One great thing about this reading challenge has been being exposed to all kinds of different books. Between looking up possibilities for challenges, asking for recommendations, or simply scanning the past reads on Instagram, I’ve seen so many books that my reading list is incredibly well-filled now. So, for something I’d learned about for this challenge, I went with one I’d seen on a list of things published this year, and also something that was a common sight on the Instagram updates.
For this challenge, I went with The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, a popular thriller that hit the bookshelves this year.
The Girl on the Train follows the story of Rachel, a mentally unstable alcoholic who takes the train to and from London every day. She has grown attached to a couple she sees every day at one of her stops, watching them in their daily life, eating breakfast and sharing a simple morning ritual. But when Rachel sees something horrible one day, she’s unable to shake the feeling that something is wrong, which is how she becomes involved in a horrible mystery.
I really enjoyed this book. My mother had complained that she thought it started slow, but I was drawn in from the beginning. Unreliable narrators are one of my favorite literary techniques of all time, so from the moment I started to realize Rachel’s own narrative flaws, I was interested. The book is fast-paced and suspenseful, and was a delightful break after reading a classic and a nonfiction piece. I read it in a matter of hours.
My only critiques for the book are these. I think it is a little bit predictable towards the end. At the beginning it seemed to be going in a unique direction. But it quickly came to a point where I was able to accurately guess the ending plot, and I’m generally one of those really oblivious people who gasps at a secret most other people said was totally obvious.
The other problem, though I wouldn’t say I spent a lot of time studying this, was that I wasn’t sure if the multiple narrator perspective worked. I felt at times I didn’t notice the switch because the writing wasn’t altogether different. And while one of the other narrators felt necessary to plot, the third didn’t.
Overall I’d say this is an enjoyable book. It’s not something that will leave you thinking for hours after, but it’s a fun story. I would recommend it since it’s a pretty easy one to finish, and even if I’m not sure if it quite lives up to the hype, I really enjoyed my time absorbed in the story.
Any new books you’ve become aware of thanks to blogging or social media? Where do you usually look to find out what you should read next?