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Amelia Westlake Was Never Here

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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 coach's inappropriate behavior is swept under the rug, the unlikely duo reluctantly team up to expose his misdeeds, pulling provocative pranks and creating the instantly legendary Amelia Westlake--an imaginary student who helps right the many wrongs of their privileged institution. But as tensions burn throughout their school--who is Amelia Westlake?--and between Harriet and Will, how long can they keep their secret? How far will they go to make a difference? And when will they realize they're falling for each other?

Award-winning author Erin Gough's Amelia Westlake Was Never Here is a funny, smart, and all-too-timely story of girls fighting back against power and privilege--and finding love while they're at it.

357 pages, Hardcover

First published April 1, 2018

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About the author

Erin Gough

8 books131 followers
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 Story Competition, the Wimmera Literary Competition, the University of British Columbia “Ubyssey” Literary Competition and the FAW Frank Page Award for Short Story Writing. She is a past recipient of the Varuna Eleanor Dark Flagship Fellowship for Fiction, an Australian Society of Authors Mentorship, a Bundanon residency and an Australia Council Emerging Writers Grant.

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5 stars
768 (28%)
4 stars
1,174 (43%)
3 stars
630 (23%)
2 stars
128 (4%)
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28 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 503 reviews
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,472 reviews19.1k followers
July 11, 2019
Honestly more of a 2.5 but I'll round up because there wasn't necessarily anything wrong with this? It was just so dull 😭
Profile Image for Jessica.
563 reviews775 followers
April 28, 2019
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 rushed. There was never a time where I felt that the story was being dragged on for too long.

description

Another thing I liked was how real it was. Not everything got wrapped up super neatly at the end which is what happens in real life. Some things take a long time to resolve and mend. There were two things in particular at the end that a lot of authors would have magically fixed, but I’m happy that the author went a different route.

The reason why I didn’t give it the full 5 stars was because the romance felt like it was missing something. I was looking for that special spark between the characters, but never quite saw it.

Overall, I really liked this book. I loved the feminist messages and the issues it touched upon. It’s a powerful read while still being light-hearted and fun.
Profile Image for Kelly (Diva Booknerd).
1,106 reviews299 followers
April 13, 2018
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 the archaic, nepotism of the administration of the Rosemead Grammar. Conspirators responsible for Amelia Westlake.

Amelia Westlake is a pseudonym, conceived to emphasise the predatory behaviour of a member of the teaching facility, a former Olympian and esteemed member of the community. The sexualised and indecent commentary of student bodies, innuendo and suggestive expression are disparaged, Rosemead Grammar absolved of their responsibility as the student concerns are disregarded.

The allegations of sexual intimidation and predatory behaviour are a significant component of the narration and encourages conversations surrounding boundaries, consent and abuse. The girls of Rosemead Grammar are conditioned to tolerate the behaviour, including Harriet Price. Harriet's awakening is admirable. Superficially, Harriet is a sheltered, wilfully ignorant young woman of wealth. Beneath the naive, effervescent facade is a compassionate, intelligent woman, exploited for her appetite for gratification. Their unequivocal attraction engenders an incident of unintentional unfaithfulness, each young woman is in a respective, female relationship, each concealing their alliance from partners.

Amelia Westlake is representative of young women who remain unheard, casualties of a patriarchal dominated society. A rudimentary and fundamental introduction to feminism, challenging socioeconism, elitism, chauvinism, institutional homophobia and ineptly, racism on several occasions towards a character of Asian appearance that was challenged belatedly within the narration.

Reiterating the importance of the overwhelming necessity to create inclusive, affirming environments, Amelia Westlake encourages dialogue and camaraderie, sharing ideologies and empowering young women.

Erin Gough, you are magnificent.
Profile Image for Natasha.
492 reviews377 followers
July 22, 2018
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 to do that, so she made her this bitchy girl, and actually had her put in a social media bio "bios are fake"????? She just got on my nerves a lot. She complained about attending this really good, and really expensive, grammar school. In contrast, Harriet complained about people who did this. I get it, it's meant to show their differences or whatever but it just made Will come off as really ungrateful, and it highlighted that. Will was just a brat, that's it. And I don't get their romance,  they were too opposite. It kind of felt out of nowhere, especially since Harriet had a girlfriend for most of the book (who we only see in person once). Oh, and there's cheating. Kind of. Will kisses Harriet when Harriet still had a girlfriend. Will sort of had a girlfriend, but it was a little confusing if whether or not they were just kissing or if they were actually a couple. 

More with the larger issues though, there's racism that doesn't get called out until closer to the end, and it was called out by the girl experiencing it. A girl called a Vietnamese character, Natasha, a racist term and... Harriet did nothing. She didn't even have a "what the fuck? that's shitty" thought. She didn't even react to it. And when it gets called out by Natasha it's very clear it's been going on for a while. It should've been called out sooner, especially when these characters are presented as being politically aware. Calling out the racism was the barest minimum. 

Another thing that bothered me was that bi people were referred to as "swinging in different directions" instead of using the word. That was really annoying. 

I didn't really expect much at all from this book if I'm being honest, I didn't like the Flywheel (released in the US as Get It Together, Delilah) and I hadn't heard the best about this. So less of a disappointment and more of a book that went below the low expectations I already had. 
Profile Image for Vicky Again.
583 reviews819 followers
May 10, 2019
I really enjoyed this!!! Plus a v cute ship!!!
Profile Image for Zitong Ren.
504 reviews152 followers
August 2, 2019
Provided by the State Library Victoria as part of the Inky Awards.

Amelia Westlake on the outside, especially from a shallow point of view is a book on pranks and a LGBTQ+ romance. Deeper down, it looks at sexual harassment, the elitism bred from elite private schools, social justice, favouritism in marking a students work, discrimination in race and sexuality and bullying. As stated on the blurb, it focuses on two characters, one is Harriet, who is a high school prefect of Rosemead Grammar, is a absolute legend at test and receive the highest of marks. On the other end is Will, who is seen as a trouble maker and a very average student.

I can honestly say that I relate to this book a lot, as it really does deal with a lot of things that are happening with Australian private schools, and I would imagine in private school around the world, especially in places like the United States. In fact, a few years ago, a teacher at the school I attended was found grooming a sixteen year old girl, and to think that that kind of person was teaching students is outrageous and baffling. The racist remarks from the character Beth also hits too close to home as I have heard and been called things that generally stereotype with East Asian culture which is frankly disgusting.

Will Everhart I found was a very strong character in her beliefs and especially what the world governments and the wealthy are doing with their money(the fire of the Notre-Dame comes to mind with the rapid donations from several prominent French billionaires). It raises the issue at what else we should be doing with our money and the social inequality in western countries. Anyway, enough of the politics and more on the review.

Overall, I did really enjoy this book. It fast paced and constantly moving and nothing seems to ever stop for our characters with noticeable time jumps when needed. The so called ‘pranks’ kept coming with the ideas constantly changing and it was never the same thing for long, so it’s not a book for repetition especially with the amount of issues that I have noted above. In the end when Will lists our everything that they had done, I was surprised at such a massive list of things they had done under the pseudonym of Amelia Westlake, considering the book itself sits at less than three hundred and fifty pages(which is not long, yet not short, though long for me is like 600-700 pages plus).

I did really like Will as a character and I also enjoyed the perspectives of Harriet, though not as much, especially at first as she is seen as this rich kid living in a mansion with an extremely perfect life. She is also a bit pretentious and arrogant at first especially with claiming her girlfriend Edie was going to get a Rhodes Scholarship and come back as Australia’s Prime Minister even though it was actually her doing all the public speaking work. Still though, she involved immensely as a character and I am grateful for it. Edie though, oh boi was she a pain. She actually gives zero craps for anyone but herself and her own success. It is clear that she doesn’t actually care for Harriet but is rather using her to win all of these competitions that gives her fame. Beth is a racist piece of garbage that deserves to die, Principal Croon is the opposite of what parents and students expect in a leader of a school that probably charging tens of thousands of dollars a year. Every single teacher also bothered me and I feel that maybe some points were vastly exaggerated to get the author’s point across.

Amelia Westlake is a wonderful book that can be lighthearted and serious at times, and focuses on many real issues plaguing the world today. With a lesbian romance, and characters from other countries, it also paints a very diverse picture. 7.5/10
Profile Image for K..
3,544 reviews999 followers
January 2, 2019
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 schools often don't recognise their own privilege. But GIRL. STOP.

But beyond the characters, my main problem with this comes from the fact that a) apparently this snooty private school has zero security cameras, b) all the school staff are apparently utterly oblivious at all times, c) no one is apparently second marking or reviewing the English teacher's grading and she's just being a vindictive cow and getting away with it, and d) multiple students have lodged formal complaints about a member of staff sexually harassing/assaulting them and the school is SWEEPING IT UNDER THE RUG???

I mean, if it was set in the 90s? Maybe. If it's set any time in the past five years and ESPECIALLY if it's set after the introduction of Ministerial Order 870 (admittedly, that's Victoria and the book is set in NSW but stiiiiiiiiiill)? NOPE. Every single report legally has to be investigated in depth and the school would get their arse handed to them on a plate if they didn't do it.

So really, my problem with this is that I'm too close to the reality of this story and can spot the obvious flaws in it. (As can the intended audience, based on what kids have said to me about it...)
Profile Image for Mary-ellen.
308 reviews29 followers
January 3, 2019
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 this novel, and the way it is explored and responded to is unique and entertaining.

I did have a small problem with Harriet’s character being a little hard to believe at times. For someone who is meant to be smart, she was pretty gullible. Also, I struggled to imagine a student deciding it was their responsibility to ensure another student did detention. But these were small issues.

The sexuality of the girls isn’t laboured. It’s just a part of who they are, which is a relief. I’ve read a couple of books lately where authors have made characters seem like their sexuality defines them, rather than bring one of many aspects of who they are. It’s made me start to steer away from this genre in general. But I’m always open to recommendations.

I like the ending. It seems real. And I love the cover art.

I’ll be looking out for new novels from Erin Gough.

Profile Image for J.
36 reviews1 follower
June 19, 2018
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!
Profile Image for a.
1,148 reviews
October 12, 2019
3.5 stars

I've been wanting to read this book since I first heard about it and I'm glad that after some confusion about whether this was actually f/f or not, I finally picked it up.

(fyi, it's f/f and it's cute!)

I like that this book took place in a private school, with one girl who is the embodiment of the school and super popular and the other girl being a transfer student from a public school that the school administration hated and who didn't really care one way or another what anyone thought of her.

I did get a little frustrated with the characters at times and a little bored in the second half but I did love the message of this book which I think is really important.
Profile Image for Amy.
447 reviews16 followers
July 26, 2021
I enjoyed this YA f/f rom-com taking place in an elite private girls' school in Australia. The two main characters, Harriet and Will, are disturbed by things happening there, and decide to address them. The problem is, if they say anything publicly, they could be kicked out of school. So they have to come up with a way to make a statement without jeopardizing anyone's education. This leads to several creative pranks designed to shed light on the situation at the school. In the meantime, Harriet and Will are discovering they may have feelings for each other - even though they hated each other at first.
Profile Image for rachel, x.
1,671 reviews853 followers
July 29, 2019
Trigger warnings for .

Representation: Harriet (mc) is a lesbian; Will (mc) is a lesbian; Natasha (mc) is queer & Vietnamese-Australian.

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Profile Image for Libby Armstrong.
53 reviews8 followers
January 13, 2018
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!
Profile Image for Jes Layton.
Author 2 books8 followers
January 7, 2018
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.

It's a fab concept that I just felt fell flat with execution. Why? Warning for slight spoilers below, I won't go into too much detail as I don't want to really spoil all that much for people, but here are my Top Five Reasons I found AMELIA WESTLAKE.... meh *shrugs*

#1 Will and Harriet didn't feel or read like teenagers, they were like annoying caricatures, like what an adult thinks all the stereotypes of teens are all blended together, they both just felt off. Is this harsh? Yes, but it was the one deeply persisting factor that really, really made it hard for me to enjoy this book. Towards the end Will does improve a little but for the most part I just felt entirely meh about her. Harriet throughout was almost insufferable.

#2 Though this is set in Australia, aside from the mentions of Perth I swear this was some sort of British/English prep school. I'm probably not the best to judge this as I went to a country town public school with no real uniform and cows on campus, but again, this felt inauthentic to me of an Aussie experience. Maybe there really are schools like this out there, with kids this generic and watered down, but everything felt distractingly TV-esque. Nothing else either, really gave me that Aussie feel, especially how the kids talked.

#3 Every character felt like a primly crafted cardboard cut out, a cliche or a cartoonish villain. The only exception to this was towards the last third of the book with Will's best friend Nat, who actually developed a little character and managed to show some personality. (Also she started to act like a genuine person and not just doing and saying things as the plot demanded, like everyone else).

#4 Speaking of this; the plot overall was deeply underwhelming and predictable. There's a connotation that comes with the word "heist", it sets up something grand, something with a tinge of illegality, of danger, of something distinctly being taken from someone. Yeah, not so much here. The 'heist' of this felt more like a more timid Jake Paul level of trolling.

It did have to stick with some believability I know (there's only so much heisting two girls can get done in a preppy school) but this is fiction, and the blurb built this up so much, it's the main thread of action throughout the book, yet most of it is offhandedly (and off screen-ly) cast aside in favour of a trope-athetic love story that was just about the most predictable (and unfortunately cringe-worthy) part.

I'm all for tropes especially hate-to-love, but when you have such unlikable characters with next to no real voice or viewpoint to show that relationship through everything becomes monotone grey and falls flat. Add in an even flatter plot surrounding that? (Basically, from the first fifty pages everything you think that will happen in this book, is going to happen). Including the unimaginative "I'm Spartacus" moment.

#5 The feminism was an introductory, very basic, very exclusive brand of feminism. There were times where it tried to be more inclusive i.e. less white, (there was a particular part towards the end I did enjoy in regards to the feminism displayed throughout the book and it was done by my girl Nat so, again I maintain-Nat, my bisexual chestnut, you done good girl *highfives*) but for the most part it read as improperly crafted and considered. At times inconsiderate.


Overall, (though it may surprise you after that riff above) I didn't hate this book, it was just hard to get through and not the book for me. I did have my concerns going in as I didn't much like THE FLYWHEEL either, but the premise sounded too good to not check out.

So I did, and I'm still glad for it! It solidified for me something I've been thinking for a while (maybe Erin Gough's just not for me, a lot of the problems I had with this, more than those listed above, I also felt with THE FLYWHEEL).

Honestly, I think that if you liked or enjoyed THE FLYWHEEL, you'll probably like this book. Check out my Insta if you're interested in picking an early copy!
Profile Image for Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany).
1,898 reviews3,120 followers
April 23, 2019
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 and swim. Harriet thinks her athletic girlfriend is perfect for her, not recognizing that she is being taken advantage of for her help in academics.

Will Everheart feels like the odd one out at their school of the wealthy and privileged. Her outspoken views on social change get her labeled a troublemaker and she's trying to figure out how she feels about the newly physical dimension to her relationship with her friend Natasha Nguyen.

Somehow, Harriet and Will end up collaborating on a project to bring to light the dark realities of their school under the pseudonym Amelia Westlake. From their lascivious swim coach, to the English teacher who plays favorites, and the elitist behavior of administrators, the girls work to bring about real change through a series of pranks. And in the process, their relationship goes from antagonistic to something much closer.

I thought this was smart and fun, everything you want a light YA rom-com to be, and included great commentary on sexism, sexual harassment, elitism, and racism. Definitely recommend! I was sent a copy of this book for review from the publisher and all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Megan Maurice.
Author 2 books4 followers
September 28, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Danielle.
202 reviews260 followers
May 13, 2018
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

Review to come on my blog
Profile Image for Sue (BeautyBookCorner).
420 reviews57 followers
May 10, 2019
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 girls coming off as caricatures, but it's only because we are seeing from each of their perspectives. Each chapter flips between Harriet and Will, and they do not get along in the beginning. They are at odds with each other and have a lot of preconceived notions about one another.

But one day in detention, they end up talking and learn that they may actually have some common values underneath their very different personalities. And so we get Amelia Westlake, fictional student, the two girls create to sign off on a series of pranks and mischief at their elite school. There is a lot of unethical and downright illegal actions from administration and teachers that have been swept under the rug or left unchallenged. Amelia Westlake is going to challenge all of that and bring it to light.

"This is what Amelia Westlake is all about. Changing how this place operates. It's not about protecting Rosemead's values, like you pretend it is. Rosemead's true values are rotten to the core. And things are only going to change if people learn to stand up for themselves. Right now, we're all being crushed."


We all know this hoax can't last forever. I'm not going to spoil anything surrounding the unraveling of the Amelia Westlake persona, but I felt like everything played out realistically.

When I was reading, I was really hoping they would become best friends, instead of romantic partners. They just seemed too different. However, I knew going in they would get together. It's not a spoiler since the synopsis clearly states this. I thought their romantic development was good. There was enough angst between them, and I loved how they don't change each other for the other. I love that, despite their totally different image and approach to life, they share the same values, priorities, and moral standards.

Overall, the book was clever and funny. It was refreshing to see these two girls wake up their fellow classmates to speak up against all the unfair, hypocritical, and illegal practices of their school; all the while, they learn about themselves and who they want to be and be with.

** Thank you to The NOVL and Poppy for providing me with an ARC to review. Any quotations used are taken from an uncorrected proof and are subject to change."
102 reviews23 followers
February 28, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Toya (the reading chemist).
1,072 reviews77 followers
April 15, 2019
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, Coach Hadley, make inappropriate comments (yet again) to another girl in their cohort, they decide it is time to take matters into their own hands. Together, they decide to submit a cartoon to their school paper that exposes Coach Hadley for the pervert that he is, and they fabricate a pseudonym by the name of Amelia Westlake in the process.
After the cartoon reaches instant fame status at Rosemead, Harriet and Will decide it’s time to finally expose their English teacher who arbitrarily assigns grades based on her opinion of the students rather than their aptitude. “Amelia” stays behind class and rearranges the cover sheets that contain the students’ assigned identification numbers instead of their names (this is supposed to make the grading process anonymous). When the girls receive their grades, their fears were confirmed when the grade they got was based off of the student number on their essays, which lead the entire class to descend into utter chaos.

I really enjoyed watching Harriet and Will team up to rebel against the discrimination that the students have come to accept as normal at Rosemeade. It was utterly frustrating that these teachers (especially the Principal) were allowed to get away with this type of behavior, and no one even batted an eyelash. I was surprised that the parents of a posh institution like Rosemeade didn’t mandate 24-hour security surveillance on campus, which would have exposed the abhorrent behavior much sooner.

I did enjoy watching Harriet and Will’s slow-burn romance unfold, but I did not like the fact that Harriet was already in a committed relationship while her feelings for Will were made quite clear. This may be a trigger for other readers, so that’s something to keep in mind.

Will’s strong will and independence made her one of my favorite characters. Even though she continually got the short end of the stick since she did not come from these incredibly wealthy parents, she refuses to accept the status quo at Rosemeade. Harriet’s character was a bit frustrating at first because she was the classic exemplary student that dismisses questionable behavior from trusted adults because that’s the expectation of Rosemeade. However, once Harriet is “awakened”, I fell in love with her determination to make things right.

Overall, this was a great book that really tackles the notion of standing up for justice and equality, especially when others are too afraid to do so.

Thank you The NOVL for an advanced copy of this book. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Sam (she_who_reads_).
607 reviews15 followers
July 5, 2019
4.5⭐️
This was so stinking adorable and full of strong, empowering messages for young women. Amelia Westlake Was Never Here is basically an enemies to lovers f/f romance set at a prestigious all-girls school in Australia. Throughout the story these girls take on all kinds of social injustices, and are forced to think critically about the way they each see and experience the world around them. A fantastically feminist story that had an organic relationship develop between the two main characters. Highly recommend!!
Profile Image for Bubbles.
85 reviews53 followers
August 18, 2019
"WHO IS AMELIA WESTLAKE???" The suspense is real.

Thanks to the State Library of Victoria for sending me this brilliant book!
If you loved this half as much as me, GO AND VOTE for it for the 2019 Inky Awards HERE!!https://insideadog.com.au/2019-inky-a...

Also! I interviewed Erin Gough for the State Library of Victoria's Inky Awards! You can read it here:
https://inkyawardsblog.insideadog.com...

This book was everything I could have asked for all rolled into one contemporary-style cinnamon roll of a book. The characters!! The plot!! The PRANKS!! The romance!!

Trust me, you want to go and read this book right now. So, go and read it!
Profile Image for Alison.
570 reviews139 followers
January 10, 2018
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's faces.
Profile Image for effbee.
140 reviews283 followers
Want to read
February 20, 2018
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
-girls
-queer girls
-wide brimmed hats
- rebellious youths
-hoaxes?!

amazing
Profile Image for Emmy9394.
65 reviews28 followers
March 22, 2018
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!
Profile Image for Darcey O'Shea.
53 reviews
September 19, 2022
I actually finished this book on 10/09/22, but was quite hesitant to put it on my read or 'currently reading' status for a particular reason. I resonate with the book. I feel like it's liberated me in a specific way only some will be able to understand.

I'm so pleased to finally read a novel with sapphic romance. I wish I read this much earlier for I feel as if I've been missing something like this to express myself with for years!

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was sensual, really fun and honestly perfect.
For fans of heartstopper, this is one for the girls. :) Loved the Australian, private school setting as well. Just a perfect representation for me and definitely a book I cherish!

(I know I didn't have to review this nor explain myself but I wanted to. And I believe the book is largely underrated and deserves to be read. )
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