Thanks to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for granting me access to an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Title: The Passenger
Author: Lisa Lutz
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: March 1, 2016
Page Count: 320
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Why: The description on Net Galley. It looked like an interesting read (which it was).
Quote(s): Unable to release until publication date.
New words: denuded
Friend(s) who would enjoy this book: Ramya, Jordan
Song(s) in the soundtrack of this book:
1. Unhappy Girl, The Doors
2. First, Cold War Kids
3. Way Down We Go, Kaleo
If you are a fan of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, you should give this book a look.
When Tanya Dubois, finds her husband dead at the bottom of her stairs, she pours herself a drink and reclines in her husband’s La-Z-Boy, wishing the dead a silent goodbye. Then she grabs her and belongings and high tails it out of Wisconsin. The next time we see Tanya, she’s a brunette with flat cut bangs, and no longer seems to be Tanya. This is the birth of Amelia Keen. It becomes all too clear that Tanya/Amelia is running from something or someone as we become familiarized with her disposable cell phones, sketchy contacts, and multiple passports. The question is: who is Tanya really? And what is she running from?
One of my favorite things about this read was the organization; Lutz splits the book into parts centered around Tanya’s different personalities. It is incredibly interesting to see how one girl becomes so many different women in such a short span of time. It’s almost as if the book is written in the different epochs of this woman, all in different places with different identities, and different friends. Each part of the story takes place in a different city, and it’s clear that Lutz knows them as well as our main character seems to know geography. And there was a part written in Austin, TX (where I live!!) which was incredibly exciting to read.
This book is an excellent example of the phrase “It’s the journey, not the destination”. The journey, how she runs, hides, and survives, is what makes this book so intelligent and exciting. I loved traveling along with our main character, and her changing identities made this an absolutely captivating read. Our main character is also so incredibly relatable, and seems so familiar, that I felt like I was picking up tips for running throughout the book. And her escape/survival methods were ingenious; her witty ways of finding new identities, finding new homes, and balancing her budget never ceased to entertain. This read seemed so real. Real enough that I want to memorize the US Interstate System, and stock up on hair dye and colored contacts.
My biggest problem with this read was the ending and the twist. The rest of the book seemed so complex; the main character was running from something so dangerous that she had to go to the lengths she did to survive. The ending was just so underwhelming, I could not believe that our main character had been on the run for 10 years because of that. And the second twist came out of nowhere. And I honestly didn’t understand the purpose of putting it in, it just made the ending more bizarre.
However, the ending notwithstanding, this book is phenomenal. It is so exciting and thrilling to read about our main character’s journey, and Lutz brings the reader on an adventure of a lifetime. I will definitely be reading Lutz’s other books. If you’re a fan of psychological thrillers/mysteries, definitely buy this book in March!