Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 2975
Impressively-Written but Full of Unlikable Characters
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
2.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Oh, that awkward moment where you read a book that's come highly recommended to you from just about everyone you know and then you don't like the book. There seem to be a lot of times where I'm that guy: the one who goes against the grain of popular opinion. I could list a number of books my friends all loved that I didn't like much at all, as well as ones pretty much no one else cared for that I thought were fabulous. Honestly, it's frustrating this divide that leaves me agreeing with others no more than 3/4 of the time.

Though I did not particularly enjoy this book, I am not blind to its charms, so do allow me to start there. Kat Rosenfield has, no doubt, a marvelous career ahead of her. With the first sentence, I knew that I would love her writing, and I was right about that at least. If this is how well she writes a debut, she will be going big places. Her style perfectly matched the tone of the novel, a mood of hopelessness, of loss, and of confusion.

Also on the positive side, I give Rosenfield full credit for telling a unique story, one I have never seen the likes of in YA fiction. She parallels the lives of the titular Amelia Anne and Becca, born and raised in the town where Amelia Anne breathed her last. Both girls are in love, or think they are, with boys who fail to please them sexually. Both have big plans that they fear their boyfriends will not support. Amelia Anne graduated from college the same day that Becca graduated from high school. Amelia Anne died, stuck forever in some sense in this town where Becca dreads being trapped.

Moving into what I did not like now, I have to go back to the writing. Much as I loved the way Rosenfield phrased things and put together her sentences, I did not like the storytelling method she used. I did like getting to see both from Becca's perspective in the present and Amelia Anne's perspective in the days leading up to her death, although I really hate the way her chapters weren't given chapter numbers. What drove me crazy, however, was that the narration occasionally either switched to third person omniscient in Becca's section or that she was telling the story from some unidentified date in the future. The numbered chapters often included reflections on things Becca simply could not know or hints at knowledge she could not yet have possessed. These details detracted from the novel for me, rather than adding additional crucial knowledge.

Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone is one of those books about terrible people. All of them, with the exception of Amelia Anne, are awful. I did not like a single one of them. Of course, sometimes authors can make this work, make you curious about characters you would happily hurl off a cliff. In this case, though, I just did not care about them. When the dramatic twists happened, instead of being shocked and excited, I was more like "whatever, can we please move this along?" and entirely bored with the whole thing. No matter how clever twists are, if you're not emotionally invested, they lack impact.

Were it not for the beauty of the writing, this rating would be a 2. Though I didn't like this, I urge you not to take this book off your list solely based on my review, as so many reviewers I trust implicitly loved it. As it is, I would read something else of Rosenfield's in a heartbeat, because of how incredibly talented I can tell she is.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

1 results - showing 1 - 1
Ordering
Already have an account? or Create an account
July 08, 2013
Sometimes we dont all liek the same book. im having a hard time liking the harry potter series
1 results - showing 1 - 1
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Movies, mansions, and murder in the Golden Age of Hollywood!...
Kamala and Maya's Big Idea
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meena Harris debuts with an empowering picture book about two...
Harvey Holds His Own (The Harvey Stories, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The West Highland Terrier that brought Harvey Comes Home to...
Everything I Thought I Knew
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A teenage girl wonders if she’s inherited more than just...
The Morning Flower (The Omte Origins, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking returns to...
The Hunt
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Death marked her from her very first breath. Being...
Swallowed by a Secret
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
One dead father. One lying mother. ...
Circus of the Dead Book One
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
There are many ways to die at the Circus...
Roaring
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Colt Clemmons is an agent in a specialized division...
Court of Lions
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Court of Lions is the long-awaited second and final...
More Than Just a Pretty Face
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Becky Albertalli and Jenny Han, a...
The Adventurers Guild: Night of Dangers
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
After the events at Llethanyl, city of the elves, Zed...
And Then I Turned into a Mermaid (And Then I Turned into a Mermaid, #1)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Emily Windsnap and Maybe A Mermaid, And...
After the Worst Thing Happens
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Left reeling after her thoughtless mistake causes a terrible accident,...
Hirana's War: Book Two in the Eloia Born Series
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Praise for Eloia Born “Loved it! A well-written narrative...
Hans Christian Andersen: The Journey of His Life
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
"If you like, I’ll tell you the story of a...

Latest Member Reviews

 
4.0
"WHAT I LOVED: We think of the glitz, glamorous mega-stars, and classic movies when we think of the Golden Age..."
The Night Country (The Hazel Wood #2)
 
4.0
"Alice Proserpine thought she was mostly back to “normal” life after breaking from her story in the Hinterland, but when..."
Everything I Thought I Knew
 
4.3
"What worked: Intriguing plot of Chloe, a seventeen-year-old super-achiever, who ends up collapsing during her senior year in high school..."
The Adventurers Guild: Night of Dangers
 
5.0
"THE ADVENTURERS GUILD: NIGHT OF DANGERS by Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos is the culmination of a Middle Grade..."
The Pros of Cons
 
4.0
"WHAT I LOVED: I genuinely can't imagine four different events happening simultaneously in the same complex, but it happens..."
BRB I'm Going to Disneyland
 
4.0
"'BRB: I'm Going to Disneyland' by Courtney Carbone is a cute, quick read. As a novel written in texts, emails,..."
He Must Like You
 
5.0
"'He Must Like You' by Danielle Younge-Ullman is an intensely provocative look at the various ways in which consent, upset,..."
How the Stars Came to Be
 
5.0
"Reviewed for YA Books Central Beautiful in every aspect. The book: This is a story about how the..."
Unscripted
 
5.0
"A book so real it can be u comfortable at times. The story: Zelda doesn’t have a..."
The Dark Tide
 
5.0
"THE DARK TIDE is an enthralling and atmospheric YA fantasy read. We follow Lina, a townsperson, and Eva, the witch..."
Where Dreams Descend
 
4.0
"What worked: Beautifully written tale where a girl performer breaks away from her cage and enters a competition of magicians..."
The Black Kids
 
5.0
"THE BLACK KIDS is a really poignant read that ties history to the present. Ashley is a senior in high..."
What Goes Up
 
3.3
"'What Goes Up' by Christine Heppermann is a quick read, as it is a novel-in-verse, a format that can be..."
They Wish They Were Us
 
4.3
"THEY WISH THEY WERE US is an engaging YA thriller reminiscent of GOSSIP GIRLS. The book follows Jill, who had..."
Roaring
 
3.0
"ROARING takes place in the 1920s- with a twist. Monsters, sirens, minotaurs, basilisks, and more, exist, and they are woven..."
More Than Just a Pretty Face
 
5.0
"MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY FACE is a fantastic YA contemporary romance that follows Danyal during his senior year of..."
You Say It First
 
3.3
"'You Say It First' is easily one of those books you will either love or hate. My feelings fell somewhere..."
Court of Lions (Mirage, #2)
 
5.0
"COURT OF LIONS finishes the MIRAGE duology with aplomb. This YA fantasy series takes us to another planet and the..."
The Unleashed: The Haunted, Book 2
 
4.0
"Creepy, suspenseful paranormal where some friends learn that a summoning might bring back something unexpected and evil. ..."
The Year of the Witching
 
5.0
"Immanuelle lives in the town of Bethel where the Prophet's word is law and the highest honor for a woman..."