy, that was fun!” That, my friends, is what makes for a successful thriller.

This review will be much shorter than my usual reviews, because I don’t want to give much away. This book is best read cold, without much context regarding the plot or characters. What I can tell you: it’s about a woman who sees something on her daily train commute, and it pulls her into a mystery that turns and twists throughout the narrative. I knew this book was succeeding when I exclaimed mid-read, “Oh my god!” and alarmed my fiance who was sitting across the room.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“Oooh,” I responded. “This book…things are happening in it!” I looked over at him and then proceeded to tell him that I couldn’t possibly let him know what was occurring in the book. “I don’t want to give it away. But trust me. It’s good. It’s really good.”

The writing is solid, but this is probably not the book to pick up if you are in the mood for inspired prose. The writing is straightforward, and the novel relies heavily on its plot. But, that’s a usual component to thrillers, and it didn’t really bother me as a reader. The main character has some definite substance abuse issues, and there were spots within the narrative that I cringed at her misguided decisions under the influence. If you suffer from second-hand embarrassment or get frustrated at very flawed characters that continually make bad decisions, this might also make the book a tough read for you.

However, in all, I really recommend this book to those that love the mystery/thriller genre. And, this book is a speedy read, which is why I highly recommend it for any gal on-the-go. After finishing it, I immediately sent it to my older sister, a career woman with a one-year-old, who I knew would appreciate a quick and entertaining read in between her busy days.

Definitely pick this book up if you are looking for a fun summer read. And note: A film based off of this book comes out on Oct. 7, 2016. Read the book before it comes out so the mystery doesn’t get spoiled!

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2 comments

Kathleen May 28, 2016 - 4:06 pm

I didn’t know about the movie! So excited!

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Review: The Kind Worth Killing - Literary Quicksand January 8, 2017 - 11:23 am

[…] read a lot of reviews that want to compare this to Girl on the Train and Gone Girl, which I guess I can understand. These comparisons always frustrate me though. The […]

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