Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone
Author: Kat Rosenfield
Genre: YA - Contemporary
Publication: 07.05.2012 by Dutton Juvenile
Synopsis: An arresting un-coming-of-age story, from a breathtaking talent
Becca has always longed to break free from her small, backwater hometown. But the discovery of an unidentified dead girl on the side of a dirt road sends the town--and Becca--into a tailspin. Unable to make sense of the violence of the outside world creeping into her backyard, Becca finds herself retreating inward, paralyzed from moving forward for the first time in her life.
Short chapters detailing the last days of Amelia Anne Richardson's life are intercut with Becca's own summer as the parallel stories of two young women struggling with self-identity and relationships on the edge twist the reader closer and closer to the truth about Amelia's death.
Thoughts: I was overly enthusiastic to start this book. I was ecstatic when I got my hands on it and immediately started reading it. Of course, my expectations were too high and I was sad when it turned out to be different than what I had hoped for. While I really wanted to love this book, I didn't. But I also didn't hate it. Actually, I finished it and put it to side feeling "mehhh" about the whole thing.
Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone is a well-written story told in alternating points of view. Rebecca just graduated from high school and is a bit terrified of moving away, especially since her boyfriend will be staying behind. On the night of her graduation, Amelia is killed on the side of the road. The author then interweaves both their stories as the mystery unfolds and we see how Amelia ended up in this small town and how she was killed.
I was definitely intrigued in finding out what would happen, and while the story was written in poetic way that captured my attention at first, it quickly became overwhelming. The prose was too much to make it enjoyable and the writing was overly poetic. It became the basis of how everything was described: characters, the town, settings, etc., making it both confusing and depressing.
While the story unfolded, I found it very slow paced. Nothing really happens and I wanted to skim through and only read Amelia's side of the story, since it was the most straightforward and interesting part in the book, and the only part that seemed to be moving along, but still stretched unnecessarily long.
The twist at the end wasn't as surprising as I had originally anticipated. There is a lot of suspense leading up to the final revelation, but by then, I had pretty much guessed where the author was taking it. There was a bit of overshadowing that pretty much gave the ending away, and while I felt it was executed well enough, it still didn't offer the shock that I was hoping for.
Overall: Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone just didn't work for me. I thought that there were too many unnecessary details, followed by tangents that felt disconnected with the story. I had a hard time connecting with Rebecca, and while I did like Amelia's parts, we didn't learn enough about her to actually connect with her either. This book contains some sexual content, a little suspense and mystery to hold the readers attention, and definitely some gorgeous, but overwhelming poetic writing that might not be for everyone. If it sounds like something you enjoy, I say check it out. It was not for me, but I am one of the few that I have seen that did not like it as much as the rest.