Thursday, January 15, 2015

Last Train to Babylon by Charlee Fam

3 Star

Who put the word fun in funeral? I can’t think of anything fun about Rachel’s funeral, except for the fact that she won’t be there.

Aubrey Glass has a collection of potential suicide notes—just in case. And now, five years—and five notes—after leaving her hometown, Rachel’s the one who goes and kills herself. Aubrey can’t believe her luck. 

But Rachel’s death doesn’t leave Aubrey in peace. There’s a voicemail from her former friend, left only days before her death that Aubrey can’t bring herself to listen to—and worse, a macabre memorial-turned-high-school reunion that promises the opportunity to catch up with everyone… including the man responsible for everything that went wrong between she and Rachel. 

In the days leading up to the funeral and infamous after party, Aubrey slips seamlessly between her past and present. Memories of friendship tangle with painful new encounters while underneath it all Aubrey feels the rush of something closing in, something she can no longer run from. And when the past and present collide in one devastating night, nothing will be the same again. 

But facing the future means confronting herself and a shattering truth. Now, Aubrey must decide what will define her: what lies behind… or what waits ahead.

Sabrina-Kate - 3 Star

I truly wish I felt like rating this book more but despite the fact that I found it a quick read, I did not enjoy most of the story especially the underlying morbidity. Best friends with a love/hate relationship that vacillated back and forth in an irritating fashion, Aubrey and Rachel were not characters that I particularly cared for, not did I really want to get to know them better. 

Last Train to Babylon had moments that I truly loved and felt were true triumphs of literature but those were sadly few and far between compared to a lot more very meh moments strung together to create a story. Don't misunderstand me though; the writing was good and the flow of the story worked well. I just didn't enjoy the plot. Not really at all-to be honest.

The book was a bit dark and gritty for my taste but I suppose it could appeal to someone who already liked that idea. Suicide and unresolved issues are not my forte when it comes to reading. I like to read for an escape and not usually one that would be depressing!

For a debut novel, Last Train to Babylon was quite impressive yet it wasn't something that resonated with me. I will definitely keep my eye on this author though as I can clearly see her strengths in description and prose.

Thank you to William Morrow for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

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