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Amelia Westlake Was Never Here

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  739 ratings  ·  179 reviews
A fiercely funny, queer romantic comedy about two girls who can't stand each other, but join forces in a grand feminist hoax to expose harassment and inequality at their elite private school.

Harriet Price is the perfect student: wealthy, smart, over-achieving. Will Everhart, on the other hand, is a troublemaker who's never met an injustice she didn't fight. When their swim
Hardcover, 357 pages
Published May 21st 2019 by Poppy (first published April 1st 2018)
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4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  739 ratings  ·  179 reviews

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If you’re looking for a smart YA contemporary featuring calculated plans to denounce sexist, misogynistic, homophobic and overall discriminatory behaviours at an elite private school as well as a slow-burn romance between the two female leads, this is the book for you. It will grip you from the very first sentence and the strong presence of the two female narrators will stimulate your interest.

After reading MOXIE by Jennifer Mathieu, I was on the lookout for more powerful stories that can inspi
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received this book for free from The NOVL in exchange for an honest review.

I give this book 4.5 stars which rounds up to 5.

This book was so good!

First off, the premise is absolute genius. Creating a fictional student named Amelia Westlake to fight school injustices was such a clever idea. The injustices were a wide range of issues such as sexual harassment, homophobia, and elitism in private schools.

The pacing of the book was spot on. Everything happened at appropriate times and nothing felt
✨    jamieson   ✨
AN F/F ROMANCE WITH "an unlikely pair embarking on a grand feminist hoax"


Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Rosemead Grammar is a prestigious girls college in the affluent lower north shore of Sydney, achieving academic excellence for young women of the wealthy and elite community. It is imperative of students to preserve the sanctity of the Academy and Harriet Price is the epitome of exemplary students. Harriet is an achiever, an enterprising young woman immersed within the community, a virtuous prefect representative of the academy. Wilhelmina Everhart is a social and political activist, challenging ...more
Review also on my blogTwitterBookstagram

Rep: lesbian mcs, f/f romance, side Vietnamese character 

Trigger warnings: initially unchallenged racism 

I was sent an arc from the publisher in exchanged for a free and honest review 

Initially, this book sounded really promising. Two girls pulling off a hoax whilst developing a romance? Sounds great!

Yeah, not so much. 

First and foremost, I hated Will. She seemed like the authors attempt to write an 'edgy' character but didn't seem to really know how
Vicky Who Reads
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this!!! Plus a v cute ship!!!
This was so flipping good! I want to read it all over again.
Trigger warnings: sexual harassment, racism, cheating, incident resulting in a fear of flying (in the past), toxic/abusive relationship, homophobia, absent parents.

So here's the thing: I really wanted to like this book because it sounded GREAT. But ultimately, I found it to be sort of aggressively average. Harriet was a total wet blanket of a character who's being walked all over by her girlfriend. In contrast, Will was just sort of...a brat. I mean, I get it. Kids who are at snobby private sch
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book!

Erin Gough does a great job with voice in this YA novel set in an elite girls school.

Will and Harriet, unlikely co-conspirators, find themselves partnering up to make a statement about injustices at their school. They mastermind a hoax to draw attention to the issues, but struggle to navigate their turbulent friendship as momentum picks up around their hoax.

I read recently that teens say their number one issue is that they’re not listened to. This insight comes to life in thi
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s one of those books that I feel the need to finish in one sitting. ‘witty and artistic’, full of surprises, charming, sweet but not at all corny or typical coming-out kind of lgbt books.
in short, I love it!
Libby Armstrong
So much to love about Gough’s new novel. First, thanks for giving us Harriet Price. The peppy and latent subversive HP is a fantastic foil for the snarky Will Everhart. And then I love the creative and credible pranks Amelia Westlake enacts to provoke her cohort to action. So much conscious raising. The romance is hot, and there is plenty of nail biting plot twists that threaten to out Amelia. Well worth the wait!
Jes Layton
Hmm, okay so, up front I heard about this book at a YA showcase last year, was intrigued by the premise and then was lucky enough to receive an ARC copy from the publisher. I'm very thankful for this and would love to pass my ARC copy along to someone in Australia (more details on my Insta @a_geek_with_a_hat)

So, you're probably looking at my rating of AMELIA WESTLAKE and thinking, wtf? This book sounds awesome, it's queer, #LoveOzYA, a contemporary feminist heist and yeah, it sounds perfect.

Megan Maurice
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant from start to finish, I could hardly bear to put it down. Erin Gough has created a fascinating world within this elite private school, filled with diverse and interesting characters. So much of the politics in the school took me back to my own school days - it so realistically portrayed the way young girls interact with each other and the power of female friendship.
Update: I just wrote a longer review at my blog Trish Talks Texts.

A thoughtful exploration of topical issues wrapped in a delicious package of surprising twists and messy relationships. It all worked.
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

Review to come on my blog
Sue (BeautyBookCorner)
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
There are a lot of elements to this book that tick my YES boxes:

- elite private school setting
- strong message about speaking up
- feminist girls
- hate-to-love romance trope
- hijinks and mischief

All these things added so much fun to the book, but what I think made it all work was the flawed but likable characters we find in Harriet and Will. These two girls are stereotypes of two different high school students: the perfect goody-two-shoes and the rebel punk. The book starts off with these two gir
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
It you are looking for a fun, f/f romantic comedy about high school girls trying to take down patriarchy and elitism, then I definitely recommend Amelia Westlake was Never Here! This is a play on hate-to-love and opposites attract tropes and I really enjoyed it. Despite a clunky start, the writing sucked me in pretty quickly through the escapades of Harriet Price and Will Everheart.

Harriet Price is rule-follower with wealthy parents. She is smart and a very talented athlete, competing in tennis
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, arcs
This is a fantastic YA contemporary novel that confronts issues of sexism, misogyny, homophobia, and discrimination, which are running rampant at Rosemead Grammar, a prestigious boarding school in Australia. Wilhelmina (Will) Everhart and Harriet Price are as opposite as they come. Harriet is the golden child of Rosemeade while Will is, well, the bottom of the barrel so to speak. They both tolerate each other, but they’re not exactly friends.

After Will and Harriet witness their sleazy swim coach

Rep: lesbian mcs (one with anxiety), Vietnamese bi side character, gay side characters
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ozya
A highly enjoyable read, Amelia Westlake is the kind of refreshing contemporary book that you want to read in one sitting.

A novel about girls, Willhemina and Harriet, who create a pysdonym to pull statement pranks at their elitist school. Somewhere along the way they fall for each other, and it's wonderful.

This book also highlights internalized rascism, elitist privlidge, sexism, and toxic relationships.

I adored reading this, thank you Erin Gough for another fantastic novel to shove in people'
Sarah Randall
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What is 'Amelia Westlake'? It is a YA novel. It is a queer romance. It is a wonderful example of intersectional feminism. It's a timely novel for the #MeToo movement.

But it is also so much more than all these things. Like the Rosemead girls themselves, it is 'the glorious sum of [its] parts'. It's galvanising, and a must-read for any teenagers - or indeed, any person - who is questioning their voice and the power it has to change the world.
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favourite YA of 2018! Absolutely brilliant! I wish my year group at school had been this politically and socially aware of the world around them. Teenage girls will change (are changing) the world!
- ̗̀ fantine ̖́-
just went to a publishing event where they talked about this and boy o yall arent ready

-good girl vs bad girl
-hate to love
-destroying the patriarchy
-queer girls
-wide brimmed hats
- rebellious youths

Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-books
Prepare your bodies everybody 😍
Mari Johnston
Apr 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review and many others can also be found at Musings of a (Book) Girl.

This has probably been my most disappointing book of 2019 so far. The hopes I had for it were sky high, but unfortunately, it fell flat pretty quick. I think I spent close to a week and a half or two weeks trying my absolute hardest to get through it and I just couldn’t. I was planning on sticking it out because that’s just what I do (DNF comes with a lot of guilt for me), but when I started finding problematic content I d
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
2.5 stars

While this was a quick read I had some issues with the overall story.

Gough has created an intriguing cast of characters, and brilliantly built a narrative from two perspectives, from two very different girls. Amelia Westlake works precisely because of these varying points of view, and because Harriet and Will are clearly different characters, from how they speak to how they think. I cannot count the number of novels I have read with several perspectives in which the characters sound exactly the same, yet the contrast between the two girls is obvious from the star ...more
Em The Reading Challenge Challenge
"She has failed and despaired and learned and loved and triumphed. She is the glorious sum of her parts. She is one girl, containing multitudes."

You know how Love Simon came out and we had a wonderful mlm rom-com and then To All The Boys I've Loved Before came out and we had a wonderful straight rom-com and now everyone's looking for a wlw rom-com? I reckon Amelia Westlake could be it.

This is a stunning book all about girls working together to support each other and stop misogyny in its tracks,
Ashleigh | Wild Heart Reads
Amelia Westlake is a fun and light-hearted #LoveOzYA novel. Set in at the fictional Rosemead Grammer, a private school for the elite, Amelia Westlake tells the story of Will Everheart and Harriet Price as they work to send a message to Rosemead about its supposed values.

Will Everheart might not be one of the elite but her mother has worked hard to ensure that Will can enjoy the benefits of a private education. Harriet Price on the other hand is the epitome of privilege and reaps the benefits thi
Olivia Farr
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-reviews
AMELIA WESTLAKE WAS NEVER HERE is a clever and fun YA contemporary with hints of romantic comedy. Will Everhart is an outside-of-the-box thinker. Her mother and father have recently divorced, and she moved with her mother, now attending a fancy private school, Rosemead. However, Will sees all the problems with Rosemead, like the fact that the Olympic medal winning swim coach sexual harasses the female students.

When she is at detention for insulting him after he made an inappropriate comment abo
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Erin Gough is a fiction writer whose short stories have been published in a number of journals and anthologies, including Best Australian Stories, The Age, Overland, Southerly and Going Down Swinging. Her work has been broadcast on radio. She has also worked as a freelance writer and columnist. Awards Erin has received for her short fiction include first place in the Banjo Patterson National Short ...more
“So I do what any self-respecting person would: I go after her screaming.” 1 likes
“I forget it in vivid detail.” 0 likes
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