contemporary · Reviews

ARC Review: Amelia Unabridged | Ashley Schumacher

Amelia Unabridged | Ashley Schumacher

Page count: 304

Publication date: February 16, 2021

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Genres: 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.

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.

Thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Just going to say it now: This review might have a little less energy than my normal ones because I just finished the book and this book hangover is going to be ROUGH.

Honestly? I never expected this to be one of my ever-elusive five-star books. You know a book is something special when it makes a heart of stone cry and laugh in the duration of barely three hundred pages. This was heartbreaking. But beautiful.

I’ve never read Geekerella or Fangirl or some of the popular books about bookish people, but I knew I was going to like that Amelia was a bookworm! I think most of us fanatical readers can see a bit of ourselves in her and empathize with how books can be everything you need right when you need them.

This is not a light book, which is evident from the synopsis. I found this book to be a very realistic portrayal of not only grief but carving your own path away from what everyone else wants you to do. After Jenna, Amelia’s best friend, died, Amelia was willing to do whatever it took to escape her mourning family and the Jenna-sized hole in her life. Going to that tiny town in Michigan ended up being one of the best decisions she ever made. Seeing her handle her grief and that broken emptiness Jenna left behind was utterly heartbreaking. But as she and Nolan tried to cope together, something beautiful rose from the ashes.

Amelia Unabridged is also, like I said, a great portrayal of the difficulties of carving out your own path. There was this one conversation that I’m probably botching because I can’t remember it exactly, but Amelia made a weak joke about how Jenna was dead and therefore couldn’t force her down a path. But someone (probably Nolan) told her that the dead often have more influence than the living. Amelia wanted to do something related to photography, but she and Jenna had their whole lives mapped out based on the fact that Amelia was going to be an English professor. Parents start getting pushy and you know how it is. Seeing Amelia struggle with that was devastatingly genuine.

I loved the characters! Though I was always a fan of Amelia, I didn’t like Nolan at all at first. But that was when we knew him as N. E. Endsley, who is a very different person than Nolan Endsley. Seeing him come out of his shell and into his own was a journey of his own alongside Amelia’s. To be fair, this book isn’t just about Amelia’s struggle. Nolan has a lot going on too.

But the side characters! Alex was freaking amazing. As always, I love a platonic relationship between a guy and a girl! I saw that we had two guys and I was worried about a love triangle, but phew! Friendships exist!

The writing style was to die for. Rich and detailed, it described everything perfectly. I made some highlights in my ARC, but they don’t copy over to Goodreads, which is annoying. There are some beautiful quotes in this novel.

All in all, this is a new favorite of mine! I’m not really a contemporary book kind of person, but this hit differently. Now all I need to do is get a physical copy.

What did you think? Does the book sound good?

10 thoughts on “ARC Review: Amelia Unabridged | Ashley Schumacher

  1. ‘Phew, friendships exist’ is probably the sentence that will make me pick up this book haha. I looooove books with a guy/girl friendship because there are SO MANY books out there that have the guy meeting the girl they fall in love, etc. what do you even think the number of times that that actually happens irl even is? It happens muuuuch more often in books.
    Awesome review! I’ve seen this book around a bit but never thought much of it. It’s going on my tbr (if it’s not there already)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The synopsis sounds so interesting! So this book is definitely on my TBR. I really enjoyed reading your review and I definitely agree with you that I connect with characters who are also bookish!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I was really doubting if I should pick this up but now everyone is LOVING it and I can’t resist now, can I? Hoping to read this soon, great review!!

    Liked by 2 people

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