Amber is the oldest child in the Holt family; followed by her brother Drew, with whom she is very close to. Her parents divorced sometime during her childhood; with her father having an inconsistent presence in her life, causing Amber to become extremely rebellious and dismissive towards her mother, Sarah. Up until the beginning of the show, Amber lived with her mother and brother in Fresno, California.
After a failed attempt to stay in Fresno by moving in with her boyfriend Damian, Amber reluctantly moves into her grandparent's house. She is seen to be close to her cousin, Haddie.
Amber developed feelings for one her teachers, Mark Cyr. When she learned her mother was dating him, she didn't take her SATs and called Damian to come. When her mother and grandfather find out Damian is in town, they are not happy. Amber later realizes Damian is not the guy for her and breaks up with him.
Amber advised Haddie to break up with her boyfriend Steve because he was pressuring her to have sex. Amber later develops feelings for Steve after he expresses remorse for how he treated Haddie, and they sleep together. Amber tells Haddie and apologizes, but they get into a fight at school about it. The situation causes tension among Amber and Haddie's families, leading Amber to run away. When she calls her mother to pick her up, Haddie comes and the two of them reconcile.
Amber becomes friends with Kelsey, who's parents are wealthy and laid-back. Her mother becomes jealous of the amount of time Amber is spending at Kelsey's house and misses her. She brings them to a club to hear a band, which Amber is initially reluctant to attend. Later, Amber begrudgingly thanks her mother for a good time, to the delight of Sarah.
Amber was the one who helped Haddie when Haddie was not allowed to meet her boyfriend, Alex. She taught Haddie the trick to keep texting Alex without her parents' knowing, by changing the contact name Alex into 'Chloe'. Amber develops a common brother-sister relationship with Drew. She usually acts like any big sister would do to an obnoxious younger brother, but she could be very protective and supportive if necessary. Amber often gives relationship advice to Drew, such as when he didn't know how to act on a date or kiss a girl.
After she isn't accepted to the University of California, Berkeley, she acts out again by smoking, drinking, and doing drugs. After she is almost killed in a car accident with her friend, she gets her life back on track.
Amber decides to move out of her grandparents house and get her own apartment in order to more independent. She works as a barista at a coffee shop, but feels that she is not making enough money. Her aunt Kristina helps her get a job, working for a young local politician, Bob Little. Soon she finds herself in a awkward situation when she develops feelings for him. Amber ultimately decides that she needs to focus on her future and not her lovelife.
Amber works with Crosby and Adam at "The Luncheonette". She is the first family member to learn about Kristina's cancer, and tries to help her uncle by taking more responsibilities at work. She starts connecting with Ryan, a young veteran who just came back from Afghanistan, but is warned by her grandfather that he may be dealing with serious issues.
Amber and Ryan are now engaged. She continues working at the Luncheonette with the band "Ashes of Rome". After Ashes of Rome picks Amber to do vocals for their song "I Should Have Taken You Home", she and the band go to a bar and drink heavily. When Ryan shows up to pick her up she is talking to Zach, a band member. Ryan gets jealous and beats up the guy. He reenlists and they break up. She copes by letting her brother Drew stay with her while he goes through his own heartbreak. At the end of the season Ryan comes back in Amber's life when he got in a car accident while drunk. He was medically discharged from the army. They say that although they never stopped loving each other, they both need a fresh start and move on. Ryan agrees to move to Wyoming with his mom. Amber goes to the store to buy a pregnancy test.The test came out positive and Amber is terrified by the pregnancy.
Amber first tells her mother that's she's pregnant, who doesn't respond well to the news. She later goes to Wyoming to tell Ryan and decides to stay there in order to take care of him, but realizes she needs to put the needs of her baby first. She has a son who she names after Zeek, and moves in with her grandparents after he's born. In the flash-forward, Amber is shown to be married and raising a blended family, while Ryan is apart of their son's life as well.