The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins | Spoiler-free Review


Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Released: January 13, 2015
Genre: Adult Fiction, Mystery Thriller
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 336


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?


 This book has been so hyped up that I expected so much intrigue and suspense. I got the suspense (if you ignore the fact that you can predict the killer right from the very start), but it wasn’t very intriguing to me. I keep seeing that this book is compared to Gone Girl or the next Gone Girl and let me just say this book is nothing like Gone Girl. Besides the, “who dunnit” aspect, this book can’t compare. It’s on it’s own and a little lacking. Almost a lot lacking.

For starters, I didn’t enjoy the writing format. Every day is told by “morning” and “evening” and many of those times the POVs are just recapping what happened before. For example, it will be evening and Rachel will be recanting what she did during the afternoon. Why couldn’t we just see it? Why do we need to be told? It’s not a huge problem, but it bugged me a bit and I quickly got tired of it. Plus, it made the POVs feel so choppy and rushed. Then we have the other two POVs. Megan’s (the missing woman) story takes place one year earlier to give insight on what was going on. Anna’s POV coincides with Rachels but feels completely unnecessary. It felt like she was just added to add more suspicions to the list. You know, like the blatantly obvious suspect at the end, if you hadn’t picked up on the clues during the whole novel.

As for the characters, they were flawed, they were unlikable, they were dark and twisted. I wish I could say I liked them, but I really really didn’t. I found myself for frustrated with them. Rachel is an alcoholic and can’t remember anything so we spend the entire book trying to figure out what happened that night while she “blacked out.” Yes, Hawkins handles Rachel’s alcoholism realistically and I am glad she wasn’t magically fixed, but still frustrating story wise. Anna thinks she is hot sh** just because she is beautiful, stole someone’s husband, and husbands check her out on the street. Her inner monologue was the worst. I dreaded her chapters because she was just a snob. As for Megan, well she is unlikable too but I actually liked her POV just because it was the only giving us clues as to what was going on. Besides Rachel, at the end.

Overall, this book was “okay.” I wasn’t blown away or completely shocked by the plot twist. But it was gripping and captures your attention because you can’t stop until you find out who did it. So I give it a star just for that fact alone.

If you enjoy thrillers, I’d recommend, but don’t have too many high expectations. You might be let down.rating22half

Have you read this book?
What did you think?
Have you seen the movie yet?
let’s discuss xxoo


until next time,


9 thoughts on “The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins | Spoiler-free Review

  1. amortalreader1 says:

    I personally really enjoyed this book, I suspected everyone and never thought the person who did do it (won’t reveal in-case anybody reads the comments) actually would have done, he was a complete weirdo. Anna annoyed me so much as well!

    I haven’t seen the movie yet but i’m sort of anxious to because how much they have Americanised it. I would of preferred to actually see a london setting!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Melissa @ BookNerdMomo says:

    Sorry this one fell flat for you :(. Just the way you describe how the POVs are done makes me think they would frustrate me too. I planned on reading this with my mom as we both want to read it before we see the movie and I’ll definitely be going into it with lower expectations now. Either way, great review! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dee @ the Bookish Khaleesi says:

      It was such a small issue with the structure of the POV, but good grief it annoyed me the more I had to read it haha. I would definitely lower those expectations so you could enjoy it more. I think I had all those 4-5 star ratings hype in my head that it just fell flat and I wasn’t impressed. But thanks Melissa! I hope you and your mom enjoy 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Erika says:

    I have yet to write a review for this book but I definitely agree with all of that you have said. I would definitely give it a three stars as well. I read this book in one sitting but I was not mind blown. The beginning was a bit slow and then it somehow got a bit better, and then it came to an abrup ending-nothing anticlimactic or something that made me go “wow!” And as for all the characters I could not relate nor sympathize with them. But I’m excited to see the movie, just cuz. lol Great review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dee @ the Bookish Khaleesi says:

      Completely agree! The slow was so slow and it took me a while to even get started/or wanting to read it. Then the ending was so abrupt. Like, that’s it? haha but thanks! I am excited to see the movie too! I struggled with 2-3 stars with this one. Even now I am not too sure it deserves 3? oh well. I hope you enjoy the movie!


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