Title: Dreaming of Amelia
Author: Jaclyn Moriarty
Published: April 2010
Pages: 578 (excluding about author, title page, etc.)
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.
I have to say that Jaclyn Moriarty has astounded me yet again with her marvellous story writing skills! I have read three of her other books, and all have been amazing, but this has really taken the top place.
Dreaming of Amelia, is again, taking place in Australia, in a school called Ashbury High. The book is in the form of several things: Higher School Certificate Exams – English in the Elective of Gothic Fiction, emails between members of the KL Mason Patterson Scholarship Fund Committee usually about the two scholarship winners, Riley and Amelia and blog posts from shadowgirl (hm) and Emily Thompson.
Emily Thompson, along with Lydia Jaackson-Oberman, Tobias Mazzerati and Riley Smith write their Terms 1 to 4 in the form of their English Extension 2 exams. Other characters who aren’t writing an exam are mentioned in the exams, as it is essentially a story within a story.
The characters are back again in this novel and even more developed and fascinatingly realistic to real life. I enjoyed how, as Ashbury High is a posh private school, how sometimes Riley described Emily, Lydia, Cass, etc. as being very self-centred and just generally, a rich kid, with no depth. I felt that this made the whole thing more realistic, as Moriarty managed to add stereotypes in, as well – and as stereotypes are the basic foundation of life, it added depth to the book.
The mystery element makes you want to read the whole book just to find out what has happened! Throughout the book things happen, things are said, and you don’t initially think they are connected, until Moriarty connects them, and through her excellent writing style, you wonder why you never realised it before.
Rating = 5 Stars
Jaclyn Moriarty manages to create a story in which she joins two seemingly unjoinable (if that is a word!) genres – modern high school lives with gothic fiction and mystery.