I finally finished my first book of 2016 and it took me long enough. I can blame it on my exams, but it’s probably also due to my lack of motivation. However, this had nothing to do with The Girl on the Train, because I enjoyed it. It wasn’t really that thrilling, but it was still quite interesting to read.
At first I didn’t really like Rachel or I couldn’t relate to her. I didn’t know whether I should’ve been supportive of her or not. Though after a while I started to have empathy for her. She’s troubled and had her fair share of difficult moments, which led to her not making the right decisions. She appeared to be desperate a lot of the time. This made her more human and realistic. I did like the interactions between Rachel and Scott. I don’t really know why, but perhaps it’s because they were both troubled and having a hard time while finding comfort with each other.
Anna on the other hand, didn’t do it for me. I just couldn’t seem to care about her. Even when she had more to do in the story, I still wasn’t really interested to read about her.
A lesser aspect of this book was that all these characters are miserable. All of their lives are messed up in some kind of way. This made for a minimal amount of lighter moments, which can be welcome in a story like this. However, this gave all of them a lot of depth and made them mean something within the story.
The story is told from different perspectives, which is good. You get to know different sides of the same moment. There’s one instance where something was quickly mentioned and then later explained through a different perspective. By dividing the chapters by character, Hawkins had the opportunity to tell a more compelling story, but at the end of the story I felt like it was a bit ridiculous. To build up suspense, you have to maintain a faster pace. Though with this system she sometimes had to switch between chapters too often. On top of that, I felt like the ending was a bit rushed as well. There’s a twist at the end that didn’t really shock me as much as it should’ve, partly because it was rushed and was just there to be shocking. It was supposed to be a big reveal, but in this case I felt like there should’ve been a build-up to the change.
At first I tried to keep up with the dates accompanying every morning-evening cycle, but I gave that up rather quickly. On a couple of occasions I had to go back and check the dates of previous chapters, because I found it not clear whether or not something was happening in the present or in the past.
Hawkins tried to build up suspense by ging a few characters motives for the murder. Even though I thought that some of these fell flat.
The writing was excellent and managed to keep you attention. I often found myself reading longer than I should’ve and I caught myself longing to know what had happened.
Hawkins did a great job at describing surroundings and different locations. I could clearly imagine where and how everything was taking place, which made it all the more realistic and captivating. On top of that, the world building didn’t take away from the story. It wasn’t too long or interfering with the actual story.
This is a great and quick read that can captivate you in a certain way. Though it has it’s flaws, it still managed to captivate me and to find out who did it and why. The ending fell a bit flat for me, but that didn’t take away from the entire reading experience. If you’ve read this, let me know if you feel the same way and if you have any recommendations.
I’ll see you later!