Book: The Girl On The Train

“When did you become so weak?” I don’t know. I don’t know where that strength went, I don’t remember losing it. I think that over time it got chipped away, bit by bit, by life, by the living of it.”

After finishing Gillian Flynn psychological thriller novels, Gone Girl, Sharp Objects, and Dark Places, I’ve became a fan of this genre. And I get really excited when my boyfriend give me this novel because I’ve had read some good review about it.

It’s about a divorced alcoholic, Rachel, who takes the same commuter train everyday. And everytime, the train always pass a stretch of housing complex where Rachel used to live in. Sometimes the train stop at the signal which allow her to observe the houses, one of them took her interest because she always see the same couple sitting at their porch, having breakfast or chatting. She began to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, that’s what she calls them. She even made up an imagination of their seemingly perfect life, the life she could have had with her ex-husband Tom who is now happily married with his former mistress, who is scared of her and hate her.

One day, Jess goes missing and the day before that Rachel actually witnessed something shocking in Jess & Jason’s home from the train. Feeling connected to them, she offers her help to the police but given her alcoholic background, she gets dismissed. What happens next is she got involved in complicated situation between the missing of Jess, her involvement with Jason, and her problem with alcohol.

There are three point of views in this novels, and none of them is trustworthy. One is an alcoholic, one is a cheater, and the other one is a liar. But that’s what makes this book interesting because all of the characters are not just imperfect, they are messed up in their own way. It’s hard to pick sides. You’ll never know what’s behind the closed door.

The story is fascinating, it’s the kind of story that keeps you flipping the pages until you know what happens. Compared to Gone Girl, it’s more fast-paced. However, somehow I could see the twist coming, I mean if I have to really compare it’s not as hard to guess the plot as Gone Girl. I kinda figure it out even before I was halfway through. Even so, it doesn’t stop me to read this thrilling, gripping, and scary novel.

Book: Sharp Objects

Gillian Flynn has got me captivated ever since I read her movie-adapted psychological thriller, Gone Girl. Her strong characterization of Amy and Nick Dune and her brilliant plot and twist made me crave for more of her works. And I guess it’s only reasonable that I continue to her debut novel Sharp Objects. My boyfriend got me this novel for Christmas and I couldn’t wait to start reading it. But it had to wait since I brought Murakami’s Strange Library first, first in first out, right?

The novel is about a mediocre reporter, Camille Preaker who got assigned to cover the murders of two little girls back in her hometown after her brief stay in a psych hospital due to her cutting problem. She literally cut words onto her flesh. Back in her hometown, she had to deal with the memory of her late sister, condescending hypochondriac mother who never love her, and a troublesome half sister. As she dig deeper into the investigations she uncovered the dark secrets of her town, her family and herself.

I love how Flynn made this book so disturbing yet so hard to put down. She expertly develop the characters, especially the heroine, which wasn’t exactly the hero since I found it hard to sympathize to such a fucked up woman, despite her troubled upbringing. Unlike Gone Girl’s Amy Dune, who I kinda admire even though she was crazier, Camille was not likeable. And Camille were not alone, the other main characters, even the victims were as fucked up as she was in their own way. But that was what keep me turning the pages, between lunch breaks and on my way to and from the office. Definitely makes me yearn to read Flynn’s other novels. Three and a half out of five stars.