Review of The Girl on the Train

A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

A compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by readers across markets and categories.


The Girl on the Train was our book club pick for April. We all enjoyed both the Gone Girl book and movie, so we were excited to take on a book that was compared to Gone Girl and was hyped as a "Hitchcockian" thriller.

 
  •  The book was so unique. I enjoyed the writing style, it really gave you the whole picture without going back and forth too distinctly. The POV were each from different time periods, so it helped give structure instead of that jumpy feeling a lot of books that go back and forth portray.
  • Rachel has to be one of the most complex characters I have ever read. I haven't ever been around someone who is an alcoholic, so it was interesting to be in the mind of someone with the disease. I know that I do not love being drunk or hungover, so it was so hard for me to imagine choosing to feel like that all the time. 
  • I totally think that I could relate to Rachel making up stories about the people in the houses she passes everyday. I think that imagination is easily reliable for those who love to write and I could see myself doing the same thing to kill time on that long train ride everyday. I could also see myself getting caught up in the story and wanting to help when something goes wrong. I know it seems crazy, but hey, I do have an overactive imagination.
  • I cannot imagine what it would be like to be in Anna's shoes. First, she is the other woman. She is sleeping with a married man and in love with him. And then, they get married and she moves into his home that his now ex-wife vacated. She is living in the shadow of the marriage she helped destroy. It wasn't just the cheating, but so much more complexity. The writing really gave you insight into how it felt like to be on both sides of the situation. 
  • Our main character - the girl who gives us the mystery in the story, only dances around in the shadows. It is so interesting to see how she weaved in and out of the lives of our characters, without ever really being the complete story. 

  • There were a few times that I really struggled with the story. At the beginning, I was just constantly waiting for something to happen. Then I wanted answers. At times I almost felt like putting the book down, but I kept going because I needed to know who the killer was.
  • I tend to actually love hyped books, but this one I was so excited for and I think that it did not live up to my excitement. I wanted that same emotion that I got from Gone Girl and didn't really feel anything. I felt the characters in Gone Girl were a lot more "hateable." I didn't really connect with any of the characters.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22557272-the-girl-on-the-train



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13 comments

  1. This one was a three star for me. The story was entertaining enough to keep me reading, not in the same way as something like Gone Girl. I think all the hype may have ruined it for me. Great review though!

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  2. I tried reading this one. I couldn't get through it, maybe I should I try again?

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    1. I really didn't love it enough to suggest you try it again!
      Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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  3. Well, that stinks. I actually ran to buy this book but I haven't read it yet. I hope I give it more than three stars--otherwise I'll be disappointed.

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  4. This book sounds really interesting - with all the mystery and outside opinions and stuff. I'm intrigued by the idea of someone imagining what people's lives are like from the outside, because I've done that before. Also, I noticed your sidebar and how did you get a copy of PS. I Still Love You!?? I've wanted to read that book for ages! Has it come out already?

    -M
    The Life of Little Me

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    1. It has just come out! You need to read it! I liked it better than the first!
      Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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  5. Ah it;s a shame this one didn't live up to the hype as much as you hoped it would, but it still seems like an intriguing story and thriller. As you said, Rachel seems like a very interesting character and I may just try this one to see into her mindset :)

    Check out my review and giveaway: http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.nl/2015/05/absolutely-true-lies-review-giveaway.html

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  6. Too bad this one didn't deliver as much as you had hoped, but it still sounds like an interesting read.

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  7. This one is on my TBR list currently. I LOVE Gone Girl, so of course I added it. It always sucks when a book isn't as good as we hope. Another one that's compared to Gone Girl, that I actually really enjoyed, is called Luckiest Girl Alive. I don't really see the comparison to Gone Girl, but you might want to check it out.

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  8. I'm not one to pick up a mystery thriller. But this one has been getting all the buzz. I never read Gone Girl but saw the movie and absolutely hated it. So there's that... I might try borrowing this at some point. But I'm really not going to make an effort to get around to it.
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

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  9. I don't know why I had to have this as soon as it released and then never read it. I am usually the opposite of you in regards to hyped books, I usually end up not liking them. Maybe I should have read this before hearing anything about it. I have a hard time with books that take forever for something to happen. I just may put this off for awhile longer. Thank you for reviewing it, Missie.

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  10. Hello, new follower here and great review you have! I have tried to read this at a bookstore but it bores me. Maybe i should try it by reading it at home? Anyway, i like books that are thrilling and have great myseries like this but i can feel Gone Girl a bit so i might read Gone Girl first :)

    Yani @ Paper Boulevard

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  11. I LOVE people watching and making up stories for them. And I'm not a fan of hype books which is why I have stayed away from this one. I thought I'd give myself a little bit of time and then possibly check it out. But most other hype books that have been released recently I have not enjoyed.

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I'd love to hear what you thought of the book or others you think I will like! Please share your thoughts! Thank you for the thought, but I am not participating in awards.