Thursday, August 23, 2012

Becky's View: Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield

Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone
by Kat Rosenfield
♦publisher: Dutton Juvenile
♦release date: July 5th, 2012
♦hardcover, 279 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult (recommend for 16+)
♦source: from publisher for honest review
An arresting un-coming-of-age story, from a breathtaking talent

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.

Review: Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone has the feel of the old classics that have stood the test of time.  The writing is exceptional.  Beautiful, haunting, and truly exceptional.  The story is dark and not at all lacking in grit, as anyone should be able to guess from the subject matter. The mystery of Amelia's death unravels slowly and hauntingly, but with Rosenfield's writing, every word seems to have been carefully chosen to really sink the story and the imagery right into your heart and your gut.  Amelia's death is all the more grueling, Becca's emotions hit home all the more heavily, and the small town of Bridgeton seems to practically breath with a life of its own. 

The story flits back and forth between Becca and James' past and present, and then little bits of Amelia's story leading up to her death are thrown in.  The investigation plods on, fingers are pointed, and we get little tidbits of the town's back story that gives us a feel of how the town and it's people work.  I loved how the small-town gossip and the tragedy itself were practically characters in their own right---something tangible that slips through the front door and sits at the family table for dinner. 

While, for me, this story did start out a little slowly after the initial shock of the body being found, and the explanations of "this is how it works in a small town" became a little redundant at times,  there was a point about half way through where I stopped being able to put it down. The oncoming reveal starts rushing at you like a freight train as suspicions go horribly awry, Becca seems to be eaten up by her doubt and fear of her own future,  and the truth of what really happened on the night Amelia died eerily surfaces. 

A haunting and intense read.  I can't wait to read more from Kat Rosenfield. 
 Find Kat Rosenfield online: Website  •  Facebook  •  Twitter

Purchase Amelia Anne is Dead on Gone:  Amazon  •  •  BookDepository  •   Indiebound  


  1. Fantastic final paragraph! Sounds goood. And I feel you on the small town part.

  2. I agree with the small town thinking, it was a little too much at times. But I think that's how it really is in most small towns, mine included unfortunately. I loved this book even though I was a little bummed with the ending.