Book Review: THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins

Posted July 27, 2015 by Briana in book reviews / 7 Comments

This novel was recommended to me ages ago by an article I can’t remember. “For fans of GONE GIRL,” it said. I scoffed, thinking that there was no way some book I’d never heard of could compare to Gillian Flynn’s whirlwind thriller. Still, I’d heard a few good things about it. I decided to give it a shot.
Book Review: THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins

I know I’m way behind on reviewing this book, but it was so much more than I thought it would be, and I want to get the word out so that more people will read it. I’d also like to add that I listened to the audiobook version of THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN. That won’t affect my review, but I will say this: the narration is most definitely worth it.

Without further ado, let’s get to the book!

Plot Summary

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?

My Thoughts

For so long, I’ve tried to fight my love of thrillers. I’ve always been afraid to write a solid thriller because the market is sometimes so saturated, and I thought it was easier not to write them if I didn’t spend too much time reading them, either.

Now, I’m coming out of the literary closet to proclaim my love of thrillers—starting with this novel. THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN is a modern masterpiece, a lyrical thrill ride that keeps you guessing—up until the very end. At first glance, this book seems like a run-of-the-mill murder mystery. The truth is, it’s so much more than that. When you dive into this book, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.

There are three narrators in this novel, and I grew to love all of them. Sometimes it’s hard for me to get into multiple POV books, but not at all for this one. Every POV shift adds more depth to the overall story, and I didn’t feel like any of them could have been cut.

I realize this review may seem a little vague, but that’s because I really don’t want to give anything about this book away. If you’re looking for a thrilling, suspenseful read with likeable characters and a well-crafted setting, check out Paula Hawkins’ THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN. Now, I just have to figure out what to read next…

How do you feel about thrillers? What did you think of THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN?

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7 responses to “Book Review: THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins

  1. Daniel Rose

    Thanks for the recommendation Briana. I loved Gone Girl; I couldn’t put that book down, taking it everywhere with me and reading it every spare second. I’d heard about The Girl on a Train but never got around to picking it up, so now I look forward to reading it. Thanks again.

  2. Rae Oestreich

    How do I feel about thrillers? I actually love them. Thrillers and mysteries have always been among my favorite reads (starting with Nancy Drew). I’ve seen THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN on so many different recommendation lists – friends and online lit. articles alike – and now you! I have it on my bookshelf in my TBR pile…something tells me I’m going to have to pick it up ASAP.
    Thanks for the lovely review, Briana!

  3. Heather

    Historically I’ve never been much of a reader of thrillers, but that has changed recently. I’ve not read Gone Girl (although it is sitting in my TBR), and I haven’t read The Girl On the Train, either. But for some reason it didn’t really appeal to me. So much so that I hadn’t even read the blurb for it. But you’ve changed my mind!
    I actually just finished a thriller yesterday that I thought was AMAZING. It’s called Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin. It turned out much better than I’d been expecting. It’s not out until later next month, but it’s on NetGalley at the moment.

    • Briana Morgan

      Happy to hear you’re going to give this book a shot! Also, thanks for the recommendation – I’ll check Black-Eyed Susans out ASAP!