The Girl on the Train – Review

So far giving myself a reading goal this year has been both a good and bad idea. Good because I’ve rekindled my love of reading and find myself with a book whenever I have down time, but alternately bad because I just might be shirking other responsibilities. I’m sure I’ll find balance soon. 😉


When I heard about ‘The Girl on the Train’ I was intrigued because it was getting really good reviews, but it was also being compared to ‘Gone Girl,’ as in if you loved ‘Gone Girl’ you’ll love this book.  I was immediately leery because no other book has frustrated me quite as much as ‘Gone Girl.’  I decided to take a chance, though, and overall I thought it was a pretty decent read. Not amazing, but I’d recommend it (especially if you liked ‘Gone Girl’).

The hardest part of giving reviews for me is to not give away too much, so I’ll do my best not to give anything really important away. Anything I do say is revealed so early on that I don’t think it’ll affect your enjoyment of the story.

A girl rides the same train to and from work every day and finds herself watching the same houses and creates stories in her mind about the people she sees. One day, however, she sees something shocking (more so because it goes completely against the fiction she has created in her mind) and finds herself suddenly involved in the case of a missing woman.

As the story unfolds it becomes grittier and takes you directions you weren’t necessarily expecting as more and more secrets come out and it’s hard to find a character with any likeable qualities. It is that quality that this book excels at.  There are no likeable characters as each are flawed in such a way that makes it very difficult to connect with them.  The main character is a dysfunctional alcoholic who is often frustrating and pathetic, and there is so much lying and cheating and other neuroses going on involving other characters that it’s like watching a train wreck. You don’t want to look because it’s disturbing and unhinges you, but you can’t look away either.

This book actually kept me guessing as to whether I had figured it out or not, and I didn’t truly know until close to the end, and even then wondered if there would be a twist. I don’t read a lot of psychological thrillers anymore (having kids flipped a switch in my brain that makes me more paranoid and hyper sensitive to certain genres), so I liked that while this kept me intrigued and interested, it didn’t overly stress me out – if that makes sense.  It was also a nice and easy read and thanks to traveling I finished it in a day.

2 thoughts on “The Girl on the Train – Review

  1. Mandy

    I’ve heard similar things about this book. I have yet to read Gone Girl, however—is there one you’d suggest reading before the other?

  2. Heather Shoberg Post author

    I think you could easily read either first, but since I preferred The Girl on the Train, I’d recommend that one first. I’m almost considering going back and re-reading Gone Girl, just to make sure I wasn’t in an “off” mood when I read it. I know sometimes my mood can affect whatever I’m reading. 😉

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