Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
(Adapted From Goodreads)
|The most appropriate analogy I can use while reviewing The Girl on the Train (TGT) is to compare it to alcohol, but not just any alcohol, something that stings you. Tequila. TGT is like tequila. A few chapters in and my face was contorting in weird ways. The lemon was sour and the salt wasn't helping. It had been a while since I'd downed a novel like this and I wasn't sure if I still liked the taste. Fast forward a few more chapters and I'm walking around the party with the bottle in my hand, telling everyone it's the best tequila I've ever had in my life. I'm obsessed. I just can't enough TGT. With the "worm" floating at the bottom of her bottle, Paula Hawkins had me hook, line and sinker. Of course, the worm I'm referring to is the overarching murder mystery; a mystery that is mostly driven by Rachel Watson.|
TGT's main protagonist Rachel is an absolute train wreck alcoholic. She's a nutter and there are times when she'd do things that were completely cringe-worthy, to the point where I actually needed to shake my head in disbelief; which would have looked hilarious as I was listening to the audio book version and running at the same time. As bad as she is, I still felt compelled to keep listening to the book at lightning pace. I had to know if her character would be redeemed somehow, because we've all been Rachel at one point in time, right? I think this is what makes TGT great, the way such a distasteful character can keep you intrigued.
Fast forward a few more chapters and the pessimist in me tells me that my bottle is half empty. At this point, I think I've guessed the ending and I'm wishing TGT would just pick up the pace and deliver the big payoff. It doesn't. It feels stretched. It feels as if Hawkins was drink driving with her car in 5th gear tearing up the freeway and spotted a police car before jerking the vehicle back into 3rd gear and easing back down to a snail's pace. At this point, I'm wondering whether I should stop listening, but of course, just like in reality after a few drinks, I don't. I had to know what happened to that poor girl Megan.
At the end of the bottle, TGT fizzes out with a very predictable ending, one that I had seen coming at the half way mark. I really wanted to be surprised and shocked, but I wasn't. Instead I was just walking around with an empty bottle and a headache. A good headache though, one that feels earned and worth the pain.
Overall, I really liked TGT, but, in the 'spirit' of continuing with my well worn analogy, I'm in no rush to lock my lips around a bottle like that for some time.
Who should read this book?
Anyone who loved the book (or movie adaption) Gone Girl.
- Chris Gander