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Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone

Review

Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone

On graduation night, Becca’s boyfriend, James, breaks up with her after a passionate encounter. At the same time, on a dusty road a few miles away, Amelia Anne Richardson is murdered. Rumors fly in the town about the unidentified dead girl found on the road. Amelia Anne’s last days are shown to readers in powerful scenes in between snippets from Becca’s last summer before college in this well-crafted story of love and loss.

"Readers will sympathize with Amelia and Becca as the young women are pulled in painful directions with some surprising results. Deftly written, AMELIA ANNE IS DEAD AND GONE is a great book to savor and discuss."

There have been a couple of murders before in this small town, and the stories become even more exciting than the actual facts. But this time, no one seems to know anything about the dead girl. Becca is curious at first, but is consumed with feelings for James, and readers are taken back through their relationship. James is a high school dropout who lost his way after his mother died of cancer. Becca is the salutatorian who wants to get far away from the lake town well outside of Boston. She never expected to fall so hard for James, and while they both know it will be over when she leaves for college, she can’t quite give him up yet. They agree to be together again for the summer, but both have jobs and time passes without seeing much of each other. Becca’s family keeps reminding her that she will be going away while James will be staying. She knows the reality, but can’t help feel the pull of the safe and familiar.

Becca is not happy about James’ friend, Craig, who has come to town to be with his grandmother. After her death, he seems to just be staying at her house. It is a mess with a yard full of junk. Then the police pull Craig in for questioning after evidence shows that Amelia’s killer walked a path onto Craig’s property. He admits to Becca and James that he destroyed evidence. Other people in the town are questioned as well. They are folks who are disliked, who have demonstrated against policies in the town, and everyone talks about how it is clear they were always bad news. But they are eventually released.

Amelia's story is revealed in between Becca’s events. Amelia just graduated college, and learned at the end that she loves to act and wants to study theater further. Her boyfriend, Luke, does not understand how happy her new pursuit makes her. She hopes the two of them can find a way to be together during their planned post-graduation road trip, but as the days go on, she realizes that maybe it’s time to move on from Luke. The tension between them increases as they pull into the town where he remembers vacationing as a child.

Becca continues to listen to the rumors about the murdered girl as she works at the café , a job she has held for a few years. Craig comes in and taunts her about James, and in a fit of temper, she lets loose her suspicions. The effect is like setting a match to tinder in a town that has grown very anxious about the unidentified girl.

Readers will sympathize with Amelia and Becca as the young women are pulled in painful directions with some surprising results. Deftly written, AMELIA ANNE IS DEAD AND GONE is a great book to savor and discuss.

Reviewed by Amy Alessio on July 22, 2012

Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone
by Kat Rosenfield

  • Publication Date: July 11, 2013
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Young Adult 14+
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Speak
  • ISBN-10: 0142426105
  • ISBN-13: 9780142426104