Girl Fight! Why Amy (Gone Girl), Kick A** over Rachel (Girl On The Train)

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**  Warning this post will contain potential spoilers to both Gone Girl and Girl On The Train

 

Recently I finished the book, Girl On The Train.  If you have been on the blogesphere lately you may have noticed this book.  It is… EVERYWHERE.  An EVERYWHERE book does not necessarily constitute a need for me to read it – however, my interest was piqued.  Having seen it was being compared to Gone Girl increased that interest.

Now, having read both books, I have thoughts on why Amy from Gone Girl makes for an excellent protagonist and why Rachel from Girl On The Train does not.  (Yes I know I am poking the bear)

Amy

Amy Dunne is brilliant.  Scary brilliant.  She can be the “everything woman”.  When she meets Nick she is exactly who he wants her to be.  She is sweet, beautiful, vulnerable.  She makes Nick feel like a man and he falls in love with her.  BUT (and it is a big but.. we are talking baby got back but!) we all know that Amy is flawed… more dangerously than Rachel because Amy can cover her flaws well.  It is not until later in the book that we discover how flawed Amy really is…. twisted and damaged to the core she still ends up on top even in the end.  Those who know her true colors are few and too afraid of her to do anything about it.

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Rachel

Rachel comes with a lot of baggage.  Most prominent is her trouble with alcohol.  Her inability to stop drinking puts her immediately at a disadvantage.  She is a burden on those around her.  She can not hold down a job.  As a witness, because of her drinking she is unreliable.  Those who try to like her find her to be too much work and they quickly move on.  Rachel has dug herself into a deep hole.  In the end, she pulls herself together and is working towards being a person who will probably trump Amy in genuine niceness and togetherness.. but for me, it was too little too late.

 

Unreliable narration is the hook to both of these books.  Can we trust what the narrator is telling us?  Narration to narration I still give Gone Girl the win as when the book turned and twisted to what was really going on I was BLOWN AWAY.  When Girl On The Train twisted I was surprised, but not over the top.  I think by that time I had spent so much time struggling with Rachel that I was not engaged enough to appreciate what was indeed, an excellent twist of events.

 

Disclaimer:  This post is all in fun.  Based on my thoughts, solely my opinion, on both books and their protagonists.  I actually enjoyed reading both books, just had a protagonist issue with Girl On The Train (my issue.). Let’s discuss!  Did you like one protagonist over the other?  Is it even about the protagonist or is more about the narration that makes the books?  Do you agree or disagree with what I have said here?  Is it even a fair fight?

Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins (not the review you are expecting)

Girl On The Train, Paula Hawkins, Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

Rachel takes the same train every morning.  While on the train she spends the time watching out the windows; the places, the people, making up stories of their lives.  Often she sees a couple sitting on their deck having breakfast.  Their life together looks wonderful and Rachel imagines that they live this glorious existence, she even gives then names; Jess and Jason.

Then one morning on the train Rachel sees something shocking.  It is there for a moment and then the train moves on.  Suddenly everything is moving too fast.  Rachel feels The following days unravel into a mess as though Rachel’s life is a ball of yarn that someone threw on the floor.

Rachel has to say something.  But to who?  And with her reputation… who would listen?

 

 

 

I honestly read The Girl On The Train because I seen it EVERYWHERE.  When people are talking about the next great read, you certainly do not want to be the one who passed it up, so I listened to it on audio.

I found the book to take a while to get into.  Rachel is not what I would call a likable protagonist.  She is heavily flawed and her constant excuses for her behavior honestly weighed on me.  I know this is going to put me in the minority on this one, but I know I would have enjoyed this more if Rachel would have had it more together.  I did not want to spend my time slogging through her issues every step of the way.  I have heard this book compared to Gone Girl and I did not see it.  I am pretty sure I have a post coming up about why that is. 🙂

Overall, Rachel’s issues aside, the book takes off and keeps you guessing.  The narrators Clare Corbett (Narrator), Louise Brealey (Narrator), India Fisher (Narrator) were wonderful.  I do like twists and turns and the ending was not one I had seen coming.

I believe my issues with this book are because I like strong protagonists.  I do understand that some would argue that it is Rachel’s flaws that add to the book.  I do not agree. This opinion on this one is all me.  Do not let it discourage you from reading a book that I think will do well overall.

 

 

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 10 hours and 59 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: January 13, 2015