Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield
Genre: YA, mystery, contemporary
Format: ARC won from Gone with the Words
Read: 8/21/2012 — 8/22/2012
In Six Words: Satisfying in a sad, creepy way.
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.
Why I Started Reading This Book and Final Verdict
I won an ARC of this book from Jess @ Gone with the Words months ago. I finally picked it up when I was trying to get through all the ARCs sitting on my shelves. I had virtually no expectations going into Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone, but it took only a few pages for me to get sucked in. It is so fascinating and dark that it was difficult to put down.
Wow. Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone is a book that works on multiple levels, from the gorgeous imagery to the mystery of who killed Amelia Anne to the startling honest look at small town life to Becca’s unraveling. This is not a happy story with a happy ending, but it is the type of book that pulls you in and deeper until you are too enthralled and engaged to break away. This is the kind of book that sticks with you after you finishing, sinking into your thoughts.
The book is told from two different perspectives: Becca, our main character, and Amelia Anne, the dead girl. The two stories seem absolutely different, but as the book goes on, we begin to see threads of their lives coming together until the point, at the very end, when you see how they finally tied together. This is truly a mystery and a contemporary book woven into one, with elements of each type of book integral to the overall experience.
I have a slight fascination with small towns, and Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone had a way of digging into that fascination. The language used to describe the small town and surrounding lands was rich and vibrant. The mystery is intriguing, and while I thought I had it all figured out by the end, I didn’t have all the pieces, lending to the idea that there is so much more that goes on beyond the surface than what we are about to see.
Fans of dark mysteries, who don’t mind the lack of a happy-go-lucky ending, might enjoy Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone. It is one of those books that will likely not appeal to everyone, but it had many of the elements that I love in a book: fantastical imagery, a murder mystery, small towns, self-discovery, and darkness.