Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield {Amanda’s Review}

Posted 17 September, 2012 by Amanda / 16 Comments

Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield {Amanda’s Review}Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield
Genres: Mystery, Contemporary
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: Won

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.

Satisfying in a sad, creepy way.

My Thoughts on Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone

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.


Filed under: Contemporary, ESR: 8, Mystery, Review: Amanda, YA,


16 Responses to “Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield {Amanda’s Review}”

  1. Awesome to the sauce! I’m loving the sound of POV from live and dead characters. How cool! I’ll be reading this one in December for book club. Glad to know you enjoyed it. I’m definitely a fan of dark themes, and a small town can be a great setting for wicked mysteries!

    • I think if you’re a fan of dark themes, you’ll probably like this. It is dark, especially in the sense that there’s no real happy outcome. It’s kind of like watching a true crime show. They lead you through what happened, but even though they figure out who did it at the end of the show, the victim is still dead, and the family is still mourning. Good stuff.

  2. I’ve read mixed reviews of this one. Some didn’t like it at all because it was too dark, but I’m curious about the mystery part. I don’t think there are that many good YA mysteries out right now. I think I might give this one a whirl.

    • I agree about the lack of good mysteries in YA. Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone is a mystery, but there are also aspects that I would assign more to a contemporary book (self-discovery, for instance) that make me hesitant to say this is a straight mystery. But the mystery is definitely there. If you read this, I hope you’ll enjoy it! :)

  3. This sounds amazing Amanda! Usually I like a happy-go-lucky ending, but I think in the case of books like this, the darker, more realistic (sort of) works so much better. I tend to be fascinated by small town life as well, so this book is definitely going on my list. Can’t wait!

  4. I have to say I haven’t read or even heard about this but your review’s made me want to go check it out. I love a good, dark story, especially one in a small town with a great mystery. Awesome!

  5. I have to ask, what body parts are we looking at on the cover? I see feet. I’m assuming the bumps are knees but then the dirty part of my brain tells me to check for boobies. Which seems really funny to me right now.

  6. I got a copy of this at ALA because the summary reminded me of a book I read years ago and loved called A Northern Light. Sounds like this is actually a bit different than that book though, sounds a bit darker. I can’t wait to read this one though because it just sounds like something that has been up my alley from the moment I heard about it.

    Thanks for the great review!