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Amelia Westlake - Erin Gough

Amelia Westlake

By: Erin Gough

Paperback | 1 April 2018 | Edition Number 1

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From Ampersand Prize-winning author Erin Gough comes this ferociously funny romp through an elite private school, and a brilliant feminist 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 decides to risk it all by helping bad-girl Will Everhart expose the school’s many ongoing issues, Harriet tells herself it’s because she too is seeking justice. And definitely not because she finds Will oddly fascinating.

Will Everhart can’t stand posh people like Harriet, but even she has to admit Harriet's ideas are good – and they’ll keep Will from being expelled. That’s why she teams up with Harriet to create Amelia Westlake, a fake student who can take the credit for a series of provocative pranks at their school.

But the further Will and Harriet’s hoax goes, the harder it is for the girls to remember they’re sworn enemies – and to keep Amelia Westlake’s true identity hidden. As tensions burn throughout the school, how far will they go to keep Amelia Westlake – and their feelings for each other – a secret?

Perfect for fans of David Levithan and Becky Albertalli, this triumphant queer YA rom-com explores politics, privilege and power, and has a gloriously uplifting teen romance at its heart.

About the Author

Erin Gough is a Sydney-based writer. Amelia Westlake is her second novel. It won the 2019 Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature and the 2018 Readings Young Adult Book Prize, was a finalist in the 2018 Queensland Literary Awards, was shortlisted in the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction and the 2019 Indie Book Awards. It has been published in the United States as Amelia Westlake Was Never Here.

Erin's first novel for young adults, The Flywheel, won the Ampersand Prize. The Flywheel was published in the US as Get it Together, Delilah! and in Germany, and was shortlisted for the CBCA’s Book of the Year for Older Readers and the Centre for Youth Literature’s Gold Inky.

Erin’s award-winning short stories have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies including Best Australian Stories, The Age, Overland, Southerly and Going Down Swinging. Erin is a past recipient of the Varuna Eleanor Dark Flagship Fellowship for Fiction and an Australian Society of Authors Mentorship.
Industry Reviews

'A delightful, timely romantic comedy of two opposites attracting, connecting and fighting for justice together at a private girls' school. I fell in love with Amelia Westlake.'
- Justine Larbalestier, author of Liar and My Sister Rosa

'The characters were so good, believable and believably flawed, witty and warm - and it was deliciously subversive, with such a relevant and timely sting in its tail.'
- Melissa Keil, author of Life in Outer Space and The Secret Science of Magic

'Funny, smart, romantic and uplifting, Amelia Westlake will steal your heart, together with Will Everhart and Harriet Price, the mischievous social justice warriors who gave her life. Together, they hatch a plan to challenge injustice and shine a light on hypocrisy and privilege, wreaking a fair amount of mischief along the way. You'll fall in love with all three of them, like I did.'
- Nicole Hayes, author of One True Thing

'A brilliant social satire with a feminist vibe and two strong main characters whose voices alternate telling the story. This smart, sassy novel skewers a range of issues including sexism, elitism and lack of diversity with a light touch. Gough has created a clever, engaging feminist romp for readers aged 12 and up that is utterly unputdownable.'
- Angela Crocombe, Books + Publishing

Praise for the US edition, Amelia Westlake Was Never Here:
'Quirky, original, and completely charming characters, an adorable love story, plus a feminist plot to take down institutionalized misogyny at a stuffy prep school... Yes please. I loved everything about this book.'
- Sarah Watson, creator of The Bold Type

'Rom-com and YA fans alike will flock to this simultaneously familiar and refreshing story. Author Erin Gough has created a refreshing, timely, and downright delightful story with a diverse, three-dimensional cast of characters whose hijinks are thrilling without being unrealistic. Queer-identifying readers will be particularly excited to see that both heroines are sure of and comfortable in their sexuality, never hiding who they are despite social and familial pressures. Like the most adept writers for this age group, Gough admirably presents young readers with clear examples of personal growth, acceptance, and healthy relationships without getting heavy-handed.'
- School Library Connection (starred review)

'Opposites attract in this story of pranks, justice, and hate-to-love romance. The [protagonists'] romance is well-paced and satisfying. Emotional abuse, heterosexism, and racism are all touched upon in the narrative but are secondary to the skewering of sexism and institutional hypocrisy ... Empowering.'
- Kirkus

'Gough's novel pulses with hilarious, defiant heart. I rooted for unlikely allies Harriet and Will from the first pages and couldn't get enough of their chemistry. Maybe Amelia Westlake is imaginary, but her triumph over injustice is so gratifying and genuine.'
- Adrienne Kisner, author of Dear Rachel Maddow

'Empowering and insightful, Amelia Westlake Was Never Here is a rollicking reminder that even the smallest actions can change the world. This book is a feminist, romantic delight.'
- Ashley Herring Blake, author of Suffer Love

'Filled with surprises and twists, Amelia Westlake Was Never Here is so smart and quick that I found myself speed reading to find out what happened next-and then going back to make sure I didn't miss a single line. Clever and effortless.'
- Katrina Leno, author of You Must Not Miss

'Sharp-witted and unapologetically queer, with an opposites-attract romance I absolutely adored.'
- Malinda Lo, author of A Line in the Dark

'A delightful, timely romantic comedy of two opposites attracting, connecting and fighting for justice together at a private girls' school. I fell in love with Amelia Westlake.'
- Justine Larbalestier, author of Liar and My Sister Rosa

-- Justine Larbalestier

'The characters were so good, believable and believably flawed, witty and warm - and it was deliciously subversive, with such a relevant and timely sting in its tail.'
- Melissa Keil, author of Life in Outer Space and The Secret Science of Magic

-- Melissa Keil

'Funny, smart, romantic and uplifting, Amelia Westlake will steal your heart, together with Will Everhart and Harriet Price, the mischievous social justice warriors who gave her life. Together, they hatch a plan to challenge injustice and shine a light on hypocrisy and privilege, wreaking a fair amount of mischief along the way. You'll fall in love with all three of them, like I did.'
- Nicole Hayes, author of One True Thing

-- Nicole Hayes

'A brilliant social satire with a feminist vibe and two strong main characters whose voices alternate telling the story. This smart, sassy novel skewers a range of issues including sexism, elitism and lack of diversity with a light touch. Gough has created a clever, engaging feminist romp for readers aged 12 and up that is utterly unputdownable.'

Angela Crocombe is the manager of Readings Kids

-- Angela Crocombe * Books and Publishing *
Starred review for the US edition, Amelia Westlake Was Never Here:
Rom-com and YA fans alike will flock to this simultaneously familiar and refreshing story. Author Erin Gough has created a refreshing, timely, and downright delightful story with a diverse, three-dimensional cast of characters whose hijinks are thrilling without being unrealistic. Queer-identifying readers will be particularly excited to see that both heroines are sure of and comfortable in their sexuality, never hiding who they are despite social and familial pressures. Like the most adept writers for this age group, Gough admirably presents young readers with clear examples of personal growth, acceptance, and healthy relationships without getting heavy-handed.

* School Library Connection *
Praise for the US edition, Amelia Westlake was Never Here:

Opposites attract in this story of pranks, justice, and hate-to-love romance. The [protagonists'] romance is well-paced and satisfying. Emotional abuse, heterosexism, and racism are all touched upon in the narrative but are secondary to the skewering of sexism and institutional hypocrisy ... Empowering. * Kirkus *
Praise for the US edition, Amelia Westlake was Never Here:
'Gough's novel pulses with hilarious, defiant heart. I rooted for unlikely allies Harriet and Will from the first pages and couldn't get enough of their chemistry. Maybe Amelia Westlake is imaginary, but her triumph over injustice is so gratifying and genuine.' -Adrienne Kisner, author of Dear Rachel Maddow
-- Adrienne Kisner
Praise for the US edition, Amelia Westlake was Never Here:
'Empowering and insightful, Amelia Westlake Was Never Here is a rollicking reminder that even the smallest actions can change the world. This book is a feminist, romantic delight.' -- Ashley Herring Blake
Praise for the US edition, Amelia Westlake Was Never Here:
'Filled with surprises and twists, Amelia Westlake Was Never Here is so smart and quick that I found myself speed reading to find out what happened next-and then going back to make sure I didn't miss a single line. Clever and effortless.' -- Katrina Leno
Praise for the US edition, Amelia Westlake Was Never Here:
'Sharp-witted and unapologetically queer, with an opposites-attract romance I absolutely adored.' -- Malinda Lo
Praise for the US edition, Amelia Westlake Was Never Here:
'Quirky, original, and completely charming characters, an adorable love story, plus a feminist plot to take down institutionalized misogyny at a stuffy prep school... Yes please. I loved everything about this book.' -- Sarah Watson, creator of The Bold Type

2019 Victorian Premier's Award Young Adult Shortlist