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So, you can take this review with a grain of salt. I don't know exactly why I hated it, but it seems like one of those "Girl" books that you are supposed to love. It's about people who should know better doing stupid things to other people or with other people, and bad things happening as a result. I finished it, but I honestly couldn't wait for to be done. So, I can say that much for it: I have stopped really bad books in the past, and this book was not that bad. In fact, I can see that it was actually very well written. It's just that the story and the characters were too awful to contemplate.
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What would have made The Girl on the Train better?
The one standout criticism I have about this book is that I was not enticed by the author to care enough about the characters to be truly drawn in to the tale.
While I am not one to expect my protagonists to be perfect, nor every story to have a happy ending, none of the characters were genuinely likable at all. It was like a festival of personality disorders, self-centeredness and pathetic weaknesses.
You start out feeling for the main character, sympathetic to her plight and hoping for sobriety to take hold, but it all goes to hell in a hand basket when every single flawed character behaves badly and you, unfortunately, end up caring less and less about them as the book goes on. I finished it out of a sense of duty, not desire.
This is coming from a reader who LOVES Dexter Morgan -but why do I love a serial killer and loathe a struggling British divorcee with a drinking problem? Because, in Dexter's case, the author has seduced me with his back story, his vow to live by his "code", and then throws villains into the mix who are revealed as far worse monsters than Dexter who deserve whatever special treatment he has in store for them.
I make this comparison for the sake of stressing character development and trajectory. I just didn't really feel I was given enough reason to empathize with these people and their loathsome troubles.
175 of 208 people found this review helpful