Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Review: Dreaming of Amelia by Jaclyn Moriarty

Dreaming of Amelia (Ashbury/Brookfield #4) by Jaclyn Moriarty
Released: March 2010
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Source: Library
Rating: 4/5

Goodreads description:

Amelia and Riley have transferred to Ashbury for their final year of school, and everyone is completely obsessed with them. Glamorous, talented and totally devoted to one another, the two of them drift through school in their own world. But there's more to the couple than meets the eye - they have secrets. And some of them are dangerous to share. As Riley starts to lose his grip on Amelia, the repercussions affect everyone around them.
A spellbinding story about ghosts, secrets, madness, passion, locked doors, femme fatales, and that terrifying moment in the final year of high school when you realise that the future's coming to get you.

My thoughts:

Dreaming of Amelia is the fourth and (I think) final book in the series. I loved the first three books when I read them as a teen, so I was thrilled to find the author had written another book, then even more thrilled to discover it was the final part of the series!

It was so great to catch up with the characters again, and despite not reading the books for over 5 years I could still remember everything about the characters and most of what happened in the previous books which just goes to show you how memorable and well written they are. The story follow three main girls Lydia, Cassie and Emily as well as 2 new inserts; Amelia and Riley, as well as some supporting characters from the previous 3 books. I think Lydia is my favourite, possibly one of my favourite characters ever. She’s so dry and sarcastic and pretty damn awesome. Cassie is a bit airy and kinda like the Cassie in Skins and Emily is hilarious cause she’s just so ditzy and passionate and overreacts about everything.  All the characters have their own little quirks that make their personalities feel so three dimensional. Emily for example, always uses the wrong words and she says the most hilarious things and is addicted to Toblerones. 

The story takes place during the final year of Australian high school and involves 2 students Amelia and Riley a couple who’ve been together for years who just transferred from the ‘rough’ Brookfield school to the private school of Ashbury. The word for this pair is: ENIGMATIC. They are so mysterious and EVERYONE wants to know more about them. The whole plot is so twisty and is revealed to you so slowly which is utterly masterful.  There’s so many little side plots and extra bits but I found it easy to keep track of everything having read the previous books. I’ve noticed the author has this incredible knack of making sure everything unfolds in such as way so as to ensure maximum impact from the audience and I felt this book followed that same pattern. 

Jaclyn Moriarty always tells her stories through other means-letters, notes on the fridge etc-and this one was no different. Told through final exam papers, essays, blogs, email exchanges and poems (I know, it sounds weird, it really works) it was definitely the most unusual way she’s told a story so far, and I was wondering how it was going to work, but I found it a really unique way to tell a story. It was amazing to see just HOW obsessed an entire school could become with 2 pupils, and to see the whole rumour mill that is education spinning. The only thing I will say about this writing style is that you get the same story told from different perspectives, as each character covers the events with their own side of it. This works in a way because it’s so interesting to see how the different characters interpreted the same events, but at the same time it does lead to a little bit of repetition within the book. It’ s also a preeeettty long book (I think nearly 700 pages) probably making it the longest of the series so far. I’ll be honest and admit I did skip a few bits because I found them a little dull to read.

The way everything worked out was amazing, I loved seeing how all the seemingly unrelated things came together to form a cohesive picture at the end. The series was nicely wrapped up; not in a way that feels too fake but also not so little that you’re left dissatisfied. 

I’m so glad I discovered the final instalment to this series and I definitely think this is an underrated YA contemporary series that everyone should read; unique, wonderfully written and full of colourful and diverse characters that feel so real.

Stop by Liz's blog today for her review of The Fine Art of Truth or Dare, and don't forget to check out our Contemporary Summer giveaways!


  1. I've never read any books in this series, but they sound like ones I would have loved when I was a younger teen! I used to like books written in emails and letters and things. Wish I read them a few years ago (though it's not too late now :P). I love that you've described the pair as "enigmatic" - that immediately appeals to me! :P Fab review, and glad you enjoyed the book :).

  2. I didn't know this one existed. Now I need to get my hands on it. How exciting!


    ... A BLOG MAKEOVER! :)

    This may be old news but since I'm just seeing it now, I thought I'd comment! It looks SO GREAT, Cait! :) I loooove it! <3

    Huh, I will definitely have to check out this series! I'm really intrigued by the way in which everything is communicated - it definitely sounds unique and if you say it works for the novel, I'll take your word for it :) OMG though, 700 pages O_O That's pretty intimidating! Thanks for the great review!


  4. Great review. Just curious is The Ghost of Ashbury High part of this series?

  5. I haven't read any of this series, but it sounds fabulous. Thanks for the great review!!

  6. WHOA. 700 pages?! I don't think I've ever seen a YA contemporary that long before LOL. But I understand it, given the style of narration. Shame it comes off as repetitive at times, but the rest sounds awesome.

    Aussie contemp? SERIES? Interesting and quirky characters? Unique ways of storytelling? Cait loved it? OKAY. So maybe I really, really, really need to check out a Jaclyn novel now. Particularly this series. Fantastic review!

  7. I keep hearing wonderful things about this series of book and I even own two of them, but I've still yet to read them. Really must do, it sounds fab!


Thanks to blogger making it easy for us to reply to comments I will now be replying where possible, so if you comment be sure to check back! =]