November 5, 2015

Review: The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I wondered if karma really was a possibility. And then I decided right then that I wouldn’t, couldn’t allow myself to believe it. Not anymore.

Synopsis:
Leah Mills lives a life of a fugitive – kept on the run by one terrible day from her past. It is a lonely life, without a social life or friends until – longing for a connection – she meets Julian. For the first time she dares to believe she can live a normal life.

Then, on the fourteenth anniversary of that day, she receives a card. Someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed the life Leah has created.

But is Leah all she seems? Or does she deserve everything she gets?

Everyone has secrets. But some are deadly.

 

I think it’s pretty clear that I’m a sucker for psychological thrillers. Usually the darker, the better. So when Netgalley approved my request for this novel, I was ridiculously excited. The Girl With No Past has been compared to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train and while it was in fact thrilling, I don’t agree with the comparison.

I had a hard time getting into the storyline. Leah is very hard to read, which is all the point of the story, I know, but it doesn’t make for a smooth read. Once I got the feel for the the flow, I actually read it pretty fast and found myself wanting to know what happened in Leah’s past and who was taunting her now. It’s definitely an intriguing story and I don’t regret reading it at all. However I had some issues with the novel as a whole.

While complex, Leah actually isn’t a very strong character. Most of the time while I was reading the story I wanted her to grow a backbone and actually stand up for herself. I understand she felt horribly guilty for the past events but I feel that part of the reason she felt so much guilt was because of her lack of strength to begin with. There was no exploration into why she was so meek before her crime and that really bothered me. I wanted to see her stand up to someone, at some point and that never came.

Also, I felt that the climax of the story was just too much, too fast and I didn’t find most of it plausible. It’s hard to explain what I mean without spoiling the plot twist but I wanted, no, I needed more information as to what made one of the supporting characters do what they did in the first place. It just came out of nowhere and escalated so fast. I needed more exploration of what had caused so much rage and I felt cheated that I never got that.

But there were plenty of things I did quite enjoy about the story. I loved the flashbacks. It helped give a lot more background and helped to flesh out some of the characters some more, plus it was a great way to break up some of the current day storyline. I also enjoyed the “who dun it” moment when Leah’s taunter was revealed. I had a moment of “Aha! I thought so!” But I won’t lie, I had thought that of a couple other characters as well so the revelation was quite satisfying as well.

All in all, while I felt the story had several faults, I did enjoy it and it did keep my attention fairly well. I do recommend it to anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers.

THREE STARS

  • I love psychological thrillers too! This one sounds like it could be interesting, as long as I could put the faults aside!

  • I actually haven’t read that many psychological thrillers… this one sounds super crazy! :) OH! & I got your package! Thank you so much! Um, #allthechocolate ! :) XO -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  • i am actually not big on physiological thrillers, though i did read the 2 that it was compared to. this does sound interesting, though i hate when the climax isn’t realistic.