Eighteen-year-old Amelia Griffin is obsessed with the famous Orman Chronicles, written by the young and reclusive prodigy N. E. Endsley. They’re the books that brought her and her best friend Jenna together after Amelia’s father left and her family imploded. So when Amelia and Jenna get the opportunity to attend a book festival with Endsley in attendance, Amelia is ecstatic. It’s the perfect way to start off their last summer before college. In a heartbeat, everything goes horribly wrong. When Jenna gets a chance to meet the author and Amelia doesn’t, the two have a blowout fight like they’ve never experienced. And before Amelia has a chance to mend things, Jenna is killed in a freak car accident. Grief-stricken, and without her best friend to guide her, Amelia questions everything she had planned for the future. When a mysterious, rare edition of the Orman Chronicles arrives, Amelia is convinced that it somehow came from Jenna. Tracking the book to an obscure but enchanting bookstore in Michigan, Amelia is shocked to find herself face-to-face with the enigmatic and handsome N. E. Endsley himself, the reason for Amelia’s and Jenna’s fight and perhaps the clue to what Jenna wanted to tell her all along.
I was nervous about this book. It seemed to be about multiple things that usually aren’t up my alley. I know, it’s weird that I would even want to read it or be looking forward to it. But, the line for it online is immense. And some of my friends take every chance they get to say how good this book is. So, I decided to take a chance on it. It might not be about things that I usually read, but there was something about it that I was drawn too. Trigger warnings: grief, anxiety
This book brought me to tears and made me want to grin through them at the same time.
There are the kinds of books that float above the word of “good”. There are books that can’t be encapsulated with all caps. This is one of them. It’s the kind of book I want to find the write words to say, to do it justice. But it’s also the kind of book that seems to be above words, the kind of book that is so good that it balloons feelings until you seem to completely full of them. It’s just a book that I want to do my best to convince people it’s worth a shot.
This is a book about grief. It evokes pain to the point of bursting, but the burst is of a rush of colors.
Usually, in books, I don’t love when they feature a love of books. I haven’t been able to find one I’ve been able to connect to. I hate saying it, but so many of them come across as cringey to me. But this one, wow. It features a love of books, a love of stories. It is a love in it’s purest form. It does not make up Amelia’s entire character, it’s just something that she adores and something she is able to share with her best friend, and she the new friends she makes. I fell in love with the story of this book, the one that is extremely loved by Amelia. It highlighted the main storyline and complimented it in ever way.
How do I describe magic that seems infused with this book? How do I describe the whales that swim through the sky? How do I describe the magic that seems to pull the story together, that seems to pull Amelia where she needs to go? How do I describe how this book feels to be touched with a magic, that it is written with magic along the edges, that makes this book seem just a tiny bit fantastical?
The way this book is written is so, so wonderful. The writing in of itself is just something of pure talent. Every single scene has its place and this is another thing that seems to give this book a piece of magic. Everything is pulled towards its proper place. Characters end up exactly where they need to be and scenes are placed at just the right spot.
This book also has a dog, who drinks coffee and likes to knock people over. It has beautiful bookstore run by some of the best people. It has a character trying to fit herself into life, trying to make sense of grief, and trying to figure out how her future is going to look like, and how she wants it to look. And it also has an epilogue that made me want to sob and smile at the same time (seriously, I feel like I could write a whole review just about how amazing the epilogue is).
This book is worth every single ounce of praise it has gotten and more. Every single piece of love you have seen is so well deserved. I fell completely in love with this book. It’s so, so, so good.