The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
This isn't my usual set up, but I am so behind on everything in my life and I am playing catch up! First I had to get through my book slump. Then when I finally found books that I like, I got sick and I had to beat flu, strep, and pneumonia/bronchitis. And then topping it off, I am a college student again, so a lot of time that was previously devoted to reading and writing my reviews has been taken up with learning about Texas Government and Computing. So now that I'm finally on the up and up and everything is leveling out, I'm combining these reviews so that I can get back on track with this.
This was the book that got me out of my slump. I bought it on a whim after seeing a preview for the movie that comes out soon. My mom asked if I had read the book, and I hadn't, but I thought "what the hell!" It sat on my nightstand a few days, but then I bought the audiobook and started listening to it. Before I knew it, my love of books was coming back.
It started a little slow for me. It took me time and effort to get through the first few chapters. A lot of the book, especially in the beginning, is just internal monologue of the main character, Rachel Watson. You learn about Rachel's slump that she is going through in life and how she hasn't bounced back from her divorce. She has a strained relationship with her roommate, who has been putting up with Rachel's shit for quite some time: Rachel is an alcoholic and not very social or personable, and as she later learns, was fired from her job. Rachel's one thing that she does that is kinda normal is she rides the train every day, to and from the job she doesn't have anymore.
While she's riding the train, she watches a couple at one of the stops. The house is just down the street from where she lived with her ex-husband, the house he shares with his new wife and the woman that broke their marriage apart. This couple did not live there when she lived in the neighborhood, so she has made up names and lives for them. Jess and Jason, or in real life Scott and Megan Hipwell, live the perfect life; they love each other and would never betray each others trust. At least in Rachel's mind.
Everything is never as it seems from the outside. Megan has an affair and this shatters Rachel's ideal couple. When she learns this, she opens up a whole web of lies that include not only Megan and Scott, but her ex-husband Tom and his new wife, Anna.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
The characters are amazing! There are so many layers to them and when you think you know all of there secrets, something new pops up! It's incredible! Paula Hawkins really did wonderful with the character development.
- Like I said earlier, the beginning is a little slow. It took me quite a few of Rachel's and Megan's sections to get into it. But by the time the police officer shows up at Rachel's flat, I was hooked!
- I hate Anna. I hate that she was "the other woman" and she got everything she wanted. The man, the baby, the house (even though she hated the house). And she basked in it.
"We are so happy...I think about what's going on down the road and I think how lucky I am, how I got everything that I wanted. When I look at Tom, I thank God that he found me, too, that I was there to rescue him from that woman. She'd have driven him mad in the end, I really think that-she'd have ground him down, she'd have made him into something he's not." p.110
- I kinda figured out the murderer early on, but I couldn't figure out the motive. I was incredibly impressed with how it all played out.
- The ending! Oh my stars, that ending! I could not read fast enough!
Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller
This is one of my Book of the Month Club books. I was hooked when it was described as a modern-day Agatha Christie, who wrote one of my all-time favorite books And Then There Were None, which I'm currently re-reading because of this book. It has also led me to wanting to read Ware's other novel, In a Dark, Dark Wood after it.
I couldn't tell where the plot was going in the beginning, but in a good way. It starts out with our heroine, Lo Blacklock, waking up in an alcohol induced stupor to her flat being burgled. This traumatizing experience sets up Lo for an even more traumatizing experience aboard the Aurora.
Lo's first night on the ship, she encounters the woman in the cabin next to hers (yes, cabin 10). She borrows the girl's mascara. Later that night, she is woken up by a scream and a splash. She rushes out to the balcony and swears she sees a smear of blood on cabin 10's balcony. Freaking out, like any normal person would, she calls security. However, once security arrives, they can find no trace of there ever being a person in Cabin 10; it was left empty after one of the guests could not attend the cruise.
Lo spends the next few days learning the crew members in hopes of finding this mystery woman, but no one looks like her, no one has seen anyone that fits the description. And then the mascara goes missing, her one bit of physical proof. Every time Lo gets one step closer, it only muddies the water even more. Lo and the other passengers begin to question her sanity.
When Lo is held prisoner by the most unlikely person, she realizes that the woman in Cabin 10 isn't the only person whose life is on the line.
We're All Mad Here
- By about a quarter through the book, I didn't know if Lo was crazy, if I was crazy. I had all of these theories that maybe she died when her flat was broken into and she was just living out some weird after life dream; or that she had drank herself to insanity. I wanted to believe all of this was real, but Ware has done a perfect job of not making you trust anyone, including yourself.
- I really didn't know who the bad guy/people were until they were revealed. I mean, I was partially convinced it was all in her head, so I was constantly trying to figure it out.
- I loved how every little bit, there was an excerpt from her boyfriends e-mail, forum posts, Facebook, etc. For me, that was had me more convinced that Lo was dead.
- I kinda wish the ending was a little different. Not like how it all wrapped up, but the end end, the last few pages. I think it could have been a little spicier.
Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller