Amelia Westlake Was Never Here

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Amelia Westlake Was Never Here
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
14+
Release Date
May 21, 2019
ISBN
978-0316450669
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A fiercely funny, queer romantic comedy about two girls who can't stand each other, but join forces in a grand feminist plan to expose harassment and inequality at their elite private school. Harriet Price is the perfect student: smart, dutiful, over-achieving. Will Everhart is a troublemaker who's never met an injustice she didn't fight. When their swim coach's inappropriate behavior is swept under the rug, the unlikely duo reluctantly team up to expose his misdeeds, pulling provocative pranks and creating the instantly legendary Amelia Westlake--an imaginary student who helps right the many wrongs of their privileged institution. But as tensions burn throughout their school--who is Amelia Westlake?--and between Harriet and Will, how long can they keep their secret? How far will they go to make a difference? And when will they realize they're falling for each other? Award-winning author Erin Gough's Amelia Westlake Was Never Here is a funny, smart, and all-too-timely story of girls fighting back against power and privilege--and finding love while they're at it.

Editor reviews

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wonderful YA contemporary
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
AMELIA WESTLAKE WAS NEVER HERE is a clever and fun YA contemporary with hints of romantic comedy. Will Everhart is an outside-of-the-box thinker. Her mother and father have recently divorced, and she moved with her mother, now attending a fancy private school, Rosemead. However, Will sees all the problems with Rosemead, like the fact that the Olympic medal winning swim coach sexual harasses the female students.

When she is at detention for insulting him after he made an inappropriate comment about another student, she finds herself annoyed by Harriet, who is pretty much Will's opposite- a prefect who doesn't get into trouble and who gets perfect grades. However, when Will confronts Harriet, she finds out things aren't as simple as they may have seemed, and together, they devise a comic to expose the less than savory practices at their school. Unwilling to sign their own names, they make up Amelia Westlake, a pseudonym for their "mis"deeds.

As Harriet and Will begin devising acts for Amelia Westlake, they find themselves spending more and more time together, and a bigger attraction grows. With clever and reasoned messages plus an overarching story of feminism and solidarity, this book is a fantastic read from cover to cover. With alternating perspectives between Harriet and Will, we get a multisided portrait of the school, which in many ways, is not so different from other schools. While other schools may not be raising thousands of dollars for a second pool, the discrimination against LGBT, harassment by teachers, racism/sexism, and unfair grading practices are problems at many schools, which can be found on the current news.

I love books that give teens a voice against things in their lives that are unjust, and this book is an excellent example. This novel is full of some great messages about standing up against wrongs and using your voice when you can. The romance that develops is icing on the cake. This book was a pleasure to read and would be great for fans of MOXIE. I highly recommend for fans of comedies, activism, feminism and/or YA contemporary.
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