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Saturday, 30 January 2010

Review - Dreaming of Amelia by Jaclyn Moriarty

Publisher: Macmillan

Publication date: 2 April 2010

Pages: 580

Dreaming of Amelia is one of the most intelligently written stories I have come across.

Set at private school Ashbury High, Sydney - this dark, witty novel tells the tale of two mysterious new students who are selected for a scholarship programme. The story is kept light and accessible by presenting the unfolding events in a range of media, including: essays, student's blogs, confidential emails from staff, newspaper articles and letters. The book will have definite appeal for gossip girl fans.

The HSC English essays are the student's representation of what goes on at Ashbury High in their final year, telling the story in the style of Gothic fiction. I was fascinated to gradually discover the pasts of the complicated, attractive, talented Amelia and Riley. Moriarty weaves several distinctly separate strands in the story from past and present, and joins them together to create a bittersweet novel about the importance of our historical roots, growing up, the impact of parenting and abuse on young people and learning important life lessons.

At first I disliked most of the characters, which later made them all the more real. As the story continues their flaws and achievements became a part of the tale, which culminates in an intelligently constructed ending drawing all these strands together that I guarantee, will warm even the most cynical of hearts.

This isn't a story for the impatient teen reader, but if you love a good book that makes you think, Moriarty will leave you speechless!


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