Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins


Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. 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 goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Inside cover of The Girl On The Train

In honor of the new movie, The Girl On The Train, I’ve revisited its book counterpart. I read it at the beginning of the summer, but the new trailers have re-sparked my interest.

Let’s start at the beginning. The book starts off slow and stays that way for a while. I read this alongside my sister-in-law, and we both found it hard to focus at times. There isn’t enough action until the very end, but the end quite possibly makes the book worth reading. (But I’m getting ahead of myself.)

The main characters, Rachel and Megan, are okay. Rachel obviously has flaws that contribute to the mystery of the book, but at times she became incredibly boring to travel with. I found myself as a reader going through her routine and feeling like not enough was happening.

Megan, on the other hand, was much more thrilling to read about. The author does a good job weaving little clues into Megan’s perspective, which helped me stay committed to the novel.

The ending was the best part of the entire story. There was great detail, so much so that I could feel the emotion practically jumping off the page. It had my heart racing as a mystery should. If the entire book had been like that, or at least a little bit evocative, I would have enjoyed it so much more.

It’s a decent book, but I don’t think it quite meets the mystery standard simply because it wasn’t consistently interesting. However, I’ve heard from others that they loved it, so it definitely depends on your expectations going in. In the end, I would give it a 3.5 for a good premise and a well-written ending.