Author: Paula Hawkins
Protagonist: Rachel Watson
Other Character(s): Tom Watson, Anna Watson, Scott Hipwell, Megan Hipwell, Kamal Abdic
Synopsis: Told from the perspective of three women in a past and present tense. Rachel, coming from a difficult divorce, notices something through her train window on her way to her work. This small gesture eventually forces her to cross paths with Megan and Anna.
Reviews: I’ve been seeing advertisement for this book everywhere here in Toronto, even in our trains its there. Then I found out that they made a movie of it and it will be released this year. So of course I just had to see what the deal is. Picking this book up I really had no expectations, and I didn’t really know a whole lot about it except for the fact that its about a girl…on a train, self explanatory, right? Unfortunately, even with this low expectation, I was really disappointed about it. There wasn’t much to like about the book except for the last few chapters. I hated the protagonist and the pacing of the book was too tedious considering its a thriller.
Usually when I write a book review I try to say both negative and positive things. The problem for me with The Girl on the Train, there really isn’t anything positive for me to say. If there was no mystery in this story, I don’t think I would have finished it at all. Ok, I have to at least give props on the ending, because at least that kept me on my toes. I kinda figured out the whole mystery near the middle of it, but I still like reading about the BIG REVEAL. Other than that I’m sorry to say, but there wasn’t a whole lot of good things I could say about the book.
I may be being too rough on this, considering a lot of people enjoyed reading it, I just found that there were too many negativity put on both the male and female gender. I get that in reality people are not perfect and we all tend to let our selfishness get in the way of others, but I really do believe that people in general are good. This book though, showed all her characters dark side and I mean all of it. Jealousy, hatred, murder, alcoholism, adultery, violence, anger and everything in between, its all here. I just didn’t see any character that held a decent feature. Which is really hard for me to believe that everyone that the protagonist encounter was of this disposition. For others, they would see this as realistic, and ‘how the real world is’, but for me, it felt like the author was trying too hard to make her characters imperfect, so that they would be perfect. If that makes sense. I don’t mind if all these are present in the book, but for all the characters to possess such traits, its highly unlikely.
I also hated how she made all the characters very…stereotypical? I think she was too rough on the men in her book. She portrayed them as violent, abuse and manipulative. While the women were weak and inferior to the opposite sex. I’m not really a feminist, but I really think she should have given a balance and portrayed a stronger female and male character that possessed at least one good characteristic. I hated that everyone she wrote was so…negative. I know I keep using this word, but I really can’t think of another thing to say. I know this is no ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’, but this made me realize why I enjoy Ya novels. Although Ya protagonists or characters have their faults, they also have some redeeming qualities. They aren’t all perfect, but at the same time they are still believable.
Aside from the faulty characters, her writing tend to lean on the tedious side. I’m not saying she’s a bad writer. I just found that the story dragged a little bit too slow. Considering its a thriller, I expected a little bit more action than what I got. I won’t lie, she did a great job in conveying the stories of each of her characters, but there really wasn’t one that stood out for me that I could relate with. That’s really not Hawkins fault, but these characters are just not up to my standards. Will I keep her future books in my radar? Maybe not, if it has the same context, but time will only tell.
Really, I can’t go much further into discussing this book because I really don’t want to make other people not be interested in reading it. There are those who really enjoyed it and there are people, like me, who just couldn’t stand it. Buy it, read it, absorb it all in, then get back to me and let me know if you enjoyed it. Then we can have a simple debate if we are in opposing sides. Either way, try it and see for yourself!
Ending: If I have to suffer the book, then so must you! I’m not revealing anything. Except, its the husband…! But, which one ^_^