Book Review: THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins

GirlontheTrain
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover
Released: January 13, 2015
Source: Borrowed from the library
Rating: ★★★★


A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives…

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?


There’s lot of buzz going around about THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, and for the most part, I think it lived up to the hype. It’s a dark psychological thriller that was easy to get wrapped up in. Rachel, a.k.a the girl on the train, likes to snoop on people’s lives outside the window as she rides back and forth to London, which gets her in a web of trouble when she sees something disturbing. Rachel is unstable, and her life is a mess, so can her story be believed? The doubts I had about Rachel made this an entertaining story to read. I love unreliable narrators — fun and frustrating.

If I compare this book to that other “girl” thriller (GONE GIRL), it falls a bit short. THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN had plenty of interesting twists and big reveals along the way, though I wasn’t that surprised by the ending. I also thought that the women in this book were just too weak in character, as in a wee bit pathetic? Overall, I did enjoy the book though!! Kept me reading late into the night… Impressive debut, and I’ll definitely pick up Paula Hawkins next novel. 4 stars!

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15 thoughts on “Book Review: THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins

  1. You are so right – this one has a lot of buzz going on about it. Every place I turn someone is reading it or has reading it. I like your review giving the good and not so good for the book. I am on the fence about reading this one, maybe or maybe not, as I am not a big thriller reader.

  2. I’m not a big thriller reader (still haven’t read Gone Girl) but I’ll keep this one in mind. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about it, Diana.

  3. I’ll be curious what comes next for Paula Hawkins too. I liked it mostly, but I sure didn’t think that I would in the early stages. Rachel and I, well, she got on my last nerve. LOL

  4. I really enjoyed this book as well, but I think that every time people compare it to Gone Girl, it loses its individuality and its own perks. Still good though and if I read this before Gone Girl, maybe I’d like it more.

  5. I’m really curious about this book. I have an audio version and plan to make it my next audiobook.

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