Aimee

( 45 )

Overview

Aimee's dead, and everyone believes that her best friend helped her commit suicide.  After Aimee dies, after the trial, after the move to the new town, she's completely alone-paralyzed by he loneliness, guilt and anger at everyone's suppression of the truth.  Isolated, she writes in her journal, and gradually lets readers into her world.  A world where parents don't listen, therapists don't help, and best friends betray you.  In the end, she realizes that while she never could have saved ...

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Overview

Aimee's dead, and everyone believes that her best friend helped her commit suicide.  After Aimee dies, after the trial, after the move to the new town, she's completely alone-paralyzed by he loneliness, guilt and anger at everyone's suppression of the truth.  Isolated, she writes in her journal, and gradually lets readers into her world.  A world where parents don't listen, therapists don't help, and best friends betray you.  In the end, she realizes that while she never could have saved Aimee, she might be able to save herself.

After she is accused of playing a role in her best friend's death, a young woman battles depression, anger, guilt, loneliness, and the problems of her own family as well as those of the families of her old friends.

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Editorial Reviews

Washington Post
...a gripping whodunit...that puts you convincingly in the shoes of a smart, funny, very unlucky 17-year-old girl.
Publishers Weekly
PW called this novel narrated by a troubled teen, recently acquitted of murder charges, "an intense psychological drama." Ages 14-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT
Aimee is dead. She was Zoe's best friend and part of a group of friends who live in the suburbs in middle-class comfort. We soon see from the narrator's angry voice that she has been accused in the death of Aimee, that there has been a trial, that the narrator's mother is an ambitious lawyer, that the friends somehow betrayed her. In a fragmented narration, back and forth in time, we learn just how disturbed Aimee was, tormented by
VOYA
In a dark, compelling voice, the nameless teen narrator recounts the parameters of her legal sentence. She must not see her close friends again, she is forced to transfer to a new school, and she must attend psychiatric counseling sessions. Why? Because her best friend, Aimee, is dead. Although readers do not get the answers to their questions about how this tragic death occurred until the conclusion of the story, they will be consumed by the narrator's fixation with the end of everything. She wonders aloud what it must feel like to let all fall away and to end life's struggles. In her friendless state, she realistically dabbles in anorexia, hospitalization, and alienation from her confused parents. First love and the limits of friendship are strong themes that thread their way convincingly through the unfolding story of Aimee's death. It would be a mistake to give away too much of this mysterious first-person narrative, but librarians and teachers must take note that this novel is a believable high school tale of wild emotion and actions gone wrong. It could reflect a story from the local newspaper, with its moral lessons about listening and communicating with peers and the older generation. A natural for booktalking, this book is recommend for health curriculum bibliographies as well as for leisure reading. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2002, Dutton, 308p,
— Nancy Zachary
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Zoe is one angry 17-year-old. Having recently been acquitted of assisting her best friend's suicide, she is seeing a court-appointed psychiatrist who has suggested she write the journal that forms this book. The entries slip backward and forward in time and Zoe has complaints about 99 percent of her life. She feels that no adults have ever paid sufficient attention to her wants and needs and that when they DO pay attention they are controlling and stifling and stupid. Given that her family has moved to another town and she is forbidden to communicate with her hometown friends, Zoe has good reason to feel hung out to dry. And given that her parents seem to be hoping that she will get over Aimee's death and the trial and be a happy high school senior, it's no wonder that she's severely depressed. Bit by bit, the story of her old group-their risky behavior (including drinking and sex) and frequent challenges to authority-emerges from Zoe's writing. The lack of genuine communication between the younger and older generations provides the tragic climate for Aimee's suicide and hinders Zoe's ability to recover. Her voice is not always consistent but her unhappiness and her grittiness are difficult to dismiss. There are a lot of issues here that bear addressing, and Miller handles them in a way that teens will easily grasp. By the end, Zoe has even managed to gain some perspective and has decided to get on with her life.-Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In a journal being written for therapy, an unnamed narrator tells of being accused of the murder of her best friend. Quite realistically the girl jumps between past and present as her thoughts travel over these momentous events. Separated from her tightknit group of friends both at the order of the court and because her parents have moved to a new town for her sake, this girl is isolated, bereft, and damaged. The mystery is what really happened and whether this JK-"Jack Kevorkian"-could have saved her friend, aided and abetted in her death, or worse. Consequences for herself, her family, and friends include a severe anorexia, which leads to a hospital stay, parents separating, and the knowledge that Aimee's death was a result of unbearable pain. Avoiding flamboyance and trendy dialogue, first-time novelist Miller simply tells the story using her narrator's voice, which is compelling. Often, in such stories the secret seems less than the buildup, but this time it is not. Aimee found herself beyond help and no longer able to bear her life despite being in a supportive, albeit imperfect, group of friends who shared alcohol, flawed parents, and sometimes sex. For the narrator, being accused of killing Aimee is only a small part of anguish. A keen observer, slightly self-absorbed, she is convincing; the revelations of the past drift into her recounting of the present, offering clues as though this were a gripping thriller. The complexities of her relationship with her super-perfectionist lawyer mother and disengaged father are aptly portrayed without demonizing or excusing any of them. A late revealing of the name of the narrator is symbolic of the healing that is beginning and indicates thatall has finally been told. A fascinating character study that will intrigue readers wanting to go beyond sensationalistic headlines. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142400258
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/9/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.35 (w) x 6.76 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 45 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(38)

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(5)

3 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    This is a wonderful book. It covers the very important subjects of suicide and depression with grace and respect.

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  • Posted January 2, 2011

    Favorite Book of All Time!

    My all time favorite book. Very well written and kept my attention the whole time. They need to make it available on the Nook!

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  • Posted October 6, 2010

    Looked and Looked

    I have looked everywhere for this book, i read it when i was in middle school. My friends and i, shared this story our whole middle school days. I have moved away since then, and have looked for this book in every book store and library since i was 15. I am 18 now, and very happy that i finally found the one book that helped me through my rough childhood. I even spent alittle extra on shipping cost because it really is that good. I recommend this book to any mother or father that has a akward teen. I just love this book ever since i was about 12, and i can't wait till i can read it again.

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  • Posted April 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    WONDERFUL, AMAZING, MOVING!!

    This is one of my favorite books of all time!! It is thrilling and I couldn't put it down. Miller writes this book so wonderfully!! You have to keep reading to figure anything out...even the narraters first name!! Miller keeps you wondering and hoping and the ending is wonderful too! I REALLY, REALLY recommend Aimee by Mary Beth Miller!! :))

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  • Posted January 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Powerful Story

    I love to read but few books have touched me as this one, I read it as an assignment in college and have reread it many times since. It was an amazing story of how hard young people sometimes struggle for guidance and strength. I recomend it to anyone

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  • Posted January 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Powerful, thought provoking, and healing

    When I first read this book, I was blown away by Miller's exceptional writing skills and how she created this story. I have read it at least 10 times since I got this book about 4 years ago. My heart aches with Zoe's as she tells such an incredible story. In 2006, my brother took his own life and my world was shattered. A couple months after his death, I found this book amidst a pile of others and remembered it. I opened it up and started to read it again, this time, analyzing every situation presented. I was a lot like Zoe; I developed an eating problem, my home life was going down the drain, and I was a near mute at my new school. Grief had paralyzed every aspect of my life. This book put things in perspective for me. If Zoe can improve and discover her strength, so could I. It took a long time, but I have healed an incredible amount (not completely) from my brother's death. I never found solace in 'handbooks' about grieving after a suicide; instead, i took comfort in reading this compelling novel. Thank you, Mary Miller.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2008

    Aimee

    Your best friend has just committed suicide, and you're accused of helping her. You're put on trial for murder, and all your once best friends have betrayed you. Your parents decide to move you to a new town, and you're sent to a counseler. Enter Zoey. <BR/>After her best friend, Aimee, commits suicide, she is accused of helping her, and tried for murder. After the trial, her parents move her to a new town where she doesn't know anyone, and doesn't care to try to make any new friends. She's sent to a therapist. The therapist gives her a journal. This is Zoey's story.<BR/>Slowly, you enter Zoey's world. A world where parents don't listen, or don't care to listen, and where betrayal is common. Zoey describes a world of hurt, and pain that no 17 year-old should ever have to experience. She tells stories of her, Aimme, Chard, Kates, and Jason. She tells everything up until and shortly after Aimee's death. <BR/><BR/>I would definitley reccomend this book. I couldn't put it down. It captures you from start to finish.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2008

    The Life of Your Best Friend After Suicide

    What would you do if your best friend told you they wanted to die? Aimee was your average teenage girl. She was the most popular girl in school everybody loved her. Aimee couldn¿t die alone, and so she asked her best friend to help her. Aimee¿s best friend was not at all fond of the idea at all. Before she knew it though, Aimee had killed herself, and her best friend was accused of murdering her because she was there during Aimee¿s death when really she had nothing to do with it. Find out what happens to Aimee¿s best friend as she tries to recover from the suicide and read this book. There was nothing not to like about the book it was suspenseful, entertaining, and some of the material I could relate with real well. At first, I thought the book was a total bore. As I kept reading though, it gained intensity and proved to be a wonderful book. I liked how the author wrote the book in the point of Aimee¿s best friend¿s view. It showed me what her thoughts on Aimee were, and how she dealt with the whole ordeal. Aimee¿s best friend would flash back to the times when Aimee was still around, and that helped me to get a better understanding of how Aimee lived. This book is not part of a series, but it reminded me a lot of some of the sappy, serious, suspenseful shows I¿ve seen on Lifetime. I recommend this book to both boys and girls especially teenagers. If you enjoy serious, mysterious books, look no farther, this is the book for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2007

    This book is unforgettable!

    'Aimee', by Mary Beth Miller, is about a girl who dies. This story is about a group of friends who are all 16. It is a mixture of both boys and girls. They do everything together. They have been friends for as long as they can remember. Stress evolves into so much that one of the friends develops a deep depression. The rest of the group is worried about Aimee so they take turns staying with her. Her best friend is falsely accused of murdering her. She now lives with the pressure of being a high school student, losing her best friend and now a murderer. The friend goes through therapy and high school as an accused murderer. She can only turn to one person who was close to both Aimee and her. In 'Aimee' the story line jumps around between situations and time frames. This could cause confusion for the reader. If you can keep track of the jumps then you would love this book like I did. I could not put it down. It takes awhile for me to find a book that I HAVE to finish, and this one did it for me! The story was relatable for me, because as a teen I also know how it feels to not being listened to or believed. Miller made the situation so real to life that I felt pulled in emotionally and I cared about the outcome of the characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2007

    By Chance...

    I wound up reading this book (by chance) at the same time we were learning about the depression/suicide unit in health. Both helped me better understand teen suicide and how horrible it is, truly. The book makes you feel things, and most of the feelings you get aren't good, however that is one of the best parts of this book: it doesn't sugar-coat anything. Even the main character, Zoe (whose name you don't find out until the very end), is not the type of person you'd want to hang out with, but a very good narrator. I'd recommend this book to just about anyone looking for a good book that has a ton of emotion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2007

    Amazing!

    i absolutly love this book. it is about a girl dealing with her best friend's death and the role that she played in it all. you uncover her history as the story takes you through all it's twists and turns. it is very creativley written and an amazing story. i never get tired of re-reading it and i would highly recommend it to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2006

    definite favorite

    ever since i discovered this book by chance a few years ago my best friend and i have referred to it for many things in our lives and i believe it helped us both. this book is amazing and it is my all time favorite book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2005

    Amazing

    This book was amazing. It shows just what can happen in real life and doesn't shy away from it. I literally cried when I read this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2005

    Complex, yet intruiging book

    The story took a different approach to most stories that have death. It deeply explored the emotional impact of the narrator and the people around her of her friend's death. I felt for the character's pain and struggles to to regain sanity. The only problem with the book was the flashbacks at times didn't flow.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2005

    Absolutely amazing!

    I read this book five times- no joke! It was the most beautiful story I have ever read. The story is told from a nameless teenager but the words and flashbacks were amazing. I recommend that every teen and adult read this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2005

    Very moving and amazing!

    This book is truely amazing. I relate to Aimee in many ways. I got this book from the library and thought 'eh, I will try it' and after the first two pages, I couldnt put it down. It took me 4 hours to read it non-stop. The only downside...this author hasnt written anymore books (atleast I havent seen any more) and I really cant wait to read another one from her. I recommend this book to everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2005

    Awesome

    This book was wonderful. It makes you feel like you aren't the only one who has problems. She has a great group of friends and when she relates to how hard it is to not be able to talk to them, you feel as though they were your friends too. Mary Beth Miller did a great job capturing the essence of teen angst.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2005

    Amazingly realistic

    I usually don't get into books I know will be sad, but I saw the title of this and the front cover and it grabbed my attention. It made me so aware of life for soem reason, and the author does an amazing job of reaching teenagers in a way that is very rare. I was blown away.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2005

    Powerfully accurate.

    This book was incredible. Aimee was a powerful insight to the troubled teenage mind. Miller could not have been more accurate in describing the desperation that a teenager is capable of feeling. Amazing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2005

    this is the best book!!!!!!!!!!

    this book is about this gurl and her friend . they dont ever really say the gurls name but her friend is amiee and amiee kills her self and her friend was there. if you have ever been there when some dies there body fluids come out and she held her friend and then called 911. its a very sad book but deffintaly worth the read.

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