Title: Amelia Unabridged
Author: Ashley Schumacher
Pub. Date: February 16, 2021
Pub: Wednesday Books
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
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.
This will be a spoiler free review. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review. I loved this. I can’t quite seem to put my feelings into words, but this felt like comfort. Like being seen – if that makes sense. A part of me truly resonated with this book and it almost felt like it held the childhood nostalgia of Narnia and Bridge to Terabithia.
It felt like coming home.
The feelings this book drug out of me, the way I inhaled it because I legitimately couldn’t put it down. I didn’t find anything in the book super emotional (I’ll explain why in a minute) but I felt like I was transported to a new world. Everything was cozy and vivid and just inviting. It was like fate had its own plans and I was just there to experience this story.
Ugh, I’m not wording any of this right, because I don’t know how to explain what I’m still feeling having finished this book.
Okay, I know we’re all mad at JKR and HP, but do you remember that very first time that world opened up to you? Or when you walked through the wardrobe with the Pevensie kids? Or crossing the bridge into Terabithia?
Do you remember how a new world just opened up in front of you and the possibilities were endless? How you’d create these fantastical worlds and stories for yourself to occupy your mind – where you were the main character going on these adventures…
You’d receive the letter; you’d save Narnia or you’d just create this utterly fantastical place and pretend you were there when running through trees – that pure love and adoration for having those world and experiences to escape to.
That’s what this book made me feel.
I still don’t know if I’ve explained it correctly, but I just felt utterly seen and heard and understood. Amelia being in love with a series of books that changed her life, growing up loving and cherishing them and then wanting to meet her idol that changed her world – hell, also saved it.
While I can’t relate to everything Amelia goes through in this book, I know the desire to want to meet someone who means the world to you, who shaped you. Hell, Christopher Paolini was the author that convinced me that I wanted to write and tell stories. He’s my N.E. Endsley. Without him, I don’t know if I’d be where I am today – I don’t know if I would have fallen in love with telling stories, not just reading them.
So, I get Amelia. I resonate with her. I also understand the feeling of not knowing what’s next, not knowing what to do with your life. How everything can be planned out, and something can come along and derail it.
So, yeah. I loved this book. I found it to be such an easy and enjoyable read. I will say that I did find the pacing to be really fast. This only slightly bothered me, but really didn’t detract from the story as a whole. This is also totally an emotional read for me, so I wasn’t really being too critical. I will say that I wish the pacing had been a bit slower, just so that a little more time could have been spent with the characters. I think that they suffered a little bit, as did the world building (just a tad) since everything kind of happened at light speed. Again, I don’t think this detracts from the story – I still absolutely loved it – but a slightly slower pace would have been really helpful. Especially the flashback scenes Amelia has of her and Jenna. One moment we would be in the present, and then suddenly in a flashback. I would have liked either a different font to differentiate, or a little more build up.
I also understand that the relationship Amelia forms with Endsley is supposed to be dipped in fate, but I kind of wish they’d spent a little more time together. Outside of an emotional, binge read high, it’s kind of hard to believe. With the fast pace, I think the emotional weights suffer. So, a slightly slower pace would allow for more time and for those emotional weights that have a bigger impact.
But I’m not going to judge to harshly because there does seem to be a fate element and it’s still just such a good book. This is a new favorite, and I can’t wait to reread it. I’m going to be recommending this book to everyone and if you haven’t yet, make sure you preorder or buy during release week!