Looking for a Book as Gripping as Gone Girl? Pick up Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train

B6CVd-GIQAAkZQJAsk anyone that knows me and they’ll tell you that I love taking the train. I think I like it for all the same reasons as Rachel, the protagonist in Paula Hawkin’s The Girl on the Train. Getting to have a quick glance into people’s homes/lives while you whisk by on the train allows for you to have a very active imagination. I’ve always been like this, I love getting that sneak peek into someone’s home as the light dims and the lights in peoples homes allow you to see families that have just sat down to dinner. My thoughts always lead me to my own conclusions and they do the same for Rachel who every day passes a loving couple who sit out on their roof terrace sipping their morning cups of coffee. She’s imagined that their names are Jason and Jess and imagines that he’s in the medical field and Jess, well she’s a caregiver of some sort. She always makes a point to look out for them while she’s on her commute home too, while she sips on a gin and tonic. Likely her fourth of the day.

You see, Rachel’s not your ordinary commuter, she’s lost touch with reality and she’s very quickly on her way to hitting rock bottom. She sees the stares from other commuters, she hears their snickers as they watch her crack open yet another can of booze. She wasn’t always like this, she was once a married woman with hopes and aspirations to be a Mother. But after her attempts at making a child with her ex-husband Tom fail, she turns to liquor. And Tom, well Tom turns to Anna. As things start to unravel more and more, she takes solace in knowing that at least other couples are living happily ever after. That is until one day on her commute she spots Jess kissing a man who isn’t Jason! Distraught, frustration, anger lead her to really hit the bottle hard that night. When she wakes up from her bender with a cut face, ripped clothes and no memory of the night before, she flicks on the news to see Jess’, whom she learns is actually named Megan, face all over the news with the words ‘missing’ running across the screen.

What happened on that fateful Saturday night? Where is Megan and did Rachel have anything to do with her disappearance? She remembers getting off at the train stop by their house and that’s where everything goes blank. As the police start their investigation, Rachel starts her own investigation to put all the pieces together. Her curiosity causes her to face the many skeletons in her closet and in other peoples closets too.

Each page was like peeling away another layer of an onion. I couldn’t stop until I read the last page. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a thriller as original as Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, but this took the cake. It was a smart story that you will not be able to predict how it ends. Picture yourself boarding a windy roller coaster where you’re unable to see where you get off, that’s what this book is, a non-stop trip aboard an unpredictable adventure. You’ll gasp, you’ll create a soft spot for Rachel and her demons and you won’t be able to put this book down. AND REMEMBER, the next time you try to predict what’s really going on in the houses you pass by every day on your way to work, just know that you have no idea about what goes on behind closed doors.

When you’re chatting about this book online, be sure to use the hashtag #GirlOnTheTrain and give Paula Hawkins a follow on Twitter @PaulaHWrites and Facebook Paula Hawkins

9 thoughts on “Looking for a Book as Gripping as Gone Girl? Pick up Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train

  1. Steph says:

    Oh, I totally have to read this book!! It sounds awesome! And it kind of reminds me of Miranda Hill’s story “6:19.” Have you read that, from Sleeping Funny?

    I am exactly the same, Lindsey. I love the train too for the same reason as you. And walking at night, so I can see in other people’s houses, too. I love it when they leave the curtains open! And I love it when I see bookshelves, or a family at dinner, or someone at the computer…or reading. I do imagine who they are, what they’re thinking, how they think of each other, who they’ve loved, what they’re going through, etc. Life is stories, and we are creators.

    I have to get this book!! Thanks for the review!

  2. The Paperback Princess says:

    I LOVED this one too! I’m putting up a review later this week. It was such a gripping read – I did not want to stop. And every time you think you know what’s happened, something else gets tossed in to throw you off course. I thought that the idea of a commuter catching glimpses into strangers’ lives, something we all do, was a really original jumping off point for this kind of story.

    Have you read Before I Go To Sleep? Similar idea and also well executed.

    • Reeder Reads says:

      Don’t you love it when you’re on one path and it swerves and takes you another way? I haven’t read Before I Go to Sleep. I really want to, especially because it’s getting compared to this book as much as it is!

  3. Naomi says:

    I didn’t love Gone Girl as much as everyone else, but this one sounds much better! The protagonist in this book sounds like someone I can care about. I also used to love taking the train, and imagining other people’s lives. When this was being compared with Gone Girl, I didn’t have much interest, but now I do!

  4. M | BACKLIST BOOKS says:

    This was my first book of the year and it really set a great tone! I was completely unprepared for the deep (and somewhat unsettling) emotional aspect to this book. It wasn’t at all what I expected, and yet it completely satisfied me. I had a few small issues with the end, but very minor ones – on the whole I’d say this was a fantastic book and I’m definitely going to be reading anything else Hawkins comes out with. (Also, confession time: I have quite the voyeuristic leaning myself. I love imagining lives for people I see on my own daily commute, and I definitely am guilty of creating ones that are probably miles from the truth!)

  5. Penny says:

    Girl on the Train is SO MUCH BETTER than Gone Girl! I’ve even said that it is a real shame this one came out after Gone Girl because it deserves more hype than the “just okay” Gone Girl book. This is a real page turner and I kept thinking about Hitchcock and Rear Window while reading. Sure, there are some similarities to GG, but I really enjoyed this one – a great thrilling ride – just pure fun reading! We read this for our book club and only one in the group said she preferred GG. (We’ve since banished her for all future meetings! ha! just kidding! 😉 )

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