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review 2017-01-24 21:05
The Girl On the Train
The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins

I listened to this novel on CD and almost gave up on it after the first CD. I kept asking individuals that I knew if they had read it and I was getting mixed reviews about it. All I knew about this novel as I was inquiring about it, was that Rachel didn’t sleep a lot but she loved her alcohol. She rode the train, analyzing the people who were a part of this mass transit system. These individuals didn’t have to ride it, they just needed to be around it, to be a part of it. Rachel was a loner. I thought the poor girl needed an intervention, her life was a mess, she needed someone to reach out to her. She needed someone to tell her that they cared about her, she needed someone she could rely and do something with besides just hanging out amongst the trains. I wondered how long Rachel had been this way and as she talked about her past, I wasn’t sure if it was the alcohol speaking or Rachel’s real memories that were coming back to her. Then to find out that Rachel was a liar, she had picked up this skill from being around one of the best liars around. What am I supposed to believe now? When the other character’s lives begin to emerge into Rachel’s life, I didn’t want to stop the CD’s as I played them everywhere I went. The story had now become mysterious and disturbing, how were all these characters connected to one another and why is this story taking forever to finish?

 

Perhaps if Rachel could just stay sober for a bit, she might get the stories straight and unwind this mystery for me but then a clear head is something that Rachel hasn’t deal with lately so perhaps this might not be a good idea. As Megan and Anna were introduced, I adored each of these women for they were strong and determined characters. Rachel, I thought of her, as this weak bird, fumbling around trying to stand up and get her bearing and as issues begin to surface in the story, she grabs onto them and tries to resolve them, still scuffling around but now drawing others into her battle. Rachel is ringing the bell. The men in these women’s lives angered me. I felt a push from each of them, a push for power. As I heard their voices on the audio, I was ready for them, my defenses were up and trust was becoming an issue as I listened to them. I loved the difference voices on this audio, the power and the emotion behind each voice, gave each character individualism and weight. I’m glad that I didn’t give up on this audio, I wonder how I would have felt had I read it on my own as I loved the voices that accompanied this audio yet I wondered if I would have disliked the beginning. 3.5 stars

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review 2017-01-12 01:12
Paula Hawkins: The Girl on the Train
The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins

Paula Hawkins takes readers on a train ride (pun intended, you ride the train a lot in this book) of mystery and emotions, when you cannot quite remember what happened:

She rides the train in to London every day, just to cover up that she has lost her job and is no longer working. While on the train each day she starts it with a few drinks and watching the people who live along the train line. She passes her old residence where she had love and a future. Now there is a new happy couple living there and one of them is her ex-husband Tom. This is why she drinks, she cannot face the life that she now has when she once had the best life with Tom. the other house she notices is the one at the end of the street, where a new couple lives and she imagines them having a perfect life as they both look perfect. But when Megan goes missing, Rachel feels like she has seen something, knows something about her life that can find her. She wants to help the police but her own turmoil of a life put everything she knows and saw as well as her life at risk.

I tend to stay away from books that have a lot of hype around them (like fifty shades of grey) at least until the hype dies down a bit but I'll admit that I picked up this book because that it was being turned in to a movie and I always like to compare the book and movie. Based upon how amazing and awesome this book is being hailed, it took me way too long to finish it and I do not think that I should be able to figure out the "big" twist ect, fairly early in the book too, so this hindered my overall enjoyment of the book. I think that Hawkins does a good job of trying to lead the reader to different opinions on what not only happened to Megan but ultimately who is responsible, I just think her attempts were lacking in imagination.

I liked Rachel as a main character with all her flaws around alcoholism, blackouts and her bipolar disorder. This adds real dimension to her character as she tries to muddle through what happened to her that night. All these flaws make her character not only damaged but also interesting. As her mind is pretty jumbled chapters about her and from her point of view can be frustrating as a reader as you really just want her to remember. Her decision making process is also not the greatest too and she end up getting herself in trouble more than once with the decisions she makes, but it is her overall eagerness to help that makes her endearing and the character you cheer for.

I think that I must have a different idea of what a thriller is supposed to be but for me other than the last quarter of the book I did not have this feeling. For me a thriller needs to leave me on the edge of my seat, have me staying up late to read just one more chapter and this did not achieve this for me. It was an interesting who-done-it type of book, but thriller it is not.

For me this book was a disappointment due to all the hype associated with it and the fact that it was being turned in to a movie. I would read another book by Hawkins as I think that she explored some interesting aspects in the book especially around Rachel's alcoholism.

Enjoy!!!

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review 2017-01-03 04:03
So...that happened
The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins 

 

So yeah, that happened.  I don't even know where to begin with this one.  Absolutely NO ONE in this book had any redeeming value.  If you ask me they all deserved each other.  I just can not believe this book.  

 

The beginning of the book dragged for me.  There were a few times when I was going to bail.  Just have to sit through a depressed drunk ride back and forth on train lamenting how awful her life was seriously made me just want to throw in the towel.  It started to pick up though, but I still wasn't seeing what all the fuss was about.

 

I kinda had a feeling who the culprit was, and that there was more to that character than was being let on, but at the end, things got really bizarre. 

 

Things got back on track (no pun intended) and made sense at the end, but honestly, I hated every last one of these characters.  I just felt wrung out at the end.  Nobody won.  Justice, I guess was served.  But when the dust settled, all that was left was a bunch of losers.  They all lost something because of the tragedy that involved all of them.

 

I was told that this was going to be like Gone Girl, but with that book, I felt some shock and awe.  The way it ended was beyond messed up and for weeks after I would just think about it and be floored all over again.

 

With this book, there was no surprise.  There was no twist, it just awful, awful and more awful.  The way the people behaved in the story wasn't so much shocking as it demoralizing.  Add to that the shifting perspectives and times, it just seemed like a chore to get through for the first 1/2 to 2/3 of the story.  It wasn't until the end when I felt like I had to  know what was going to happen next.

 

So, this one was just ok for me.  Maybe if I hadn't had such high hopes for it, I would of rated it higher but it didn't live up to the lofty expectations I had for it.

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review 2016-12-28 08:59
A Mediocre Psychological Thriller
The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins

NOTE: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS


There are times when I read a book, I must not be bias based on my personal ideals and self opinions about a subject. There are times... I had to because it does get to my nerves. Whether it is a story, characters or the flow of the story. The Girl on the Train is one of those that really hits hard on me to a point I had to dumb myself down to try to appreciate the story.


This is a story about a divorcee named Rachel, who commutes a train every single day to London and always passes by a house of one couple. Every day, Rachel will have her little fantasy of this couple, naming them and envy their lives... until the day Megan Hipwell disappeared and some thing happened to Rachel on the day Megan disappeared. Rachel can't remember what happened that night because she was drunk. She would try any thing to remember if only she doesn't blackout each time she drinks.


The set of the premise wasn't an interesting one. I read lots of reviews about how good The Girl on a Train is but as it turns out, it was quite a mess. Firstly - the characters. I would let you know there are no protagonist here. No heroes or heroines. All the main characters are either victims of their own mistakes or a mess in their own past. Mostly - they are flawed. Very flawed in such a way that they are pathetic. Rachel is an alcoholic, Megan is a cheater, Anna (Rachel's ex-husband's wife) is in denial and the rest is as messy as it is. Put them all together in a mystery suspense story and what you read is a soap-drama of a murder you had seen before in any TV series. Predictable, irritable and annoyingly horrible. And then there is paranoia involve of the guessing game but based on dialogue exchange between characters, its so easy to figure out who the real murderer before the end of the book.


I had to dumb myself to finish the book. I have to make myself understand about the characters and the setting of the story to try to appreciate the story. Towards the end, when my bias view is higher than giving a review with pros and cons... I find that the truth in my own opinion that gives this book a rating of 3 out of 5 star. The best rating I can give. But seriously - it only deserves only two stars if not for how Paul Hawkins did a nice job in developing and throwing pathetic characters into one story and how it really stays in character for being pathetic. Predictable, not exactly suspenseful thriller, I do find this mediocre and only readable when there is nothing to read.

 

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review 2016-11-12 01:13
Unreliable Witness on the Train
The Girl on the Train - Clare Corbitt,Paula Hawkins,India Fisher,Louise Brealey

Every morning, Rachel Watson takes a commuter train into London.  Every evening, she takes the train back to suburban Ashbury.  She is not commuting to a job; she lost it months before, due to her advanced alcoholism.  But she keeps pretending to go to her PR job because she doesn't have the heart to break the news to Cathy, who was kind enough to let Rachel move in "temporarily," following Rachel's divorce from Tom two years before.

 

In both directions, the train stops for a minute or so at a signal.  When it does, Rachel gets a view of the backyards of a row of Victorian houses.  Often, she sees a young couple, and from watching them, Rachel comes to feel as though she knows them.  She names them Jason and Jess, and even imagines professions for them.  In her mind, they are an ideal couple, with a perfect, happy relationship.  She tries not to look a few houses over, to where she used to live with her ex-husband Tom, who continues to live there with his second wife Anna--the woman he'd started an affair with while still married to Rachel. 

 

To add to Rachel's pain is the fact that Anna and Tom have a baby, Evie.  Four years earlier, Rachel's infertility and failed round of IVF launched the depression and alcoholism, putting a strain on her marriage.

 

One day, Rachel sees from the train something that shakes her impression of the perfect relationship she has imagined for "Jason" and "Jess."  And when "Jess," whose real name is Megan Hipwell, disappears, Rachel thinks she might have information that could help in the investigation.  Only her alcohol use causes her to experience blackouts.  Pieces of her memory are missing, and the police quickly decide she is an unreliable witness.  Still, she is eager to help, and she becomes entangled in the lives of strangers.  Meanwhile, Tom and Anna are anxious to get her to leave them alone.

 

Can Rachel access the missing memories?  Can they help her solve this mystery?  Tune in and see.

 

The audiobook has three separate narrators, each assigned to a different first-person, narrator:  Rachel, Megan, and Anna.  The narrative moves along at a fast pace, and the twists keep things interesting.  As one might expect in a mystery, appearances can be deceptive.

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