Thursday, 22 October 2015

The Girl on the Train

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. 'Jess and Jason', she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she's only watched from afar. Now they'll see: she's much more than just the girl on the train.

Rating: ★★★★

I've wanted to read this for ages and I finally borrowed it from my local library a couple of weeks ago. I was quite surprised I moved up the reservation list so quickly because I was quite a way down when I joined the queue, but that was before I read it. Now I can only assume all the previous readers raced through it in the same way I did! In case you're wondering, I didn't buy it only because I don't really like to have hardback books, but the paperback doesn't come out for a while yet...

I'm sometimes a little wary of a book that's had so much hype in case it doesn't live up to my expectations but I can definitely see why The Girl on The Train has been such a hit. It's been a few weeks since I read a book that I wanted to pick up every chance I got! It was an unpredictable story with plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing all the way through.

None of the characters are remotely likeable, which I think was the real strength of the book. They're all completely horrible and definitely not the sort of people you'd like to know in real life, but as characters they were all so complex and well developed, they were really interesting to read about and I still really wanted to know what happened to them. The story jumps between past and present and the narration is shared by three female characters, none of whom are at all reliable. I didn't know who to believe or trust, which meant it wasn't so easy to spot the red herrings. I liked that - for me, the fun of reading a thriller comes from the guessing, but not necessarily figuring it all out before the end.

One thing I'm unsure about is why The Girl on the Train has been so closely compared to Gone Girl. For me, Gone Girl was a lot darker, more tense and more of a psychological thriller. There are some aspects of psychology involved in TGOTT, particularly memory, but I didn't feel like it was quite on the same level. Having said that, I would definitely recommend this if you're looking for a page turner!

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