Thursday, November 6, 2014

BLOG TOUR: Last Train to Babylon by Charlee Fam

Title: Last Train to Babylon
Author: Charlee Fam
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: October 28/2014
Acquired: Print copy provided by Publisher
Goodreads: ADD

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 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.


Crack cocaine, that's what this was. I literally read this thing in two in hours-a new record for me. Last Train to Babylon is nothing like its title suggests, and I was surprised out of my mind at the narrative. It wasn't the best book, by any means, and I'd be lying if I told you that there weren't lines and words that the author completely overused, but uh, if you refer to my opening statement: it was crack cocaine.

It's the easiest punch to the gut, this type of narrative, the kind that promises a vault of disturbing secrets and vicious truths. I figured I was in for some dark stuff and was only slightly disappointed when it was finally delivered. It was physically painful to like Aubrey, the main character, but it was a guilty pain. She went through a traumatic event, an irreversible, life-altering injustice. And I still hated her. I loathed her. I itched with the urge to slap her upside the head. If she wasn't so self-aware, it would have been so easy to just close the book and not finish it at all. She admitted her inability to feel emotion, but it seemed more like a spoiled, privileged attitude, rather than one that stemmed from an actual personality flaw.

It was the side characters that deserved my attention, and the one I grew particularly close to was Adam-my whole heart belonged to Adam. His pain felt the rawest, his reactions the most understandable. I wanted an entire book of Adam. Just Adam and his emotions. There is definitely enough content in here to satisfy the readers that prefer their books fluff-free and unashamed, but there were also things in here that induced some serious teeth grinding: the phrase "it felt thick" and "like sand" (or other combinations of those words) was used an inordinate amount of times. Aubrey managed to achieve EVERY level of drunk possible, and I just grew tired of it. Why was she drinking so much even before the 'incident'? It just all seemed so unnecessary and forced.

But hell, this book was readable. It moved quicker than any thriller, or murder mystery I've ever read, and that's saying a LOT. I may have had my qualms, but I have to appreciate and rate this book on that fact alone. I can't wait to read more of this author's work.

Read if you like:  
The Last Time I Saw You by Eleanor Moran
Save Yourself  by Kelly Buffet
Books by Alice Seabold



Charlee Fam is a New York City-based debut fiction author with William Morrow. Her novel, Last Train to Babylon hits stores this fall. Charlee was Born and raised on Long Island and graduated from Binghamton University in 2010. When she’s not writing, Charlee can be found assembling epic cheese platters, booking spontaneous trips abroad, and Instagramming photos of her French Bulldog/Boston Terrier, Marv. She’s represented by Jennifer Mishler of Literary Counsel.

Contact Links:


Thank-you to Trish from TLC Book Tours for hosting this tour, and to William Morrow for sending me a print copy to review! CLICK HERE to follow the rest of the tour.


  1. You've sold me! I'll be adding this to my ever growing tbr pile.

    1. Yaaaay! I can't wait to see what you think of it!

  2. Wow, more thrilling and page-turning that a great thriller?! That's saying quite a lot!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  3. That pacing sounds right up my alley!


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