Mini Mystery/Thriller Reviews: The Girl on the Train & Vanished

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Publisher: Riverhead Books

Release Date: January 13, 2015

Source: Online Library

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Landing on the bestseller shelves in multiple bookstores, I knew I wanted to check out The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. It’s been compared to Gone Girl – which I admittedly have not read – but if it’s being compared to a popular thriller, I’m in. I didn’t read the synopsis at all, simply because the title is vague and peaks my interest already. I wanted to go into this story with no idea what the story is about – that’s the best part about psychological thrillers.

Without spoiling anything at all, I have to say that The Girl on the Train is an addictive read. Hawkins sets the mystery up really well, with multiple components, but clear nonetheless. There are three perspectives, but I feel that the voices are distinct enough to keep straight in your head. I completely did not guess the killer at all, which is also a huge bonus! The one thing I didn’t like about this story is that none of the characters are likeable. They are all incredibly flawed, and not redeemable in any case. The main character simply gets involved because she is bored and lonely, and a bit desperate for attention from her ex. This is strangely one of those stories where I was fully invested in the story without any connection to the characters.

I highly recommend The Girl on the Train if you’re in for a thrilling ride (ahah, get it, RIDE?) even if the characters are difficult to like. I got the creeps throughout the entire time I read this book, simply because Hawkins’ writing style is blunt and to the point, not distracting the reader from the plot at hand.

Vanished by E.E. Cooper

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Release Date: May 12, 2015

Source: Edelweiss/HarperCollins

Rating: 2 out of 5

I read this straight after finishing The Girl on the Train, and man did it pale in comparison. Even if I didn’t read this right after The Girl on the Train, Vanished by E.E. Cooper is still not the best YA Mystery I’ve ever read. The main issues I had were with the characters and the predictability of the mystery. Vanished tells the story of three best friends: one mysteriously disappears or “runs away”, and shortly after, the second best friend commits suicide. The third best friend is the girl we get the first-person POV from. Cooper characterizes the girls in a way that is more “tell than show”. I wanted to get to know the girls through their actions, not a biased perspective.

Additionally, the mystery is extremely predictable. I was bored throughout the entire story. By the end, the mystery is not 100% solved because apparently, there is going to be a sequel. I was about to DNF this about halfway through the story, but I decided to keep going just because the book itself is short. All in all, if you’re looking for a YA Mystery, I would look elsewhere.



2 thoughts on “Mini Mystery/Thriller Reviews: The Girl on the Train & Vanished”

  1. I bought The Girl on the Train on audio just days ago. It was a spur of the moment decision and I’m so glad it was the right one to make! I adored Gone Girl even though it was very upsetting at times, but Sharp Objects by Flynn was too much for me. I’m cofident I’ll enjoy this one.


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