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.
Initial Thoughts: When I pressed “request book” on Netgalley,I did so with my fingers crossed. I really really wanted to read this book. The cover, the title and the premise all jumped out at me. It was as if the book was telling me, “read me! Read me!”
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.
On the day Amelia’s father left, Amelia and Jenna’s friendship had begun. Years later, Amelia and Jenna are still inseparable as ever, and they are huge fans of the Orman Chronicles. To Amelia, Orman is not just a simple book series, it is the series that got her through a difficult time in her life. Amelia and Jenna have only one summer left before they begin college, and they decide to go to a book convention to meet the reclusive N. E. Endsley, author of the Orman Chronicles. Upon arriving at the convention, Amelia and Jenna discover that Endsley decided not to show up. Disappointed, they fly back home. On the plane, Jenna tells Amelia that she met Endsley briefly, and the two have a huge fight ending with Jenna leaving for Ireland for a few weeks.
A few weeks later, in Ireland, Jenna is killed in a car accident. Amelia is left directionless and does not know where to turn, until a mysterious package shows up addressed to Amelia.
Amelia Unabridged is a young adult contemporary novel that takes us on a journey through dealing with grief and finding your place in the world. I think every eighteen-year-old has the same feeling of restlessness that Amelia has when it comes to knowing what you want to do in the future. Jenna tells Amelia that she should be an English Literature professor, and she makes a detailed life plan for the two of them. But after Jenna’s death, Amelia begins to question Jenna’s plan. Continue reading