Sparks fly between two teens as they grapple with grief, love, and the future in this unforgettable debut novel sure to entice fans of Jandy Nelson and Jennifer E. Smith
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.
Ashley Schumacher's devastating and beautiful debut, Amelia Unabridged, is about finding hope and strength within yourself, and maybe, just maybe, falling in love while you do it.
Schumacher centers storytelling as a means of expression, connection, and keeping the dead alive in this emotionally immersive debut. Shortly after the death of her best friend, Jenna, 18-year-old Amelia receives a mysterious package containing a signed copy of her favorite book the first of the Orman Chronicles fantasy series, written by 19-year-old N.E. Endsley. Sure that the book was sent by Jenna, Amelia heads to the lakeside Michigan town where it was posted to find answers about its provenance and Jenna's death. Her search for meaning takes Amelia to a rambling, colorful bookstore, somehow both delightfully cozy and endlessly rambling, run by a wise bookseller named Val, her son Alex, and the reclusive N.E. Endsley himself, who Amelia soon discovers is harboring a painful loss and secrets of his own. Employ-\ning expressive prose that communicates the emotion and tumult that can accompany the death of a loved one at any age, Schumacher leaves characters and readers with a sense of hope. Ages 12 up.
A gorgeous book about growing up and finding magic in the world - in books and in life. Amelia goes on a quest, while she navigates her grief, and finds so much more than she expected. Lovely from the first page to the last!
Beautiful YA Story
This is a YA story and also a book of navigating life when you are coming to that age where you need to decide how you want to live as a grown up. For me, it was too predictable and too simple.
Amelia and Jenna, best friends and in their last year of high school before they begin college. Amelia comes from a broken family. But friendship with Jenna bears wonderful gifts, including a loving and caring family unit. Jenna’s parents include her in everything and love her like she is their own.
Jenna is killed in a freak car accident while in Ireland. Amelia’s life, once again, is broken and shredded.
I’m not going to get too much into the as it’s best to find out what happens through reading of the book.
It’s wonderful to see a character grow throughout the book. Overall, it’s a lovely story, beautifully written, interweaving hope and love when someone feels they’ve hit bottom. Admittedly, I did shed some tears.
The book cover is gorgeous, but don’t be fooled by climbing into the book with its luxurious cover. While i loved parts of it, it was difficult for me because Amelia felt so young and naive. And it is a YA book, through and through. If you enjoy YA fiction then I recommend you read this wonderful book.
I am rounding this book up to 4 stars because for a YA reader, it’s a fantastic and beautiful story. This is Ashley Schumacher’s first book and I should have known I wasn’t the intended audience.
Well done, Ashley! 💝
Must read for fans of heartbreakers with a happily ever after!
A heartbreaking and beautiful romance about friendship, first love, found families, and the undeniable power of stories. Highly recommend.