The Compulsive Reader: Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield

Becca can't wait to escape her small town and really start her life, even if it means leaving her boyfriend James behind. But when the body of an unknown girl is discovered, Becca is derailed. She can't get the dead girl out of her mind, and she can't stop puzzling over where she came from, how she ended up in her town, and who killed her. Suddenly everyone and everything is suspect and Becca finds herself re-evaluating her life—and everyone around her.

Kat Rosenfield's Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone is a weird and beautifully written novel. It consists of many short chapters, mainly from Becca's point of view, though there are a few from Amela Anne's perspective and an omniscient narrator. At times, Rosenfield's prose is achingly beautiful and emotional. She has a talent for stringing words together, building suspense, and evoking powerful imagery. However, the flow of the book is choppy and half-formed. Becca is a very interesting character; her desires and inner conflicts are relatable, and the small town claustrophobia she experiences is palpable. But Amelia Anne never really emerges as a character, and her chapters seem to be present solely to connect the dots for the readers. There are other characters that could have been more fully developed as well—Becca's parents, James, and many other characters that pepper this story. Unfortunately, sometimes the story seems to fall victim to Rosenfield's language—events and characters blur together in between the adjectives and complex sentences until you are thoroughly confused and nothing surprises you at the end. Overall, Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone is a unique and interesting book; the darker premise and the issues it raises are important, but the execution was a little shaky. Nonetheless, Rosenfield obviously has talent and is an author to watch.

Cover Comments: This cover is a little unsettling. I'm not crazy about the angle of the knees, but the dirt and flower get the message across that she's dead...if the title didn't already give you an indication. I like it, but I'm not crazy about it.

ARC provided by publisher.


Liviania said...

I like the pictures I've seen of the cover in hardcover better than it looks in on the ARC. The background is more purple.

Anonymous said...

I would agree that the angle in the cover is a bit weird but the book sounds quite good!
Thanks for the review

Mary Preston said...

I'm glad you said knees. I thought her breasts looked lop-sided.