Nobody’s Valentine

The year is only two months old and already I found myself in Books-A-Million making an impulse purchase. London journalist Paula Hawkins’s 2015 debut blockbuster and New York Times #1 bestseller THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN grabbed me from the moment I stepped up to the display of current bestsellers vying for attention.

Maybe it was the arresting cover (designed by Gretchen Achilles) that had me pulling the book off the shelf to get a closer look even though I have nine books on my must-read-before-I-buy-anything-else list. Or the cover quote by Tess Gerritsen: “So thrilling and tense and wildly unpredictable.” Wow!

The_Girl_on_the_Train

Or maybe it was the title. The Girl on the Train. For a whole year back in my mid-twenties, I was a girl on a train, commuting from my home in Connecticut to my job in New York City. Paula Hawkins stated in an NPR interview that the idea for the book came from her own experience commuting by train to London during her college years.

Or maybe it was the book description inside the jacket.

THERE SHE SITS, THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN. WHAT SHE SEES, GAZING OUT THE WINDOW, WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING.

Pretty intriguing, right? I’m sure you can understand why I had my wallet out in a flash to buy the book. I hurried home and immersed myself in the dark, twisty tale that unfolds in a series of mornings and evenings that coincide with the rhythm of the train commuter during that stretch of time when she is the outsider, the daytripper, the person watching the action like a theater-goer at a live performance.

The unreliable narrator of the novel is nobody’s Valentine. Alone, divorced, and unemployed, Rachel spends her days commuting to London to pass the time. On the train, she cracks open a can (or two) of gin and tonic and spins stories about a young couple who live in a house along the tracks. She imagines their perfect, golden life, a fairy tale of love and devotion that comforts her. Until she discovers that the young wife has disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

Did Rachel see something from the train that will help the police solve the case? Or is she an unreliable witness who will cause more harm than good? You won’t stop turning the pages until you find out.

Fun fact: The Girl on the Train is not the author’s only book. Paula Hawkins previously published three chick lit books under the pseudonym Amy Silver. So if you are looking for a happier read for Valentines Day, you might be able to get your hands on one of her paperback titles: Confessions of a Reluctant Recessionista, All I Want for Christmas, and One Minute to Midnight.

What was the last impulse buy you made at the bookstore?

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About Krista Hall

Debut novel BROKEN PLACES won the 2013 RWA Golden Heart ® Award

Posted on February 10, 2015, in book recommendations, Krista Hall, Winners and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. I have never heard of this book, Krista, but now I can’t wait to read it. Thank’s for sharing your find and I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

  2. Sounds like an intriguing book. The last impulse buy I made was a week ago, something by Kressley Cole. I don’t even remember the title, just that I read the opening pages and was reminded again how much I love her voice. No time to read right now but that one is on my Kindle and on the top of my TBR pile.

    • Sounds like you have an awesome reward waiting for you when you have time for some pleasure reading. Thanks for suggesting Kressley Cole. I’ve never read any of her books. Does she write paranormal romance?

  3. I’ve been on the fence about this one, Krista but your review has moved it farther onto the “buy it now!” side of the fence! I am a terrible impulse purchaser when it comes to books. I see something that gets a great review, or it has one of my favorite tropes and I’m there. The last one was LEAD by Kylie Scott. Not my usual read at all, it’s a New Adult novel about the lead singer in a rock band and his Vegas wife. I fell in love with the writing and the characters so three books later I’m the proud owner of the set. And I’m dying for the next one to come out in a couple of months. If you’re looking for a sexy read that’s about new adults in their mid twenties (so not brand spanking new adult) they’re good stuff!

    • Manda, if you liked Gone Girl, you’ll like TGOTT. It has the same dark vibe, unreliable narrators, and an exploration of what happens when people act on the darker impulses of their psyche. Thanks for the suggestion of the Kylie Scott’s Stage Diva series. Looks like book 4 will be out next month so you won’t have too long to wait 🙂

  4. I’ve heard good things about this book, Krista. Stephen King tweeted that he liked it the other day, so there’s that. My last impulse buy was Almost A Scandal by Elizabeth Essex. I haven’t read her before but saw something somewhere that convinced me I should. Then I forgot about it and got sucked into the RITA books I’m judging. 😉

  5. Oh WOW, Krista! What a find! Darn it-now I also am going to have to read this, even with my own: not-before-you-finish-all-your-other-TBRs mantra. Sigh.

    Guess it’s true what they say–you can do all the social networking you want (and maybe Paula Hawkins is doing just that) but a word-of-mouth recommendation from a friend is still the catalyst for people’s purchases.

    Last impulse buy…I honestly don’t know. Every book I’ve purchased in recent memory has been either a recommendation, a craft book or a debut/release from a writer I’ve befriended over all these years. That’s a ton of TBRs. 😉

    Terrific blog (says Amazon, holding out their hand for my money.)

  6. Loved your post and the book recommendation, Krista! It will be on my TBR pile today! Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.

  7. Krista there is practically nothing I love more than an unreliable narrator. That’s all you had to say to hook me. Now I have to buy the book!

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