Dear Amy Review

Dear Amy
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: ARC from publisher (released 16th June 2016)
Margot Lewis is the agony aunt for The Cambridge Examiner. Her advice column, Dear Amy, gets all kinds of letters - but none like the one she's just received:

Dear Amy,
I don't know where I am. I've been kidnapped and am being held prisoner by a strange man. I'm afraid he'll kill me.
Please help me soon,
Bethan Avery

Bethan Avery has been missing for years. This is surely some cruel hoax. But, as more letters arrive, they contain information that was never made public. How is this happening? Answering this question will cost Margot everything…

Before we start, I’ve got to say how excited I was to read this book. I was researching new books to see if any took my fancy and I came across Dear Amy on Twitter and found myself on Helen’s (the author) twitter, reading the prologue to Dear Amy. It wasn’t released for another week but knew I couldn’t wait that long. A few days later, I’d received an ARC of the book. It came today. Yes, today. A mere 3 hours after receiving it, I’d finished. I didn’t move from my sofa, I simply sat there and devoured the book in one sitting…and I challenge you not to do the same.

Dear Amy is the debut novel from Helen Callaghan and already, I’m excited for more books…and her first book isn’t even officially released yet! I wouldn’t give the book a recommended age but I do think due to some of the themes in this book, you should be late teens; I’m 22 and found some of the scenes really upsetting.

Dear Amy is written from predominantly Margot’s perspective but we do see some chapters from Katie and Bethan’s point of view (Helen captures their emotions so heartbreakingly beautifully; some chapters brought tears to my eyes).

The prologue begins and Katie Browne, a 15 year old school girl is kidnapped. Everyone believes she’s run away, but the reader knows different. We are introduced to Margot Lewis, a seemingly normal teacher and columnist from Cambridge. She’s an agony aunt for The Examiner and her column is called Dear Amy. We find out that Margot was Katie’s former teacher and Margot can’t shake the niggling feeling that there’s more to Katie’s disappearance than meets the eye…

Margot is checking her letters for her column one day and she comes across one from a woman named Bethan Avery, begging for help and claiming she’s been kidnapped. After a little research, Margot discovers Bethan Avery was a girl who went missing 17 years ago and was never found…

Everyone believes the letters are a hoax, until they become more frequent and more desperate. It all feels far too real for Margot and she can’t help feeling that the disappearances of Bethan and Katie are somehow related…

This book explores the theme of mental health, which for me is a personal subject, as I’d imagine it is for many people reading this; which I think is one of the reasons I completely fell in love with this book and what makes the main protagonist, Margot, so relatable for readers. She’s not perfect, she makes mistakes, she’s unpredictable…but aren’t we all at times?

I can’t say too much more without spoiling anything, just know that Margot won't let it rest until she finds out what really happened to these girls and honestly, I don’t want to take away a single twist or turn from anyone thinking of reading the book. I would highly recommend this book. Although it explores some really tough themes, it still manages to stay fast-paced, easy reading and an all-round brilliant book.

I have to add, there’s a huge revelation at the end. I’m usually so good at guessing and books are usually so cliché with their plot twists but this was an incredible, unpredictable one. Let me know if you were able to suss it out…I definitely wasn’t!

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