book reviews

Alyssa’s Reviews – Amelia Westlake Was Never Here by Erin Gough

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

Do you ever read a book over the span of a few days and literally love every second of it?! This was my experience with AMELIA WESTLAKE WAS NEVER HERE by Erin Gough! This book released in early April 2018 in the UK, and was released in North America just a few weeks ago.

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Synopsis (Goodreads.com):

Two very different girls, and one giant hoax that could change – or ruin – everything.
Harriet Price has the perfect life: she’s a prefect at Rosemead Grammar, she lives in a mansion, and her gorgeous girlfriend is a future prime minister. So when she risks it all by creating a hoax to expose the school’s many problems – with help from notorious bad-girl Will Everheart, no less – Harriet tells herself it’s because she’s seeking justice. And definitely not because she finds Will oddly fascinating.
But as Will and Harriet’s campaign heats up, it gets harder for them to remain sworn enemies – and to avoid being caught. As tensions burn throughout the school, how far will they go to keep their mission – and their feelings for each other – a secret?

This book was EVERYTHING I love in YA contemporary novels! It featured two fierce female characters, an all girls private school setting, and some amazing turning points.

Will and Harriet are two of my new favourite YA characters. I felt an attachment with them right from the beginning of the novel, and I could see elements from each of them in myself. They both had two very distinct voices, but meshed together seamlessly. The interactions they had with each other and their own friends were both hilarious and emotional at times.

Books about high-school teenagers set in private schools are some of my favourite books to read. They always consist of a lot of drama and angst, and this one featured all of that and more! I appreciated the ratio of events that took place at school, with both the teachers and their friends, as well as the events that took place outside of school and with their own families. Usually I find something in a book that I would have liked to read about more, but I couldn’t find anything in this book that I would have enjoyed reading more about!

This book was set in Australia, which is where the author is from as well. I don’t think I have ever read a book set in Australia, and I loved reading common phrases that are well known there but not in North America!

This book talks about a lot of important and deep messages. Both of the protagonists in this novel are queer, and a few of their friends are people of colour. This novel also consists a deep discussion about sexual assault, and what exactly defines it. I found these discussions fascinating, and I enjoyed hearing many sides of the topic.

Perhaps one of my favourite parts of this books is something that is not actually included in the book, but rather the ending acknowledgements. Erin Gough shares with readers that while it says “Amelia Westlake Was Never Here”, it turns out that Amelia Westlake was here! She was a hoax that Erin and two of her friends came up with in their final year in high school! Isn’t that so cool?!

Overall, I absolutely loved this book, and rated it 5/5 stars! Thanks to HBG Canada for the ARC!

Good Night Book Owls!

12 thoughts on “Alyssa’s Reviews – Amelia Westlake Was Never Here by Erin Gough

  1. I don’t generally read contemporary but your review has me interested in this one.
    Gemma @ Gemma’s Book Nook

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