Book Review: The Girl on the Train

You’ve heard about it. You’ve seen the trailer for it’s anticipated film adaptation, but is “The Girl on the Train” really worth all the hype?

My answer? “Sure..”

I work at a bookstore, which means that any book that receives rave reviews or an interesting amount of attention is something worth adding to the “Must Read” list. When this debut novel from author Paula Hawkins started attracting a media frenzy, I decided to see what it was all about.

The book follows troubled protagonist Rachel, whom is a living proof of a hot mess. She struggles with her alcohol and still has trouble dealing with the fallout with her cheating ex-husband. Now reading about her always going on a downward spiral will make you consistently shout, “Get it together girl!”But it doesn’t take away from the thrilling mystery that unfolds throughout the book.

Everyday Rachel abides by the motonous routine of taking the same commuter train. While always making the same stop, she soon becomes engaged in watching a couple out on their deck. Dubbing them as “Jess and Jason,” Rachel soon sees something shocking that leaves her frightened and doubtful of what she just witness. When the media later announces the disappearance of Jess, Rachel becomes the only key to solving this mystery.

The story has all the premise to make for a great mystery. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that the story has a slow buildup and is quite pedestrian. While you find yourself engaged halfway through the story, the ending wasn’t as climatic as I would have hoped for. With any mystery, you’re bound to channel your inner Nancy Drew and make your own predictions for the outcome. I was disappointed when I realized I had solved the mystery long before the ending even came.

Aside from the plot, the characters aren’t the kind you’ll feel attached to. You want to root for Rachel, but then you want to slap her in the face and say “Snap out of it!” You become enraptured with who these characters are, but then realize you wouldn’t necessarily want to mingle with them and find them annoying.

While this story is a good mystery to occupy your time with, there are better mysteries out there.

Although this mystery is thrilling, is it as jaw dropping as “Gone Girl?” No way!

Is it an enjoyable read that is sure to spur up a conversation? Yeah!

Could it have qualified as a plot for a Lifetime channel movie? Probably.

Will the movie adaptation exaggerate this “okay” story into a Hollywood Box Office Success? Duh, it’s Hollywood!

While I’ll still go see the film October 7, don’t let the hype make you think it’s the best thriller out there.


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