Title: Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone
Author: Kat Rosenfield
Publication Date: July 5, 2012
Opening Sentence: “The night before Amelia Anne Richardson bled her life away on a parched dirt road outside of town, I bled out my dignity in the back of a pickup truck under a star-pricked sky.”
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Becca has always longed to break free. Free from her backwater hometown. Free from its small-town gossip and dead-end lives.
But the horrifying discovery of a dead body—an outsider, Amelia Anne, battered and broken—on the morning after graduation sends Becca into an unexpected tailspin. As the violence of the real world creeps close to home, Becca retreats, paralyzed from moving forward for the first time in her life.
The details of Amelia Anne’s final, harrowing moments play out against Becca’s own out-of-control summer as Becca’s and Amelia’s parallel stories twist the reader closer and closer to the horrifying truths of Amelia’s last days.
This emotionally arresting, sexy, and raw debut tells the vivid story of two young women struggling with self-identity and relationships on the edge.
Oh, Amelia Anne. I honestly have no idea where to start with this book. I was very on the fence about it until about half way through. It was sort of a slow starter and then I kept feeling hot and cold… and don’t make me mention how put off I was by a certain Chinese food container. (Though that part totally served its purpose.) I put the novel down for a while and picked it back up later. After I got past that initial hitch I couldn’t put the book down. I almost could have sworn it was glued to my hand for how much I was reading it (while lounging in the sun on my porch, you know).
The story in Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone is highly exceptional. It switched between the perspective of Rebecca, the main character, and Amelia Anne. Both pieces of the story come together to tell us how everything went to hell and Amelia eventually met her demise. There was at least one part of the story where I was like “What exactly does this have to with anything?” while simultaneously feeling like I needed to read it. Usually when I felt that way I learned later that it was, in fact, important in a way I never would have guessed, but totally fit.
Kat Rosenfield’s writing is extremely colorful and poetic. Even the smallest of details are explained in a way that makes you feel like the story would have suffered had it not been included. Her prose hooks you and pulls you in, giving no mercy. I loved how honest this book was. Rosenfield wasn’t afraid to write about sex in an intimate way or examine that some people get off on the death of other people. She never shied away from explaining the things that aren’t so pretty and I loved it and absolutely appreciate it.
As for the characters, they were good, well rounded, and fleshed out, but I didn’t feel an extremely strong connection to any of them. I like Rebecca well enough, but I’m rather apathetic about her. When it comes to Rebecca versus Amelia Anne, Amelia Anne wins. Amelia Anne was more enjoyable for me to read, but to be honest (in Rebecca’s defense) it could be due to the fact that Amelia was living her normal day-to-day life and Rebecca was dealing with a murder in her town and everything else. It could have put a damper on her character. (Could have? It did. Whatever.) Both leading ladies were wonderful and made the story that much better.
James’s (Rebecca’s boyfriend) story broke my heart. I wasn’t swooning over him, but I liked him a lot and was hoping things would turn out well for him. I think he’s a great character and probably a good person in general too.
Aside from my apathy during the beginning of this book I was extremely impressed and engrossed in the world of Rebecca and Amelia Anne. I would never want to be in their shoes, but as a book it was great and definitely recommendable.