The Vanishing Station

Abrams/Amulet. Apr. 2024. 368p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781419764226.
Gr 9 Up–Ruby, who is Filipino American, recently graduated high school and now spends her time painting. Not the paintings she’d love to create, but instead painting walls and ceilings with hundreds of strokes of eggshell white. All her friends have moved on with their lives, but she is stuck under a pile of bills from the cancer that killed her mother and a father who is drinking more and more. Ellickson captures the beauty of art and San Francisco with her lyrical passages and moving prose. Ruby takes a job “jumping” trains in a magical underworld where BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) comes alive in the pages of a magical and sometimes terrifying journey into a world of intrigue, danger, and a super hot, super unreachable, son of a woman called Em. The prose is reminiscent of the art Ruby sees everywhere: whirling shapes, depths of color. The plot is captivating and new: Ruby is searching for a path that will help her learn her art, while others in the city are searching for a way to tangle her in their web of lies and deception. Ruby has a clear sense of right and wrong and is not shy about sharing that with anyone, including some of the wealthiest people in San Francisco. Captivating until the very end, this novel will leave readers hoping there is another book in the works.
VERDICT A must-have for teen libraries. Fans of espionage, romance, and magic will love this one.

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