Friday, March 30, 2018

Review: Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee by Mary G. Thompson

Amy Chelsea Stacie DeeTitle:  Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee 
Author:  Mary G. Thompson
Publisher:  G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: October 11th, 2016
Pages: 304
Genre:  YA Psychological Drama
Series:  Stand Alone
Source: Paperback
A bittersweet homecoming holds dark secrets in this heart-wrenching story of loss, love, and survival for readers of Room.

When sixteen-year-old Amy returns home, she can’t tell her family what’s happened to her. She can’t tell them where she’s been since she and her best friend, her cousin Dee, were kidnapped six years ago—who stole them from their families or what’s become of Dee. She has to stay silent because she’s afraid of what might happen next, and she’s desperate to protect her secrets at any cost.

Amy tries to readjust to life at “home,” but nothing she does feels right. She’s a stranger in her own family, and the guilt that she’s the one who returned is insurmountable. Amy soon realizes that keeping secrets won’t change what’s happened, and they may end up hurting those she loves the most. She has to go back in order to move forward, risking everything along the way. Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee is a riveting, affecting story of loss and hope.

I have waited so long for this read. I remember when I first discovered this book, it was a very anticipated read for me. I was so bummed when I didn't get approved for the ARC. For some reason after it came out, I just kind of forgot about it. It was lost in my TBR mess. I was at the bookstore and ran across the paperback... which I love this cover more than the hardcover.  SO to the book. I really loved this read. It was intense without being a thriller. There was an intensity to the emotions to the memories. The only action and suspense happened in the very end. But that didn't matter. It was still intense, a quiet kind of intense. 
Amy and Dee were kidnapped as children. Amy was 10 and Dee was 12. They have been gone for 6 years. Amy shows up at one day. Older and a little hesitant. But she comes home. She will not tell the police, her parents, Dee's family, or even her psychologist what happened or where she was. More importantly where Dee is. She keeps her lips sealed. There is a reason she won't tell. Something holding her back. Something worth keeping quiet about. This is Amy's story. Her memories unfold and the past 6 years unfold many secrets. This is also the story of how Amy finds her way again, learns how to be a teenager, and finds herself once again... without Dee. 

I don't really know where to start with this review. This is a very hard book to because I don't want to give anything away and also because the emotions. So many emotions. This story made my heart break, my anger rage, my fear to climb. I mean yes all the emotions. Once we get past the heartache, the fear, the anger, we get the smiles, the love, the heartwarming, the hope. So there is a good amount of it all. 

I love Amy. She is so messed up but it is so understandable. One moment I was so angry at her for not telling her story, not speaking about Dee, not letting anyone help her out and catch the creep that stole her. But once her story starts to come out in her memories... I just feel for her and want to wrap her up and comfort her. I understand her fear and her desire to keep it all in. She was a fierce character. Brave for all that she went through and still here. She tried so hard to keep going,to have hope,even in her darkest days. She is a complex character full of guilt and anger and happiness and guilt again. She has lost and loved and lived. She has been broken and yet she stands whole. She was so complex,so layered. 

The story is a hard one. Its full of nasty things and messed up people. Full of horrible moments and nightmares. The author did a good job on getting the emotion through without making the story hard to get through. I think it helped knowing Amy was safe. She was back home. I had to live it through her memories but I knew the outcome of her being safe. The real mystery was what happened to Dee and why won't Amy speak about it. 

Relationships grew in the book. Broken ones that were once full of hope to finally letting go only to see that the hope maintained. Amy was back but there was so much brokenness in her and within her family that it was hard to find what she once cherished. Not only did she have to work on her old relationships and find how to fall back into the ordinary of family, she had to struggle with fitting in with her peers. Her life nothing like theirs for the past six years.She manages though, and she even manages to catch the eye of a very sweet boy. 

Now there isn't much romance. Just a friendship that is headed to more if Amy is ever in the spot that it can develop.The boy is so sweet too. So patient and understanding. He is the first that Amy opens up to about Dee and he keeps her secrets, he tells others to leave her alone give her time while not pushing by slowly encouraging Amy to open up... at least to Dee's sister. They need to know the truth of what happened. 

Really it is a great book. Deep and twisted... but not to the point where its a hard read. 

I really did love this book. A great psychological read! 

Mary G. ThompsonMary G. Thompson was raised in Cottage Grove and Eugene, Oregon. She was a practicing attorney for more than 7 years, including almost 5 years in the U.S. Navy. She graduated from The New School's Writing for Children program in 2012 and is now a law librarian in Washington, DC. Find her on the web at

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