I wanted my very first review to be my favorite book of all time; but after finishing this today, I figured that I’d give that honor to the book that truly pulled me out of the book slump (readers block?) I was in for the past several months.
Sure, I’d read some books here and there but nothing that made me go “Okay wow. I need to start binge reading again”–until this novel.
Since this is my 1st post I just want to let my readers know of my planned layout. I’m thinking of posting the cover of the novel, the review itself (which will be detailed and have spoilers after a spoiler warning) followed by some quotes that were my favorites. What do you guys think? Do let me know in the comment section!
So here we go with my premiere review. : )
The Girl on the Train was an incredibly dark and gritty novel. The protagonist, Rachel, who is unreliable to put it mildly, was frustrating to deal with initially.
Her constant drunkenness was beyond agitating to read about but it also was incredibly relevant to the plot and the issues she had with her memory later in the novel.
The story starts off a bit slow but then picked up pace pretty quickly. By the time the first 1/4 of the book was read, I really didn’t want to put it down.
SPOILER ALERT AHEAD:
As frustrating as her drunken states were, you really couldn’t help but feel some sympathy for her mid-way into the book. As the reader, you could see how much it impacted and ruined so many aspects of her life. Little did she know that it would end up being a blessing in disguise (of sorts).
Initially she came off as woman who was controlled by her addiction. But her character development was pretty well written. It was plausible and realistic. No one with that level of alcoholism would just turn a 180. It takes time and I like that that is shown with Rachel. Her own frustration at her blackouts was very palpable and even painful to read about at times. When she finally starts to gain her memory and realizes the truth, that was just painful to read. You can’t help but feel truly bad for what she’s been through with Tom.
On that note, the fact that Tom ended up using her fragility to manipulate her, especially because she often got drunk to the point of not remembering was a shocker. He was a sociopath that found his equal in Anna. I’m still not exactly convinced of her motives. There is a huge difference in a woman protecting her family at all costs and a woman who misses being a mistress and is willing to ruin the life and reputation of her now-husbands ex-wife. And Anna easily was in that 2nd category. Albeit, Tom manipulated her to an extent as well, he knew the kind of person she was on the inside and it echoed in the kinds of lies he told her compared to the ones he told to Rachel. Initially I felt bad for Anna, but that quickly turned to disdain once her inner monologue started up. She was just as vicious and manipulative as Tom was.
Scott ended up being a pawn in this book but he definitely had a darker side to him that wasn’t quite fleshed out. I feel that his character could have had more substance to him other than the distant man who may or may not be guilty of a horrendous crime.
The plot twist of who Megs’ killer was really threw me for a loop. My only complaint is that the ending felt so rushed. Everything was slowly building up and when the ending actually happened, it was as though someone had hit fast forward to just quickly summarize it all.
This book could have easily had 2-3 more chapters to really get to the meat of it all.
Overall, I’d definitely recommend this hitchcockian flavored thriller.
I want to do 5 star reviews (to work easily with Goodreads) and I’d like to give this book 4/5 stars. It’s a great read for anyone that has long public transportation commutes and/or just a lazy Saturday to knock a book off their reading list. If you’re a fan of Gillian Flynn or just dark and modern novels, I highly recommend this book.
Some of my favorite quotes from it are:
“The familiarity isn’t just in my head; it’s in my bones; it’s muscle memory.”
“He never understood that it’s possible to miss what you’ve never had, to mourn for it.”
“Hollowness: that I understand. I’m starting to believe that there isn’t anything you can do to fix it (…) the holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mould yourself through the gaps.”
And that is it. My 1st review.
Please please let me know what you thought of it and any changes i can make to the format/layout/writing/etc. I’m all ears and want to make sure that my readers have a pleasant experience with this!
Much Love and Literature,