Title: Amelia Unabridged
Author: Ashley Schumacher
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: February 16, 2021
Sparks fly between two teens as they grapple with grief, love, and the future.
Eighteen-year-old Amelia Griffin is obsessed with the famous Orman Chronicles, written by the young and reclusive prodigy N. E. Endsley. They’re the books that brought her and her best friend Jenna together after Amelia’s father left and her family imploded. So when Amelia and Jenna get the opportunity to attend a book festival with Endsley in attendance, Amelia is ecstatic. It’s the perfect way to start off their last summer before college.
In a heartbeat, everything goes horribly wrong. When Jenna gets a chance to meet the author and Amelia doesn’t, the two have a blowout fight like they’ve never experienced. And before Amelia has a chance to mend things, Jenna is killed in a freak car accident. Grief-stricken, and without her best friend to guide her, Amelia questions everything she had planned for the future.
When a mysterious, rare edition of the Orman Chronicles arrives, Amelia is convinced that it somehow came from Jenna. Tracking the book to an obscure but enchanting bookstore in Michigan, Amelia is shocked to find herself face-to-face with the enigmatic and handsome N. E. Endsley himself, the reason for Amelia’s and Jenna’s fight and perhaps the clue to what Jenna wanted to tell her all along.
Amelia met her best friend Jenna and discovered the Orman Chronicles books at the same time. They both love the series, and go to meet the author N.E. Endsley at a book festival after they graduate high school. Amelia is devastated when the author has to cancel his appearance, after Jenna has secretly talked him through a panic attack. They return home and Jenna goes on a trip with her family, but she’s killed in a car accident. Amelia can’t deal with the grief, and spends time with Jenna’s parents who treat her like their own child. Then, Amelia receives a special edition of N.E. Endsley’s book in the mail, and she’s sure that Jenna somehow sent it to her. Amelia goes to the bookstore listed on the return address to find some closure after Jenna’s death, but instead she finds N.E. Endsley himself.
This story explores different stages of grief. Amelia has lost her family, since her father left when she was a teen and her mom checked out of their lives. She found Jenna and was included in her family, but then Jenna died suddenly. Amelia felt like she had to fill the gap left from Jenna’s life for Jenna’s parents. Nolan, the author, also experienced devastating losses, which fueled his writing. Art became an outlet for Jenna and Nolan to express their grief and find closure.
There were some upsetting things that happened in the first couple of chapters. I even contemplated putting the book down because I thought this was going to be a tear jerker. However, I became very invested in finding out why Amelia received that book so I couldn’t put it down. The tone of the story lifted after the first few chapters and made this an easy read.
I could relate to both Amelia and Nolan. I have felt strong connections to my favourite authors, like Amelia felt when she read Nolan’s stories. I am also a fiction writer, so I could relate to Nolan. There’s a special connection between an author and a reader, which was an important part of this story.
I loved the ending of this story so I’m very glad that I read it. This is a beautiful story.
Thank you Wednesday Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
All This Time by Mikki Daughtry and Rachael Lippincott
Agnes at the End of the World by Kelly McWilliams
Have you read Amelia Unabridged? What did you think of it?