Thursday, July 2, 2015

Book I love : The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I used to have this target of finishing one book every month. This habit only lasted until the first few months of 2014. I became obsessed with other things. Korean drama series, online shopping and zzzzzzzzzz :) Despite the laziness, I continued purchasing books. I was even fortunate to receive books as presents. So the ending, I have a pile of unread books at home.  There were books that were never touched at all. I started reading a few, only to set them aside and forget about the entire story. Heck, I have to start again. Why does reading sounds as a chore now? :) Worst of all, I discovered books that are starting to dilapidate. The pages are becoming stained and turning yellowish.

After months of depriving myself of reading, I was able to finally finish one book. Big thanks to all the hype from social media. Seeing celebrities, reliable bloggers and seasoned film directors rendering praises in their Instagram accounts, I was forced to finish the book. I started reading The Girl on the Train, guess till when? During my flight to Macau last April 29. Two months for one book? Hands down to the sluggish reader of the year. Hahaha A friend finished the book in two nights. Shame on me.  (Hiyang hiya naman and reading comprehension ko. Grade one lang 'teh? hahaha) Too much introduction, I might drift away and forget the real intention of this post. :)

I discovered The Girl on the Train from Goodreads and from the few book bloggers I follow. Everyone left mostly praises and positive reviews. The story telling approach and its similarity to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn were repeatedly mentioned in reviews. I haven't read Gone Girl (it's on my next list) but I have to agree with the different narration. The approach gave the book a unique advantage among other popular thriller books. 

Rachel. Anna. Megan. The story was told in the perspective of each woman but most of the time, it was all about Rachel. What happens to women with shattered marriages and relationships? What happens to women betrayed by their husbands or partners? How do women deal with infidelity? What are the sentiments of the woman who fell in the trap of becoming the other partner? It took me some time to realise that the entire story was merely a consequence of Rachel's failed marriage. Rachel was the pathetic wife whose coping mechanism was dependent on alcohol. My sentiments for Rachel went like a roller coaster ride. I initially sympathized with her misery. Along the way, Rachel's hard headed character became annoying. At some point, I even felt that the story become too dragging because it was all about Rachel and her quest to find out what happened in the night when Megan disappeared. Megan's mysterious disappearance and Anna's selfish dream of getting rid of her husband's previous wife, Rachel. The lives of the three women were intertwined to each other by some person and circumstance. It took an entire book to finally establish how the three women became victims, antagonists and survivors of their respective struggles.

What I love best about the book is the unpredictability. I never felt hints and teasers of the ending. The narration approach diverted my attention to the perspectives of each character. I became more concerned with how each story came out in three different perspectives. Hawkins was successful in shaping three unique persons which weaved the most unpredictable ending.

I also appreciate the presence of character development. I initially sympathized with Rachel. I became agitated with her immature and lousy decisions. In the end, Rachel was able to win her battle, albeit in the most painful and traumatizing way. Anna was first presented as the official antagonist. The last parts of the novel turned Anna to another betrayed but self-redeeming character. Megan was portrayed as self-centered and inconsiderate. Unfortunately for Megan, life became unfair. I also felt that Megan was deprived of that chance to redeem herself.

I'm not really sure but I believe this was my first time to engage in a psycho-thriller read. Honestly, I'm not even familiar with the definition of psycho-thriller? Haha I learned that with this type of genre, I will be forced to understand the unusual and abnormal emotional conditions of the characters. Frightening? It wasn't. It was rather annoying but sympathizing in the end. It felt like understanding a friend who keeps on ruining herself. You will feel exhausted but at the end of the day, you will never had that courage to leave. The same sentiments I had for Rachel and the entire story. :) Annoyed but still attached. Hahaha

I have to give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. Almost perfect. I attributed the 0.5 discrepancy on those instances when the book became too boring and dragging. But overall, I highly recommend this book to everyone. Moreso, if you need a break from your usual dose of hopeless romantic reads. :) 


  1. The way you review it makes me want to read it. I miss reading books! :(


  2. I bought that book but haven't read it yet. Your rating of 4.5 is a good one. What book is next for you? I did read Gone Girl and it was good.

  3. Thanks for the book review. Parang interesting, given the comparison with Gone Girl, which I really liked. Then again, like you, I have tons of books pa.

  4. I have a lot of books pa that I have yet to finish reading. Huhu! But I've read so many positive reviews about this that I might check this out once I'm done with my queue.

    Speaking of online shopping, nate-tempt na ako to purchase craft materials online. Waaah!!! Pero am stopping myself muna. Saka na kung maayos na yung sulat-kamay ko kasi nakakahiya ang dami kong materials for hand lettering. Hehe!

  5. i've been wanting to read this book when i saw this one time at the bookstore, pero lagi naman akong aytsaka na i dont have time for it yet. pero ngayon you wrote a nice review i guess bibili na ko to read. hehehe. :)

  6. I have been seeing this book on my IG feeds. Your review made me more curious to read it. I haven't read Gone Girl, too. And I can totally relate to your dilemma of not meeting your one book a month target. My target this year was 20 books a year. Kaso, waley! :p

  7. I agree with your 0.5 deduction! I almost quit reading this as it was getting zzzz but I learned my lesson with Gone Girl. I stopped reading Gone Girl after a few chapters because it was too dragging but a friend said I should pick it up again and so I did, and I am glad that I didn't give up on it. The Girl On The Train definitely gave me the same experience. Can't wait to watch the movie!


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