Book Review: The Girl on the Train

Thursday 5 May 2016 by

The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins, Book, Reading, TransworldThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Published by Transworld

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…


I tend to avoid the hype around a book. I’ll wait until it’s over – or, if I’m really lucky, I’ll read it before the hype begins. But with The Girl on the Train, it was the former. I don’t tend to read crime novels, but of course the hype convinced me.

Rachel is a drunk. She is also someone with a difficult past and a huge imagination. Which means, when she sees something, she can’t help herself – she has to get involved. The only problem is, she can’t remember exactly what happened. Rachel has to battle with her own blank spots in order to help.

This is a creepy, addictive thriller. There are so many twists, turns and false results that it can’t help but drag you in. But Rachel is not a particularly nice person, and it’s hard to warm to her. Then, it’s hard to warm to any of the characters – they are all unpleasant at any given time, and you can’t decide who to set your allegiance with.

I almost missed my stop so many times reading this book; it’s quick and easy to read, which hooks you in and keeps you going. There is good reason this got such love when it came out. It’s different to a lot of thrillers out there – the twists might be a trope, but everything else about it tends not to be. Even the characters push the boundaries instead of abiding by them, and it makes that much more exciting.

Don’t be put off by the hype – make sure you read it and make sure you devour it. I’m going to avoid any kind of spoilers because I don’t want to ruin a second.

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