[ARC] Review #28: Amelia Westlake Was Never Here


A fiercely funny, queer romantic comedy about two girls who can’t stand each other, but join forces in a grand feminist plan to expose harassment and inequality at their elite private school.

Harriet Price is the perfect student: smart, dutiful, over-achieving. Will Everhart is a troublemaker who’s never met an injustice she didn’t fight. When their swim coach’s inappropriate behavior is swept under the rug, the unlikely duo reluctantly team up to expose his misdeeds, pulling provocative pranks and creating the instantly legendary Amelia Westlake–an imaginary student who helps right the many wrongs of their privileged institution. But as tensions burn throughout their school–who is Amelia Westlake?–and between Harriet and Will, how long can they keep their secret? How far will they go to make a difference? And when will they realize they’re falling for each other?

Award-winning author Erin Gough’s Amelia Westlake Was Never Here is a funny, smart, and all-too-timely story of girls fighting back against power and privilege–and finding love while they’re at it.

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Amelia Westlake Was Never Here was pitched to me as a funny rom-com between two girls, and I thought it would be just that. But boy, was I wrong. I ended up DNFing this book around pages sixty through seventy.

When I began to read this book, I immediately realized how quick paced it was and how summarized things felt. It seemed like bits and pieces of the book were cut out/missing.

In terms of our MC Harriet, the majority of her chapters were her trying to be Ms. Goody Two-Shoes. On top of that, she was always torn on whether or not to believe her teachers were as bad as people were saying (they were), even when she herself had had incidents with them.

Will’s chapters were the only ones I felt there were rarely problems with. However, Harriet just drove me up the roof enough to not want to continue the rest. Along with this, the ideas for the cartoons they were creating just seemed to randomly be brought up without much thought actually being put into them.

Ultimately, I was again, really let down by another book. For that, I rate this book 1 star.

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erin-goughErin Gough is a fiction writer whose short stories have been published in a number of journals and anthologies, including Best Australian Stories, The Age, Overland, Southerly and Going Down Swinging. Her work has been broadcast on radio. She has also worked as a freelance writer and columnist. Awards Erin has received for her short fiction include first place in the Banjo Patterson National Short Story Competition, the Wimmera Literary Competition, the University of British Columbia “Ubyssey” Literary Competition and the FAW Frank Page Award for Short Story Writing. She is a past recipient of the Varuna Eleanor Dark Flagship Fellowship for Fiction, an Australian Society of Authors Mentorship, a Bundanon residency and an Australia Council Emerging Writers Grant.

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