rachel's Reviews > Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone

Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield
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's review
Jul 25, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: 2012, ya
Read from July 23 to 25, 2012

As evidenced by the fact that I read the first eight (EIGHT, HOW EMBARRASSING) installments in the Pretty Little Liars series, I eat teen mysteries up like they are the most delicious candy. That combination of high school level prose and sneeringly evil kids usually does it for me. When I saw that this book was being loved up all over Goodreads, it was a natural pick.

I'm not even (that) ashamed to admit that I liked the snarky, silly Pretty Little Liars way more than the very earnest effort of Kat Rosenfield in Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone. There are two reasons for this.

Number one: Amelia Anne is very meta about how claustrophobic it is to grow up in a small town and how desperately people coming of age in small towns want to escape them. Sound familiar? Yes, that's because you've read it 1700 times before and another laborious but sincere metaphor for the travel of gossip is not going to illuminate anything for you but will instead make you gloss over large chunks of writing to get to the part with the dead girl again.

Number two: it's very apparent that this is a first book, because the writing really (really) wants to be "prose." There's a lot of redundancy. Words are repeated. Phrases rehashed. Sentences said again in different ways. Entire paragraphs convey one idea. You see? Repeating things does not make them more meaningful, just creates inertia and suggests that the writer had space to fill or lacks the confidence to let declarative sentences stand on their own without elaboration, or maybe just that this is what it means for a book to be "literary" now and maybe we should succumb to that Tao Lin trend just to redefine.

...on second thought, no. Never.

To be fair, the plotting is decent. A bit heavy on teen angst but the "how" of the twist at the end, for a mystery, isn't predictable. (The red herrings, though, are glaring.) I wish I liked it -- new, young, and buzz-generating female author, yay! -- but I really didn't.
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Reading Progress

07/23/2012 page 65
21.0% "Sigh. Will I ever like a book again?"
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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rachel Show? Or books? Or...both?!

message 2: by rachel (last edited Jul 26, 2012 04:24PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

rachel Woohoo! I love her.

You gotta read the books. For me, the show was annoying because I heard that what, at 60 some hour long episodes in you still don't know who A is? There's 3 As in the book series!

ETA: I don't mean that you gotta read the books because they're superior. Just that they're also wonderful crap, in a different sort of way.

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