The Passenger by Lisa Lutz (Out Today!)
Not gonna lie, I’m pretty bummed! I totally thought this book would be right up my alley, but there were a few things that kept it from holding the same rating as Gone Girl or Girl on the Train–two books this one’s often been compared to. Ultimately, I think the reason I wasn’t wowed by this book was because our leading lady simply wasn’t as interesting as her counterparts in other bestsellers.
Tanya (the first name she goes by) is a woman on the run from both her past and mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of her husband. In an attempt to remain anonymous and out of the hands of authorities, she takes on multiple identities throughout the book. It made sense to the story, but it only added to the sense of her total lack of true identity. Even physical appearance like hair and eye color, easy ways to picture a character, changed throughout the book.
In addition to that, she also didn’t have much of a personality. Even in the midst of all the running, there was a lot of doing on her part with little reflecting. I’m not asking her to wax poetic every five minutes, but with so little reaction it felt a little robotic. She often described herself as a shell of a woman, and I would have to agree–she felt like a shell of a character, one who had very few distinct characteristics, displayed very few emotions, and therefore left me with very little sympathy/concern.
Apart from the main character, there were a few other annoyances. There is a bit of romance in this book, which I found distracting and so “extra”. It added absolutely nothing to the story. The other characters in the book also felt a bit ridiculous at times, especially Blue. I also think readers would be better served if there had been snippets of her past scattered throughout the book (apart from the emails), instead of one big info dump towards the end. There were a few hints, but it wasn’t enough to have me tearing to pages to find out what happened.
All in all it was decently entertaining, but in my opinion, there are way better books out there in this genre.
(Note: I received an advanced reading copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.)