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ARC Review: Runaway Train by Lee Matthew Goldberg (Blog Tour + Giveaway)

Runaway Train

Author: Lee Matthew Goldberg

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Publishing Date: April 29, 2021

They told me I was an out-of-control train about to crash…
Everything changed when the police officer knocked on the door to tell me – a 16-year-old – that my older sister Kristen had died of a brain aneurysm. Cue the start of my parents neglecting me and my whole life spiraling out of control.
I decided now was the perfect time to skip town. It’s the early 90’s, Kurt Cobain runs the grunge music scene and I just experienced some serious trauma. What’s a girl supposed to do? I didn’t want to end up like Kristen, so I grabbed my bucket list, turned up my mixtape of the greatest 90’s hits and fled L.A.. The goal was to end up at Kurt Cobain’s house in Seattle, but I never could have guessed what would happen along the way.

At turns heartbreaking, inspiring, and laugh out loud funny, Runaway Train is a wild journey of a bygone era and a portrait of a one-of-a-kind teenage girl trying to find herself again the only way she knows how.

Purchase a copy: Amazon

Thank you to InkSlingerPR for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion in any way and all opinions are my own.


I saw this book up for a blog tour with another company and I was instantly fascinated and wanted to read it but their tour dates clashed with me so I couldn’t but as soon as I saw InkSlingerPR was doing a tour for them too, I instantly signed up.

The book takes place in 1993 and revolves around Nico, a girl whose sister dies of a brain aneurysm. After going through a lot of things, some of which were caused due to her sisters death, she runs away. After, her life seems completely out of her control and the book is her journey of trying to find herself again. When her sister dies, Nico makes a bucket list of things to do and when River Phenix dies, the idea of running away and trying to find herself again seems more and more appealing and so she does it.

The book was filled with self-discovery, finding yourself again, and lots and lots of grief (including how Kurt Cobain’s death impacted the world). Her sister’s death was bad enough along with someone else’s but when Kurt Cobain, her idol, dies, it shows us more and more how death and the aftermath can affect someone and it taught us that there is no “right” way to mourn someone, everyone has their own ways. In Nico’s case, that way to deal with it all was doing drugs, drinking, and partying all the time.

I loved the authors writing, especially the way he captured, in words, what the whole 90’s grunge era was truly like and all the 90’s music references. I didn’t feel like then plot got boring at any point of time, it was easy to get lost into the book and imagine you’re actually there, and it was heartbreaking because of everything she goes through but also exciting at the same time.

I hadn’t read any of Lee Matthew Goldberg’s books before but considering how much I enjoyed this one, reading more of his books is definitely in my future.

About the Author

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE ANCESTOR, THE MENTOR, THE DESIRE CARD and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the Prix du Polar. His first YA series RUNAWAY TRAIN is forthcoming in 2021 along with a sci-fi novel ORANGE CITY. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in The Millions, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor, Monkeybicycle, Fiction Writers Review, Cagibi, Necessary Fiction, the anthology Dirty Boulevard, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City.

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Sign up for a chance to win a paperback copy of Runaway train! (3 winners will each get 1 copy)

Did you like the 90s grunge era?? Whose your favorite band from back then?

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