Book Review: Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schumacher

Amelia Unabridged  by Ashley Schumacher Genre:  YA contemporary fiction Synopsis:   Eighteen-year-old Amelia Griffin is obsessed with the fa...

Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schumacher

Genre: YA contemporary fiction

Eighteen-year-old Amelia Griffin is obsessed with the famous Orman Chronicles, written by the young and reclusive prodigy N. E. Endsley. They’re the books that brought her and her best friend Jenna together after Amelia’s father left and her family imploded. So when Amelia and Jenna get the opportunity to attend a book festival with Endsley in attendance, Amelia is ecstatic. It’s the perfect way to start off their last summer before college.

In a heartbeat, everything goes horribly wrong. When Jenna gets a chance to meet the author and Amelia doesn’t, the two have a blowout fight like they’ve never experienced. And before Amelia has a chance to mend things, Jenna is killed in a freak car accident. Grief-stricken, and without her best friend to guide her, Amelia questions everything she had planned for the future.

When a mysterious, rare edition of the Orman Chronicles arrives, Amelia is convinced that it somehow came from Jenna. Tracking the book to an obscure but enchanting bookstore in Michigan, Amelia is shocked to find herself face-to-face with the enigmatic and handsome N. E. Endsley himself, the reason for Amelia’s and Jenna’s fight and perhaps the clue to what Jenna wanted to tell her all along.

Ashley Schumacher's devastating and beautiful debut, Amelia Unabridged, is about finding hope and strength within yourself, and maybe, just maybe, falling in love while you do it.

Content/Trigger Warnings: Death of friends/family members, anxiety disorder & panic attacks, parental neglect

Overall rating:  ★★★★☆

Amelia Unabridged  was such a lovely experience. That’s not to say that it was a fun read - it was heart-wrenching, to say the least, but so good. It was written really wonderfully, but made me sadder than I’d typically like to be. And it dives into that sadness pretty straight off the rip.

But I really enjoyed that the book is really a commentary on the things and people we lose, and those we gain in return. How we’ve got to find ways to get through the pain, and there are others who can help us through it, people we’d never expect.

"[...] there is nothing in the world a good book can't cure."

The book itself if quite poetic, and the fact that this is a debut novel is mindboggling because it’s so beautiful.

The biggest thing for me was that while this book is more realistic contemporary fiction, there were times where the story would toe the line into magical realism, which got confusing for me sometimes. I couldn’t figure out if there was a magical element or if it was worlds within worlds. It was really all part of that larger poetic piece of the story, but it made for some confusion which led me to rereading certain sections and lines a few times.

Either way, it’s a beautifully written, wonderful story that will nest itself deep within your heartstrings. So if you’re ready for some big feels, this book is one for you. .

*I received a copy of this book free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are entirely my own.

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