Amelia Unabridged | ARC Review #9

Amelia Unabridged is a brilliantly written tale of grief, love, and life.

About the Book

Title: Amelia Unabridged

By: Ashley Schumacher

Page Count: 304 | STANDALONE

Pace: Fast | Genre: YA | Age: 12+

Expected Publication: February 16th 2021

By: Wednesday Books

synopsis pic

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. 

| Goodreads |

I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. Many Thanks to the Author, Publisher, and NetGalley for this e-ARC.

I’m reeling from all the emotions that this book made me feel. I can’t wait to hold a physical copy of this book. I know the plot wasn’t new, but the way this story is told is brilliant. It reminded me of Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer because these books share some common subjects- like death, grief, photography.
Amelia had to watch her father walk out of their house. It was painful, yet she felt numb. People say that sometimes light finds you in darkness, and they weren’t wrong. Amelia found her BFF when she was in her darkest moments. When she was walking down the street to clear her head from hearing her parents’ divorce, she finds Jenna, her classmate, who is perfect in every sense. She asks Amelia to join her at the bookstore, and that’s where she finds her treasure- the Orman Chronicles. She finds refuge in its pages and is obsessed with it. It’s her escape from reality and a source of comfort. She convinces her friend that there is nothing like the Orman chronicles and makes her read it. And that’s how they become book-buddies and end up at a book festival to meet their favorite author N. E. Endsley.
Due to some reason, Endsley cancels his book-signing, which leaves his fans confused, angry, and sad that they couldn’t meet him. Amelia is totally pissed at the universe and is unable to digest this news. Meanwhile, Jenna tells her that she got to meet the said author briefly, and you can guess how it can be with fans. Fans can be dramatic at times, and that’s exactly how she behaves. She shouts at Jenna and is enraged that her BFF betrayed her. After this incident, Amelia distances herself from Jenna. Even when Jenna was flying to Ireland, she doesn’t speak much to her. Little did she know that this was the last time she was going to see her friend. Once she hears the news, it wrecks her. She lets her grief to consume her and doesn’t know how to live in a Jenna-less world. While She tries hard to cope up with her grief and regret, she gets a leather-bound limited edition of the Orman Chronicles and has no clue who had sent it to her. She sets out to find this and wants to know why they did.

I’m so glad to have stumbled upon this book. It felt like a warm hug on a very cold-gloomy day. I could relate to Amelia’s grief a little as I had lost my friend in college too, and was reminded that everyone grieves differently. Amelia’s story was a reminder that people do exist after death- in our memories.
Reading this book felt like skimming through a photo album where you have to pause and notice every tiny detail of each picture because it perfectly captured the essence of the moment. Page after page, she weaves the story of grief, love, sadness, uncertainty through her lens beautifully.
This book transpired the transition from teenage to young adult better. Often YA novels lack this element in them, but this one portrayed everything well– the uncertainty and all the responsibility that accompanies one when you become 18. Amelia realizes that she is on her own now, and no one can make her decisions for her.
I had some issues with the story, but it’s mostly with the plot, so I’m willing to overlook that.
Overall, this is a story that is going to be with me for a while. I devoured each page of this book, and I’m unable to part with it. I highly recommend this book to everyone who loves reading YA fiction.

Everything is a story, not just writing. You need to find the story that means something to you, a story you like telling.


Triggers: Death, Grief, Panic attacks, Divorce, Ignorant Parents

I’m rating this book 3.9 Stars, rounding it to 4 Stars.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The quote above was taken from an ARC and is subject to change upon publication.

Let’s Chat

Is there a book that you read in 2020 that you want to re-read again? Let me know in the comments.

7 comments

  1. Aww this both looks (gorgeous cover!) and sounds like such an amazing book! I do love books that deal sensitively with grief, it is intriguing and somewhat comforting to see the different ways people deal with it… thank you so much for your review Isha, I’m adding Amelia Unabridged to my tbr now!

    Liked by 2 people

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