I’ve been wanting to use the words “richly imagined” in one of my reviews, and now I finally have my chance to do it for Ashley Schumacher’s Amelia Unabridged.
Flying whales, a personal storm cloud that rains on Amelia invisibly during her darkest moments, spirit-infested winds that (usually) push her in the right direction, and the enchanted forest of Ormon: Amelia’s world is no ordinary place. Amelia’s best friend, Jenna Williams, is the star in her universe – the undeniable force of Nature that makes all things possible. As Amelia so aptly puts it:
“If (Jenna) was a star in the galaxy, I was one of those astronauts that gets disconnected from their ship and floats through space until they run out of oxygen.”
Jenna brings magic and possibility into Amelia’s dreary, difficult life. Amelia’s father has left,and her mother has retreated into herself. Jenna’s irrepressible zest for life brightens Amelia’s world when she is unofficially adopted into the Williams family as Jenna’s Bestie and Soul Sister.
When tragedy strikes and Jenna is killed in a car accident, Amelia is bereft, unable to move on with her own life. Jenna had so many plans for them both – she’d mapped it all out on a chart. How could she leave for college and fulfill Jenna’s plans for them without her?
One day, shortly after Jenna’s funeral, Amelia receives a rare edition of a book from her favourite author, N.E. Endsley.
Her decision to travel to Michigan and seek out the identity of the person who mailed her the book is one of many decisions that eventually lead Amelia on the path to autonomy and self-fulfillment. (Note: Jenna had plotted out an academic career for Amelia, totally disregarding Amelia’s gift as a photographer.)
I enjoyed this vividly written story: I was always eager to get back to it. The Epilogue was sadly sweet, as summing ups will sometimes be. I highly recommend this superbly written Young/New Adult novel to everyone. A solid 5 out of 5! My thanks to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
(Just saw on NetGalley that Ashley Shumacher has a new book coming out soon!!! Going to stock up on some tissues! I can’t wait!!!)
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