If you need a book that captures every unpleasant feeling you’ve ever had about going back to your hometown for the holidays, Last Train to Babylon is the one for you.
Charlee Fam frames her novel around Aubrey Glass, a protagonist whose personality could be described as combination of not giving a fuck and caring too much. But like, TBH, we’ve all been there.
Aubrey is forced to return to her hometown after the suicide of her ex-BFF. Her mother expects her to return home and pretend to be, like, really fucking sad about the death of a girl she hasn’t talked to in five years. Her shitty high school friends are also planning an after-party for the funeral, because, well, people are the worst.
Most of us try to sneak home for the holidays and spend most of the time attempting to avoid people we knew in high school. Aubrey’s plan is pretty standard for a betch that didn’t grow up in an actual city where there are actual things to do. Yet, she’s forced to slip back into some dark memories when every street she drives on, photo she sees, and coffee she drinks bring back a memory she’d rather forget.
Let’s face it, Aubrey is a betch. She survives on a diet of coffee, Xanax, and Jack Daniels in order to never be the “cute but kind of chubby” girl. Honestly, from Aubrey’s flashbacks, you can tell she’s always been someone who can sit with us. In ninth grade, she hated Anne Hathaway. It takes a pretty perceptive ninth grader to know that Anne Hathaway sucks, especially when you grew up with The Princess Diariesas as a go-to sleepover movie.
Even if you aren’t physically headed home anytime soon, Aubrey’s story will give you an emotional kick in the stomach. Your icy soul might actually feel something for once. You’ll relate to her very public, drunken meltdown, her quiet satisfaction when she realizes the high school boyfriend who screwed her over is still really kind of a nobody, or the fact that she’s “not a smoker” but definitely just needs a drag now and again.
Ignore your mom’s request to spend time together over the holidays and spend time with this book instead.