2015 Book #123 – The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

516YNFvZnrLTitle: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Date finished: 12/22/15
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: January 13, 2015
Pages in book: 323
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: My friend Val from work

Blurb from the cover:

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

My rating:  4.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will count towards my “Holiday 2015 Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “Thriller” square, since, well, it was very thrilling. I was on the edge of my seat for a good part of this book! Anyways, this book tells a number of stories but I found that the main focus was on Rachel Watson through the book. The chapters are told from three different points of view: Rachel, Anna (Rachel’s replacement) and finally Megan, a woman who is missing for most of Rachel and Anna’s chapters. Rachel is an alcoholic who has lost her job but still rides the train into London each morning and back in the evening so that she can fool her roommate into thinking she still has a job. Rachel also hasn’t gotten over her ex-husband, who was cheating on her at the end of their marriage and has since moved in with his mistress and had a baby with her.
One night Rachel gets so drunk that she blacks out, though she does remember getting off the train at the station where her ex-husband, and coincidentally the missing woman, lives. Rachel wakes up the next morning with cuts and bruises all over, and she can’t remember what happened or how she got home. All she knows is that something very bad has happened. She spends the next few weeks trying to piece together what has happened to Megan and also trying to remember what happened that night to see if maybe she had some involvement in Megan’s disappearance.
Overall I really liked this book. A couple of the plot twists I did see coming but most of them I did not expect, and the book 10)% did not end how I would have expected it to end. This was a fast-paced thrilling read that kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. All of the characters in this story are seriously flawed and have staggering issues that they’re dealing with. It is interesting that in the beginning of the story Rachel watches Megan, who she calls “Jess” at the time, through the train window and imagines the perfect life that she has, when Megan’s life is very far from perfect. I’m interested to see how this book is going to translate to film, it is currently scheduled to be released in movie theaters in October 2016. I would definitely put this one on your to read list (if you haven’t read it already)!

The bottom line: This book has had a lot of hype during 2015 and I can understand why. It was a great, fast-paced read. I would definitely recommend!!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page