Spoiler Free ~
Hello everyone! I am currently typing this on my new MacBook which I am eternally grateful for (I will cherish it like a child it's beautiful), so I'm hoping this will make blogging easier and therefore more frequent. In preparation for the film starring Emily Blunt which came out on the 5th of October, I finally picked up my copy of heavily talked about thriller, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. As a little disclaimer, I've never really read a thriller/mystery/crime novel before as I'm usually drawn towards the fantasy or science fiction books, however I really enjoyed this book and am on the search for another book of the same genre. I love being able to be open to new genres as it means more books and stories to be experienced!
I went into this book blind (not literally of course). I purposefully stayed away from all reviews, trailers and even avoided reading the blurb in order to make the story completely unknown and have no sense of characterisation or plot. I thought this was really effective so consequently I'll be keeping this review very brief and short in order for you to appreciate it in the same way.
A brief summary of this book is that our protagonist, Rachel, takes the train into London everyday. Her life is spiralling downwards and she's gradually losing hope after the divorce from her husband. One day when riding the train, she sees a beautiful woman. The next day, the beautiful woman's face appears in the papers alongside the word 'MISSING'. Rachel then feels involved and interested with the story, and steps into a life she doesn't know...
- Characters -
The characters in this book were so detailed and had so much depth to them that wasn't fully discovered or evaluated until the end of the novel. They're the sort of characters that I could imagine analysing in an English class; eliciting debates and arguments based on their morals and initiative amongst your peers. Hawkins' characters managed to contradict our emotions, being untrustworthy whilst also sparking empathy.
The book is written in three perspectives: Rachel, Anna and Megan. All of which take part over different periods of time (around one year I believe). This interesting technique meant that the readers opinions and speculations were constantly changing due to the new information given or taken away throughout the book. I thought the manipulation of these perspectives really helped the increase of tension in the book, and it was really clever to witness the story gradually come together as each perspective was like a jigsaw piece, and at the end they had all been collected and could finally be pieced together.
I can't comment on characters really as their personalities play an enormous part in the novel. I can however say that no characters are particularly likeable and I believe this to be intentional as it keeps the readers' minds open as to who is responsible for the crime. However, my favourite character is Rachel as she's an incredibly complex character and is definitely not black and white.
- Writing -
The writing in this novel isn't exactly spectacular. It doesn't reveal any metaphors or similes to be evaluated or any other kind of inspirational and poetic descriptions or explanations...But it was gripping, thrilling and clever in many other ways. In print, the writing is simplistic which meant the book was easy to pick up and read quickly. But it was also written so intricately with the different perspectives but also short lines that don't hold any significance until much later on in the book. It was just really captivating how the whole thing played out.
On the book, as a tagline, is written 'You Don't Know Her, But She Knows You'. Although this does have relevance to the book, I found this book to be more of a personal story to Rachel at times, rather than the crime/thriller it's being made out to be. Though this may just be a personal opinion.
Overall, as someone who doesn't read these books often at all, I really enjoyed it. I really want to read more books like it and as they're so easy to read. I gave the book 3.5/5, or 7/10 on Goodreads, as although I did enjoy it, it didn't equate to the 4s and 5s I'd given to other books on there. I'm going to write a movie review for this book soon as I saw the movie last week, and hopefully I'll keep up to post more!
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