AmyLea Murphy Paints a Vivid Picture of it in her page-turner, Fine
After witnessing the tragic demise of three teenagers in her community, AmyLea Murphy decided to follow her long-lasting passion for writing fiction. A mother and also seasoned attorney with experience in both the public and private sectors, AmyLea set out to write a story that would take an honest look at the ever-widening gap between the authentic emotional lives of teenagers (and everyone, really) and the persona they put on for others. Fine her breakthrough YA mystery novel, was released in November 2020.
Fine offers an intimate glimpse into the private worlds of two teenage girls struggling to be themselves in a complicated, ever-changing world. It is the story of Katie Williams, an eighteen-year-old girl who has been struggling since her older sister, Anna, disappeared six years earlier. The summer after she graduates high school, she’s feeling absolutely unprepared to face the pressures of becoming an adult and can’t imagine going through life without her sister any longer. A chance encounter with a childhood friend makes Katie realize she needs to know why Anna suddenly vanished and prompts her to connect with the officer in charge of her sister’s missing person’s case. Interviews, emails, police memos, and portions of her sister’s diary reveal there was a lot more going on with her straight-A, cheerleading sister than everyone thought. For readers of Courtney Summers and Sarah Dessen, Fine is an unsettling, surprising, and ultimately hopeful mystery that will break your heart and put it back together again.
The author confesses that her own teenage experiences shaped Katie, the main character of her book. Confronted with the death of several family members and that of a friend who died in a car accident when she was in junior year, AmyLea was rattled by intense heavy emotions that also involved falling in love for the very first time. Also, one thing stayed the same to this day—the pressure to be someone you’re not.
“We all hide our crazy and put on a brave face to the world, to some extent. The problem is hiding our genuine feelings has become a cultural barrier to finding the kind of friendships and relationships that are the most fulfilling. More importantly, our mental wellness often depends on being okay with not being okay,” says Murphy.
Fine is more than a page-turner YA mystery novel packed with unexpected twists. Its underlying message about the undying resiliency of the human spirit and the constant challenge of being authentic in a complicated, ever changing world makes it a great read not only for young readers but also for the adults. They will delight in Katie’s sarcasm and Anna’s stinging jabs at the hypocrisy of society. After all,
When she’s not writing, Amylea Murphy loves spending time in nature, listening to music, hanging out with her family, and, more recently, paddle boarding. An adventurous type, she enjoys traveling and trying new things.
Fine is available in paperback and digital formats on Amazon and other major book retailers.