I'm not quite sure The Girl on the Train deserves all the hype it's being given, but it's a fast-paced psychological thriller/mystery, and I think itI'm not quite sure The Girl on the Train deserves all the hype it's being given, but it's a fast-paced psychological thriller/mystery, and I think it succeeds handily in being exactly what the author wanted it to be. I didn't NEED to read it, and you don't either, but I'm glad that I did.
As is always the case with these sorts of books, the less said about the book the better, but I do want to take a second to talk about some things:
1. Hawkins employs a series of unreliable narrators to tell her tale (in the first person present, which notably didn't make me fly into a rage here, so props for that). This has the effect of obscuring things not only from the reader, but from the other characters as well. In the case of the titular girl on the train, Rachel, we're seeing the story through the lens of a depressive alcoholic who is barely holding it together. It's a challenge to sort through her wobbly, emotionally self-destructive perspective to see what's really going on. I liked the way she used Rachel's flaws to enhance the mystery at the same time as Rachel's character. The other two POV characters are Megan, a blonde young woman whom Rachel observes every day from her commuter train, and Anna, the mistress who Rachel's husband left her for.
2. Your sense of these women as people is constantly shifting as the book goes on. They are not always likable, but they are always interesting, and ultimately, human. This complicates the mystery but also gives the book a little more depth. If you're looking for depravity and shocking behavior, you're not really going to find it here. Everything that happens here is couched in a layer of sympathy from the author--these aren't monsters or psychopaths, they're people who've sometimes done and said terrible things.
3. Of course I didn't figure out the mystery, but I've heard other people have. I've stated on numerous occasions that I'm not the best at figuring out the answers in mysteries, so keep that in mind when I tell you the ending came as a surprise to me. It also fit in with everything that had been happening in the book so far and made retroactive sense. I'm not sure if you guess the ending if that will hamper your enjoyment of the book--it might, and it might not. There might still be some pleasure in it for you to see how the whole thing is constructed. How Hawkins put it all together is pretty neat.
If you like thrillers and mysteries, you should definitely check this book out, just don't put any of your own outside expectations onto it and you'll be fine. Despite what you may have heard, this isn't "the new Gone Girl." It's its own thing. Read accordingly....more
Meh, I guess? I mean, the second half was pretty good, I guess. She sort of got Twelve's voice and demeanor right. Not sure when this was written? TheMeh, I guess? I mean, the second half was pretty good, I guess. She sort of got Twelve's voice and demeanor right. Not sure when this was written? The twist was pretty cool, I will admit. Definitely didn't see it coming. I didn't really care for the first person POV, though, and the tone felt slightly . . . off. Like, not bad, just not Doctor Who. The thing about the coffee space station was pretty great, though. All in all, just meh. ...more
Mr. Kiss and Tell is the second of two books contracted after the Kickstarted movie in 2014. Both books have done a great job taking the Veronica MarsMr. Kiss and Tell is the second of two books contracted after the Kickstarted movie in 2014. Both books have done a great job taking the Veronica Mars world, escalating it, and translating it to the medium of books. I also really like what they're doing with Veronica's character (and the other characters). They're allowing them to grow and change. These characters haven't just been held in stasis in the nine years that have elapsed since the third season of the TV show ended.
This book picks up about three months after The Thousand Dollar Tan Line, and about six months from the end of the movie. Veronica and her father (and Mac) have settled into a routine at work. They are also hard at work trying to clear Weevil's name from the fallout of cop corruption in the movie. And Logan is home from shore leave and living with Veronica. The Neptune Grand hires Veronica to help them with a lawsuit--a rape victim is naming one of their employees, an illegal immigrant, and suing them for damages. Only it turns out, Veronica and the rape victim have a history with one another.
The book actually takes place over several months, which I liked a lot. We see Veronica living her life even as she takes her time to unravel the case, and come to terms with what her new relationship with Logan means to her. It's a lot more believable than if it had taken place over a shorter timespan. There are also a lot of in-jokes, but they are never unbearable. They have the effect of making the world of Neptune feel like a real place rather than an artificially constructed one.
I really, really hope they order more of these books. They are fun and well-written and they give me back some of my favorite characters for a couple of hours at a time. ...more