The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins | Rating: ★★★★★
But then I think, this happens sometimes, doesn’t it? People you have a
history with, they won’t let you go, and as hard as you might try, you
can’t disentangle yourself, can’t set yourself free. Maybe after a while
you just stop trying.
Let's start with one simple fact: this is one of my favourite mystery/thrillers from the last few years. I'm sure you've heard the buzz surrounding it, what-with it's big screen adaptation that came out this fall. A lot of people have been quick to call it out as literature's next Gone Girl. Which is equal parts fair and unfair: there are a great many similarities between the two novels but at the end of the day, it's its own story.
Paula Hawkins unleashed a deep, tangled up tale of mystery and intrigue with The Girl on the Train that won't be for everyone but it certainly was for me. I loved every minute on every page and couldn't help but to get lost in it. For the first time in years, I finished a novel only to reread it again that very week--I couldn't get enough of its inner workings and can honestly say that Hawkins is on the fast-track to being one of the next big authors in the literature world.
The Girl on the Train takes you by storm; weaving you into the minds of three women who all have at least a few things in common. Each voice is unique and full of life that you can't help but to love each of them in different ways. It is their flaws you love. It is their voice you love.
Overall, they are complex in the way that is lacking in a story revolving around three separate women's narration. All three have various surprises up their sleeves and fans of an unreliable narrator will flock to them; especially to the voice of Rachel, who is also my personal favourite and ultimately the most sympathetic. I liked the raw quality their was to the prose when it targets Rachel--she will make you feel, she will make you cringe in embarrassment and concern for her.
I find myself annotating many portions of this book but upon my reread I find that I marked most of my thoughts/favourites within Rachel's chapters. Every thought was chilling and descriptive. This goes on for pretty much the entire book in the same way that many of us felt during Sharp Objects or Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica. I still think the comparisons are unfair but the parallels are undoubtedly there.
Psychological horror and mystery can be found in abundance in this one. Which roughly translates into: this won't be for everyone. I repeat, it won't be for everyone. There's a lot of touchy subjects within the novel, including the epic twist that comes with the unraveling of the novel's biggest mysteries, and so naturally The Girl on the Train comes with many trigger warnings.
So. How do I feel about the book? I loved it. It's the perfect autumn novel to give yourself a faint chill and keep yourself on your toes. I would recommend it only to those who love the genre and are looking for a quick read during their coffee breaks.
And, Twisted is the first word that comes to mind when someone asks me about this book as a whole. I mean, the entire thing leads you down one road only to find you're on another path entirely and everything you thought you knew wasn't at all true. I love it when a book challenges me and keeps me on the edge of my seat and The Girl on the Train does this from start to finish. It is highly recommended.