The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins

Yes, I know, I’m very late for the train with this one (d’ya get it? Ha!). I kept seeing adverts for The Girl on the Train film adaptation when it first came out in the cinemas, but I knew I didn’t want to watch it until I had read the book – and it has taken me awhile, but I’ve finally read it! (Well, now I know why it’s so popular.)

I’ve read very mixed reviews about this novel since I finished it, but my experience was that I was hooked by this book. Some reviews commented on the characters being too over-the-top, calling them unbelievable, or unrealistic, and repetitive. However, I found their quirky characteristics and repetitive nature was what made them so interesting and real. It created a struggle for me, as a reader, as to who I could trust – the multiple perspectives especially, which allowed for revelations to be delayed even to the last two pages. The character of Rachel caught my interest the most, especially her alcoholism and blackouts that had me struggling between being skeptical of how much she could be trusted and my instinct to believe and trust her.

Yes, there were moments throughout that helped tip me off about “who did it” before the actual reveal, but for me that was part of the reason that I wanted to keep reading; I wanted to find out if I was correct (which I was!).

I was captivated by this book, especially by about halfway through, when I just couldn’t stop reading – despite the essay I was meant to be writing… Oops! I can see why it was, and still is, popular, and can definitely see why there has been an increase in the pull of this genre of writing, and consequent adaptions, recently too (with books and productions like Gone Girl and Apple Tree Yard). And now I can watch the movie for this book too!

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