Review Detail

 
Young Adult Fiction
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Dead and Gone

Literary fiction for the young adult audience is something of a rare beast. It can be found, as evidenced in the work of authors like Markus Zusak and Melina Marchetta, but I feel like a lot of YA novels fall either in the middle ground or fall firmly under the “genre fiction” heading. And before you think I’m snobbish, I really have no problem with genre fiction at all. I’m merely saying this the better to comment on the novelty of the literary aspects of Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone.

There is a certain feeling I get when I read “literature” (notice the quotes). It’s impossible to describe, but it has a lot to do with the mentality that goes behind writing a book like this, the way in which the story is told, and the way I notice author’s presence in the text. Kat Rosenfield’s writing, while beautiful, certainly takes—for lack of a better word—an external perspective on the story. That probably won’t work for a lot of readers, and in theory it shouldn’t work for me, either. But it does. The talent with which Rosenfield give the reader a detached perspective and still manages to convey a compelling story is amazing.

Like most novels of this sort, Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone is very character focused, and the main conflict is more protagonist vs. society than protagonist vs. tangible person/object. The stories of Becca and Amelia don’t fit together seamlessly—there is overlap, and at some points I did wonder the importance of knowing Amelia’s background. The convergence of the two plots is subtle, and the symbolism between the two young women isn’t immediately obvious.

There is also the immense beauty of Rosenfield’s prose to take into account. I like pretty prose as much as it’s possible for me to like it, but only when there’s depth and purpose behind the beautiful imagery. If I’m reading a book with flowery language just for the sake of flowery language, I probably won’t be impressed. But the way Kat Rosenfield writes is strong; it’s powerful and you definitely get the sense that she picked her words carefully. The haunting atmosphere of dusty small town was fully realized in a few sentences, and with only a single image here and there, the author managed to maintain it all the way through.

I was also, honestly, surprised by the maturity of both this novel’s plot and Rosenfield’s approach to writing. Murder is, obviously, a major component in this, and it wasn’t tiptoed around or euphemized. Beyond that, Becca and Amelia both had a straightforward, insightful approach to life that really goes beyond what you tend to find in teen fiction.

I admit, though, that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone at the time I was reading it. Because of the external viewpoint, the slow pace, and the difficult characters, it was hard to get invested. But toward the end, when you begin to realize what a genius Rosenfield is, and once you’ve done and you can think about this novel as a whole, that’s when it hits you—or at least when it hit me.

This novel shows a very adult approach to writing YA. I personally enjoyed this book a lot, and would recommend it to those who know they tend to like postmodern literature. I wouldn’t say Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone is the most accessible piece of writing I’ve ever read, but it’s brilliantly written and, overall, I found it to be quite impressive.

Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

40861046.jpg
The fight is never over. Life in Arafel...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
You/Poet: Learn the Art. Speak Your Truth. Share Your Voice.
Offering a variety of advice for tapping into your creative...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Are You Scared, Darth Vader?
Darth Vader isn't scared! Nothing can scare Lord Vader. ...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Star-Touched Stories
From New York Times bestselling author, Roshani Chokshi, comes Star-Touched...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
91HIpyhaW9L.jpg
The third book in the New York Times bestselling series...
 
4.3
 
5.0 (1)
One Week of You
For Lizzy Winston, one week will change everything. Fifteen-year-old...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Legacy (The Biodome Chronicles #1)
She is from the past, locked inside a world...
 
4.0
 
4.6 (3)
Grenade
It's 1945, and the world is in the grip...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Lines We Cross
Michael likes to hang out with his friends and...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Uncharted
Seventeen-year-old Annabeth prefers the fantasy of her books and...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dark Divide
Secrets have a way of coming out. Divided by...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Orphaned (Ape Quartet #4)
Before humans, and before human history, there were the...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Heirs of the Round Table: Reclaiming Camelot
Imagine discovering that your ancestors were part of King Arthur's...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Wicked Nix
A visually stunning, middle-grade classic in the making about Wicked...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Journey of the Pale Bear
A runaway boy befriends a polar bear that’s being transported...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Camp Valor (Camp Valor #1)
When Wyatt gets framed for a friend’s crime, he thinks...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

The Six
 
3.0
"“The Six” is an intriguing sci-fi book about Adam Armstrong, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy and is nearing his death..."
City of Dust
 
4.3
"City of Dust is the follow up to Book of Fire which for me was the perfect blend of history,..."
The Crown's Game
 
2.0
""The Crown's Game" is not quite what I expected. It portrays two magicians-in-training, Vika and Nikolai who both want to..."
The Black Key (The Lone City #3)
 
4.0
""The Black Key" is an intense finale to the Lone City trilogy. Violet has escaped the city and is training..."
The Lost and The Found
 
4.0
""The Lost and the Found" is the story of Faith Logan, who has lived her life in the shadow of..."
Weregirl
 
4.0
""Weregirl" takes the reader through a fantastic supernatural mystery within the small town of Tether. Tether's water supply had been..."
A Torch Against The Night
 
5.0
"A fantastic sequel, "A Torch Against the Night" begins exactly where "An Ember in the Ashes" leaves off. Laia and..."
Follow Me Back
 
4.0
"“Follow Me Back” is an engaging YA thriller. Tessa has been diagnosed with anxiety and agoraphobia, delaying college to live..."
The Glass Spare
 
3.0
""The Glass Spare" follows Wil, the youngest child of a warmonger king. One day, her life changes- in a dispute,..."
 
5.0
""The Witch of Willow Hall" was a fascinating book, perfect for Fall! Lydia is the middle daughter of a wealthy..."
Sadie
 
4.0
""Sadie" was a surprisingly emotional and difficult read- even more than I expected based on the description. The book is..."
The Star-Touched Queen
 
5.0
""The Star-Touched Queen" is a beautifully written story with lyrical prose that pulls you into this fascinating story. Maya has..."
Seize Today
 
5.0
""Seize Today" was a great finale to a fantastic YA sci-fi/romance series. This third book wraps up all the plot..."
Dare You to Lie
 
4.0
"DARE YOU TO LIE by Amber Lynn Natusch is a young adult suspense novel that follows Kylene after she moves..."
Star-Touched Stories
 
5.0
"STAR-TOUCHED STORIES brings you back into the world of STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN. For those who love the world Roshani Chokshi created,..."
Muse of Nightmares
 
5.0
"I honestly didn't think any book could top Strange the Dreamer, it was such a fantastic start to a new..."
Seize Today
 
4.3
"Seize Today is the thrilling conclusion to a fantastic dystopian series. I’ve been a huge fan of this series since..."
Orphaned (Ape Quartet #4)
 
4.7
"Snub is a young gorilla living in prehistoric times. She has a family that included Silverback, Brother, Wrinkle and Teased,..."
Camp Valor (Camp Valor #1)
 
4.7
"Wyatt has a decent life, but when his dad takes off, it dissolves into chaos. His mother doesn't function well,..."
Grenade
 
4.7
"Hideki is a 13-year-old Okinawan and Ray is a United States Marine. Both are play important roles in the "Love..."