Book Review :: Passenger -Alexandra Bracken

Date started: February 6, 2016

Date ended: February 16, 2016

Stars: ★★★★


Overall, I loved this book though it did take me quite awhile to get into, I won’t lie. If I hadn’t been listening to the audio book I don’t know if I could’ve made it through the first 100 pages. But, once I was in, I WAS IN. It was so atmospheric, and I was really impressed with the details and the amount of research that had to go into writing this. It was a lot of fun to listen to while I was coloring in my Lost Ocean coloring book ironically. It reminded me of one of my favorite books, Pirates! by Celia Rees because here’s a main character that doesn’t start out strong or brave but because of the situation that is thrust upon her, she molds and develops into her true self. The time travel aspect was fascinating and just straight up cool, I loved our two main characters and was so happy that we got to see from both of their angles. Sometimes that is lacking but it adds such depth to the story. AND THAT ENDING! Let’s just say I’m eagerly anticipating the next book. Not till January 2017 though.

One of the things I found unattractive about Passenger – and what I also think led to it being hard to get into – was the writing style.There is something so formal and distant about the third-person narrative. It lacked any warmth or personality to help me connect with the characters or truly get sucked into the story at the beginning. Now, I adapted and once I got comfortable with the writing, I was able to ignore this.

Secondly, there are way too many lengthy passages full of clothing descriptions and repeated introspection. It almost felt repetitive. The first part of the book goes on and on about violins and compositions, then it goes on and on about sailing and how it’s done. Honestly, who cares? I know this sounds harsh and I really did enjoy the book but enough is enough. This is not a Sailing for Dummies or Violins for Dummies so we do not need to go into such great depth. A little here and there was necessary, because they use pitches and sound to find the passages, but maybe not so much.


But one thing I adored about Passenger was that the male love interest was African American (because that is sadly still way too uncommon). I loved that Etta stood up for him even though in that time period he was seen as dirt. I loved that she told him that he was more then what those small minded people thought of him and that he could have a better future. I also liked that the love interest was immediate. That is sadly overdone in young adult novels. They had to build that from the foundation. It was believable and innocent.

Finally, here’s what I really loved about the book. The main character is awesome. There is a very interesting relationship between the other female in the book, a strong girl in her own right. Despite the fact that they dislike each other, both girls in the book are respectable, fierce girls in their own right, and I can’t tell you how few YA books have that.


To be honest, when we met Etta for the first time, I didn’t have high hopes. Etta is pale and blonde. A violinist. Sheltered, with a successful mom. I fully expected her to be a weak, boring, and annoying but I was wrong. Etta is an highly skilled violinist, dedicated to her craft. She has given up everything she loved so she could be better, and she stands up for what she believes in right and good and moral no matter what anyone else thinks or says.

How do you not love a girl with that kind of spirit?! And indeed, her spirit, and her persistence shows throughout the rest of the book.She’s a fighter and she doesn’t back down or give up.

Overall, I give Passenger two thumbs up and I can’t wait till March to read The Darkest Minds another series by Bracken. I have high hopes for her writing.



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