Book A Week: Week 1 And What I’ve Learned

As I posted before, my independent learning project was to motivate myself to read a book a week and at the end of that week write a blog post about said book. It’s my goal to give an honest view of each book I read as well as insight on how my project is going. That being said, I will also try to avoid spoilers. One of my favorite things to do before reading a book is to read reviews by people who have already read it. I love to hear the different perspectives people offer up as well as their opinions and personal recommendations. While plot is not everything in a book, I really try to avoid spoilers when reading reviews because to me, part of the journey is seeing how the story unfolds and how the author does so. With that being said…

Week 1’s book was “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins. I was immediately drawn into the story and concept when I saw that it was being made into a movie this upcoming Fall. I loved how the movie trailer was done. It was confusing and edgy, which in hindsight I think really suits the book. Since I’m a reader first and movie-watcher second, I decided I should hop on the bandwagon and read the book before the movie came out.

The unique thing about “The Girl on the Train” is the path of the storyline and how it is narrated. The main character, Rachel Watson, is the most active voice in the storytelling process and also the character which most of the action revolves around. The other two narrators are Anna Watson and Megan Hipwell. To avoid giving things away, I will just say that these three women were chosen to be the narrators of the story for a reason, and have connected storylines. I like how it switches between the three of them, as well as jumps around on the timeline a bit. It made me do a couple of double-takes and re-centering regarding where I was in the story. I liked that because as a reader it kept me on my toes.

While the characters are what add to the story and gave it much more depth, they are also what I didn’t like about “The Girl on the Train.” Maybe it’s a sign of talent on Paula Hawkins’ part, but I couldn’t find a single character that I liked. All of them are flawed in their own way, which I suppose is what is most poignant about the story. That being said, I finished the book with a resolved yet empty feeling. I didn’t come away from the story satisfied and content, but rather I closed the book with a sentiment along the lines of, “Wow, what a bunch of psychos.”

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one. I was still impressed, but wasn’t a huge fan of the hollow feeling I was left with. That, paired with the fact that I figured out the “mystery” with still about 100 pages to go, left me feeling almost satisfied with the novel. It was good, but there was something lacking in order to push it to great. 

That being said, I’m very happy that I chose to read “The Girl on the Train” as my first book for this project. It was fast and easy reading that made me think while also keeping me interested. Paula Hawkins is still an up-and-coming writer, so I’m very excited to see what she has in store as far as future novels.

Book Rating: 7/10

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5 thoughts on “Book A Week: Week 1 And What I’ve Learned

  1. I love you ILP idea! I’m a huge reader so any project involving reading is already exciting to me! Like you, I deifnitely read books before I watch the movie. The books are ALWAYS better, or at least in my opinion. With your lack of satisfaction in the book, I’m curious as to whether or not you will still choose to go see the movie in the fall?

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    1. Thank you! I will definitely go to see the movie. Mostly because I’d love to see how it translates on screen. The book takes place near London, but the movie is apparently filmed in New York! Either way, it was definitely still a good book and I would still recommend it.

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  2. I have read some reviews that make this book sound like quite the pageturner, but I don’t like books where everybody is a psycho and I don’t like books with twisty endings, so….. I have a feeling this one wouldn’t be my cup of tea. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts though!

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  3. I liked this book when I read it, I didn’t see the ending coming, and I thought it was worth the time that it took to read the book. What have you decided to read next?

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