Sunday, July 1, 2012

Review: Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone

Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone
By Kat Rosenfield
Expected publication July 5, 2012 by Dutton Juvenile

Becca has planned for nothing but escaping her small town and finding her place in the larger world out there. But when the body of an unidentified girl shows up at the beginning of her last summer in town, everything she has planned for will be thrown into question.

A debut novel, I remember the publishers being very enthusiastic about this at Midwinter, where I got my copy. Since then, I have heard all sorts of buzz around this one, especially as the next big thing in teen lit just might be mystery/suspense/thriller. So I approached this book with a feeling of excitement and eagerness to discover just what exactly awaited me. Let me tell you - the buzz is there for a reason. This is an incredibly evocative and atmospheric novel, with darkness and mystery woven in. It's well-written, with lush prose that flows across the page and invitingly pulls you into the story. Becca's feelings and confusion throughout the novel will ring true with many, if not all, high-schoolers - the twin emotions of eagerness and apprehension that surround the end of high school and, more significantly, the true end of childhood. I did not want to put this book down and probably would have read it all in one sitting if given the opportunity. This is a lyrical book with both quality and appeal - I think this is definitely something I would have loved as a teen. I loved the presentation of the story as well - not exactly alternating chapters, but chapters of Amelia's story, leading to her death, interspersed with Becca's narration. I love the brutal and unexpected way this book begins and the ambiguous and muddled way it ends. I expect this book to be well-received and I'd even go so far as to say I wouldn't be surprised to see it nominated for the Morris Award. This was a wonderful find for me and I can't wait to see what Rosenfield does next.

Thanks to the publisher for an advance reader's copy.

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