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.