Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone
by Kat Rosenfield
So, when I first finished this book, I thought I loved it. And I guess I do love it, but because I left a week between finishing the book and writing this review, I realise now that I didn't love it as much as I originally thought I did.Summary: 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.
The best thing about the book is that it's really well written. Seriously, the writing is lovely and that's why I thought it was so great initially. The thing is though, it takes more than just great writing for a book to really stick with me. You know how sometimes you'll read a book and you're still thinking about it for days after finishing it, and even if you think about the book weeks or even months later it still stirs some feeling inside of you? This one didn't do that, it didn't linger with me at all really.
I think the problem was mostly that the story and characters were just okay. The plot didn't have me hooked, I didn't feel invested at all in what was happening and I didn't really care about the characters or what happened to them because, while it was well written, it was written in a way that made it hard for me to empathise with the characters or feel like I knew them really.
Beautiful writing makes the reading experience more enjoyable while I'm reading, but I need the characters or the story (preferably both) to get under my skin for a book to make a lasting impression on me.
And this review seems negative but I don't intend it to be. The book is great and definitely worth reading and it still gets a pretty high rating from me (4 out of 5 stars), it's just that I finished it thinking it had earned a spot on my favourites shelf but I was wrong.
But yeah, I'd rate it 4 out of 5 stars. It's worth reading purely for the writing, and maybe you'll have more luck connecting to the story and the characters than I did.