The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I considered giving this one 4 stars, but I didn't really enjoy it all that much. I felt pretty much "Okay" about the entire thing. I never hit a section that was a slog (or at least not one I couldn't skip over without consequence) nor did I ever really hit a part that got my blood running. Reading this book made me feel like I just using it to pass the time idly, like browsing the web. So yeah, 3 stars.
This is only my 2nd thriller ever, so I'm not the best judge, but I thought the twist was pretty great. This novel kept me guessing despite a small cast of characters for a good 80% of the book. That's definitely noteworthy. However, I felt like all that guesswork kept the novel in a constant state of limbo without any defining moments sticking out in my mind, which is why I spent most of the book just strolling along waiting for something to happen. It was like a haunted house with no one in it, just a long walk of you scaring yourself, and then one guy pops out at the end and goes "boo!" An interesting way to do things, but not exactly my cup of tea.
Also, the writing style wasn't my thing either. It was very . . . how do I put this . . . simplistic? Everything felt flat and direct, in a sort of minimal style that felt extremely modern. If there is an opposite of "purple prose," it would be this book right here. However, I kind of like purple prose when done well. I like flavor and poetry, long drawn out and witty sentences with plenty to do. Not for everyone, of course, but that's just me.
So yeah, 3 out of 5 stars. I think I'm going to take a break from this new-genre thing I'm doing and check out a scifi now.
Oh, and one other thing. Assuming these two are good representations of the thriller industry (they have to be, right? They both won the Goodread's choice for their category) then I can totally see how people go through thrillers like they're nothing. My normal reading rate is one book in a month if I'm lucky, but I just tore apart two books in less time than that. These books are actually exactly what I expected thrillers to be like: Easy to digest, small cast of characters and setting, and a novel of guessing + one big twist. Oh, and endings that leave you less than fulfilled. That too.
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