Hi, Hey, Hello!
So, I have another book review for you today to kick this week off and good golly it’s a good’un. Now the majority of this review was written when I was still on some kind of reading high, but I have since tried to make it seem like a fangirling mess of a review and something a bit more readable.
I’m talking about The Girl on the Train.
I seriously need to stress though that there is nothing spoiler free about this review. If you read this review then the chances are the book will be ruined for you should you ever want to read the book and I cannot recommend this book enough, so you should definitely read it if you get a chance. I tried to make it less spoiler-y but I could never quite get it down to none. So, again. Not spoiler free. And one last time:
***CANNOT GUARANTEE SPOILER FREE***
Holy shit this book ruined my life (I feel like I say that a lot about things, but seriously in this instance I feel like it’s warranted, in a really hyperbolic literature related way, it’s totally warranted). And when I say I ruined it I mean it was ruined in the best possible way. And I feel like I should have been prepared for that because everyone and their dog seemed to be raving about it last year and yet I wasn’t.
Not even close.
I went into this book knowing the title, the fact that it was a thriller, all the hype that had kind of dulled down in my head and was just a small thing on the peripheral of my memory and the phrase ‘if you liked Gone Girl then you’ll like this’. So I had some high hopes because I did love Gone Girl.
And well, they weren’t wrong about this being a thriller. I was thrilled and hooked and any other kind of adjective you can think of to describe the incredible things that this book did to my life. I was hooked from the end of Megan’s first chapter. That final sentence of it just got me. Slightly freaked me out and got me. Then I really inconveniently had to get off the train. And had to keep doing that until I finished it. But I digress.
The story is told from the POV of three different women who’s lives all interconnect in some way, and well the final connection between them was something that I NEVER saw coming, but more on that a bit later (kinda). Honestly none of these women were morally sound individuals and at points throughout they were pretty horrible, fucked up and manipulative. They were almost impossible to root and damn am I glad for that.
Rachel is so self-serving and probably the worst possible person to be considered some sort of witness to a crime. Truly terrible, but I loved, loved, loved that. Seriously I loved it. It made the whole story as it unfolded all the more fascinating because she was such an unreliable narrator. I mean if you’re prone to blackouts and are an alcoholic then you probably aren’t the best person to consult for a missing person case. And because she is the primary narrator as a reader you have no choice but to be right there with her while she has these flashes of remembrance and stay right there in the dark not knowing what the hell is going on with her. It makes it incredibly infuriating to read because I just wanna know, but then at the same time I can get why it wasn’t. That’s what makes it a thriller.
Onto Anna, who I maybe liked the least of the three narrators. Up until it was revealed that she hadn’t, I thought she had done it. Don’t ask me why I thought she was capable of that because I don’t know, but I do know that I got those kind of vibes from her and the small portions of the narrative that belonged to her.
I liked that Hawkins decided to include Megan as a narrator. However there was something really jarring about reading the lead up to her death told by her after she had died in the ‘original’ timeline as it were. It added to the mystery of it all and made it all the more haunting to be honest. I loved that though. It made the story all the better for the inclusion of it.
Right so, Tom. (MASSIVE EPIC SPOILER ALERT, if you are still reading having ignored my previous warnings) Seriously, Tom I did not see coming. At all. I was 80% convinced it was Anna and then 20% convinced it was the red head who kept cropping up and being odd around Rachel and the moment all those pieces fell into place I had to get off my fucking train and carry on with my day at work like I didn’t have more important things to do, like finish this book. I had to pretend that I was okay and really was not. The culmination of this book left me a broken woman and I had to process that in parts. It was hard. And not something that a book has done to me in a long time (it’s been over a year since I read Gone Girl now, that was the last time a book ruined me like this).
And that was why I loved the fact that Rachel was one of the most unreliable narrators I have ever encountered. It was soooo effective. And so unexpected. How all the little breadcrumbs that had been scattered throughout the novel finally led to this Oh. My. God. reveal (I was gonna try and continue that Hansel and Gretel analogy and then realised that it wouldn’t make any sense so it’s half there).
I think what I loved most about this book is that is starts from something so simple. Something that I kind of do every day. Just looking out the window of a train and making up a life for whatever you might see on the other side.
Parentheses count: 5. See you tomorrow!
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