Over-rated? | The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train     The Girl on the Trainby Paula Hawkins


The Facts:

  • Release date: January 13, 2015
  • This is Paula Hawkins’ first novel, which has had extreme success with crazy, record-breaking status on bestsellers lists.



Girl named Anna – she’s a bit messed up. Girl named Megan – she’s a bit messed up. Girl named Rachel – she’s a bit messed up. Rachel likes to ride trains. One day she sees SOMETHING, and nothing is ever the same.


Non-Spoiler Review:

To be honest, this book was a bit of a letdown. All the hype. All the intrigue. It just fell a little bit flat, and left me feeling deflated at the end. I thought there would be MORE.

This story is told in alternating perspectives from three different women: Rachel, Anna, and Megan, each with their own set of unique baggage. I disliked them all so much, I can’t decide who I like the least – but this was an I-enjoy-not-liking-you dislike, if that makes sense. However, none of them really roused much empathy from me, and I only developed surface level feelings. Frankly, I just didn’t really care all that much about any them.

Don’t get me wrong, it was good enough, and certainly held my interest. I read it pretty quickly, and definitely was invested in the story. The alternating perspectives, and the way it jumped around in time, though commonplace in books these days, was, for the most part, successful here. The writing was simple, and clipped along at a decent pace to grab and maintain my attention.

All in all, I would say read it, but it’s a case of been-there-done-that for me. It obviously works for some people though, given it’s reigning status at the top of the bestsellers list. I also think it would make a great book club pick, as it’s short, quick, and full of plenty of chat-able fodder.


Rating:   [3.5/5 stars]


Looking For More:

  • M @ Backlist Books read it here before all the hype – which I think would have made all the difference for me.
  • Arianna @ Shelf Notes was also a bit let down here.
  • If you’ve also read Gone Girl, and want a little compare and contrast, check it out here, from Marisa @ The Daily Dosage.
  • For all its spoilery goodness, go check out The Socratic Salon. Now that I’ve written my review, I’ll be heading over there myself!


| The Girl on the Train | Penguin | 2015 | Kindle book | purchased |



13 thoughts on “Over-rated? | The Girl on the Train

  1. I was similarly disappointed by this one. Like you, I did like the unlikeableness of the characters (hah!), but I think it’s a different experience to read a character you connect with in some way versus a character like the ones in The Girl on the Train, which for me was sort of a morbid fascination as the inevitable car wreck approached. Both are interesting, but one is *more*. But yeah, like you, I still thought it was mostly successful, but not a novel I’ll be anxious to recommend to all my friends.


  2. I felt very similarly to you. What bothered me the most was all of the women being of the same mold, with the same man/power/abuse issues, and the men also being the same. It doesn’t bother me to dislike characters, but at least make them unique. I found some of the writing about alcoholism troublesome. One doesn’t, as a blackout drunk, stop drinking for three days and feel like one’s old self. Those being said, I also found the book to be a compulsive read, even after I’d figured out who the baddie was. And I’m not sure this one was overrated as much as brilliantly marketed. Maybe it’s a chicken/egg question, but it seems to me the pre-pub marketing was so strong and so saturated that it got the word rolling and there was no stopping it. Then again, while I’ve read several people who feel the way we do (and this book has sparked some wonderful discussions), many have thought it lived up to that hype. Not sure what I’ll do with Hawkins’ next book.


    1. I didn’t even really think about the men – but you’re right, they were all kind of the same. I agree re: the women too – they all kind of had the same “voice” and it was hard to differentiate and connect with anyone. I’d probably read her next book, but not necessarily with any sense of urgency.


  3. Thanks for the shout-out Katie! I agree that with all the hype and comparisons it was a let-down overall. I did enjoy it for the thriller/mystery aspect of it and would be a great book club pick but that’s about it. Wish I wold have picked it up blind. Might have made a difference.


    1. I think, too, for people who don’t read a million books per month, it would probably be a perfectly satisfying read. And TOTALLY agree about it being an excellent book for book club – looooots to discuss. It’s hard to know if it would have made a difference, because I have read plenty of super hyped up books that totally satisfy. Happy to link to you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know how it’s escaped you, but I think it’s probably a good thing. Yes, if you’re interested in the premise, I would read it before you hear too much. That’s what “ruined” it for me. Would love to hear your thoughts if you get to it 🙂


  4. I’m so nervous to read this one!! I have a track record of being let down by hyped up books. I don’t know. I don’t read a lot of thrillers, so maybe it will still be exciting for me. I put it in my readathon stack, because I knew it could be fun and something different. Sorry you weren’t into it!


    1. So many people really loved it, so don’t let me put you off. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it – I did, just not as much as I hoped. It’ll be PERFECT for the readathon!


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