Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.
Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.
Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…
*Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*
OK, ‘The Girl on the Train’ is simply…WOW! I know you’ve heard a LOT about this book on social medias and I know for certain many of you are SO excited about this book, and here it is! The Girl on the Train is finally here and you have every right to be excited and not only that, you’re totally allowed to run to the bookshop, grab a copy, and then run back home to devour this masterpiece of a thriller.
Yeah, this book is THAT good! It’s one of the most talked about books of 2015 and one of those hyped books but with a reason, trust me! It’s Paula Hawkins debut, but it certainly doesn’t feel like a debut. It’s utterly fabulous, gripping, atmospheric read, which will make you wonder and question, and wonder some more.
It starts with Rachel going on her regular commute, living a somewhat normal life, gazing though the train’s window and observing people around her. Sometimes she even makes up stories around them, imagining their lives, what they had for tea, if they are happy, what are their names. Seeing them so often through the window makes her feel like she’s already part of their lives, but at the same time in a bit of a bizarre way almost like a voyeur. However, some things happen, some things which will even make Rachel question her sanity, pulling her in a story where she’s no longer an observer but taking an active role. And that’s when things get really crazy and very very intense both for Rachel and the reader. The narrative is so flawless, so genuine, so captivating. Ms Hawkins’ writing will make you think you’re in Rachel’s head or she’s in your head..or both. One of the many qualities this book undoubtedly possesses is the fact it feels very real and even if you don’t want to connect to Rachel (who’s really messed up) in a strange, bizarre way you will care deeply for her and root for her. I said Rachel is messed up, and oh she is. She’s still trying to get through her divorce and come to terms with the fact her (now) ex-husband moved on while she’s still stuck. And there’s alcohol involved, lots of it. At times I even wondered if some things really happened or they are just in Rachel’s head, a product of her hangover or something. Which is point number TWO, why this book is so great. I don’t think Ms Hawkins had the desire to create a character all of us will feel connected to, or some heartbroken 30ish woman with whom we could empathize. For many, Rachel could be even unlikable character, she’s kind of weak, drained by all the misfortunes in her life and she has many flaws, the biggest being she’s a heavy drinker. She’s not strong enough to deal with her problem, despite the fact her flatmate is telling her she’ll be forced to throw her out if she doesn’t get her shit together. BUT, THE STORY, guys…it’s that what matters. It really doesn’t matter if Rachel was Ms Little Perfect or as f*cked up as she is, the story is what is important and that is making this book so great.
Point number THREE, this book will make you think! Like, A LOT! Is everything what it seems, are we just mere observes of other people’s lives, or we influence them to a certain extent? It also brings up the question, is the grass really greener on the other side? Will I be really happier if I were in Sue’s shoes? Or what would happen if I was Jess, or Megan or whatever? And finally, when shit starts happening and we witness it, should we get involved or keep quiet? Though it seems sometimes we can avoid getting involved in some situations, most of the times we’re simply caught up and we must do something about it. And as a rule, we’re ALWAYS changed by these situations and the paths we choose to follow. And that, my dear friends, is what this book is about.
As you see, I really really LOVED this book. I know my review will not do it justice, as I know comparing it to Gone Girl is…let’s say, not very good as I certainly enjoyed and loved this book more than Gone Girl. I can see a connection mostly in two things, both are psychological thrillers and Gone Girl WAS and still is one of the most read thrillers and books lately, but this is where the similarity ends (at least for me). ‘The Girl on the Train’ DESERVES to stand on its own and not be compared to Gone Girl or any other book published before, simply because it’s STRONG enough to stand on its own.
I applaud to Ms Hawkins for creating this creepy yet beautiful, complex and layered story that will live with me forever. It’s gripping and compelling read that you will read in one sitting, and though it’s just January and it might be too early to say this, it’s the IT book of 2015! Get ready guys, for you’re about to go on a hell of a journey! Everyone, get aboard!
My rating: 10/10