Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Last Train to Babylon by Charlee Fam | Book Review

Last Train to Babylon by Charlee Fam 

Reading Group: High School+

Personal Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Given Summary: Fans of Alice Sebold and John Green will be transfixed by this sophisticated, edgy debut novel packing dark humor, biting wit, and a lot of Jack Daniels.
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 Aubrey 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.

Cover: The cover of this novel is dark, but you can see that it's an aerial view of a girl.  

My Review: This book was another one that I got in the Barnes&Noble sales bin, but I ended up enjoying it.  I liked how the chapters went from the past to present so that you could figure out all the reasons why Aubrey didn't want to go to Rachel's funeral and why they had such a big falling out after being friends for ten years.  I thought it was interesting how the girl that may or may not have been assaulted by Max was Tonya and she had the ring that Aubrey gave her.  I thought it made the book kind of come together in a full circle, showing that we really aren't that different from the people around us and we all go through traumatic events.  I also thought that Aubrey's reaction to her rape was very real.  She was struggling to put the night back together and see if she could hold any of the blame for what happened and even though I don't think anything that happened was her fault I think she responded the way most people would.  What she went through was very complicated, and it affected her for the rest of her life.  It was sad that what happened with her friend and boyfriend after that went the way it did because Aubrey was going to tell Adam everything, but Rachel got to him first.  Rachel was never a good friend, but I understand why Aubrey didn't cut her off sooner.  When your friends with someone for so long, it is harder to cut them out of your life.  The most frustrating thing about this book was that we never heard the voicemail, but at the same time I liked that we didn't.  It was something that was just between Rachel and Aubrey, so from a literary aspect I respect that the reader didn't get to know what Rachel said, but from a reader's point of view, I am super curious.    

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