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Reconstructing Amelia | [Kimberly McCreight]

Reconstructing Amelia

When Kate, single mother and law firm partner, gets an urgent phone call summoning her to her daughter's exclusive private school, she's shocked. Amelia has been suspended for cheating, something that would be completely out of character for her over-achieving, well-behaved daughter. Kate rushes to Grace Hall, but what she finds when she finally arrives is beyond comprehension. Her daughter is dead.
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Publisher's Summary

When Kate, single mother and law firm partner, gets an urgent phone call summoning her to her daughter's exclusive private school, she's shocked. Amelia has been suspended for cheating, something that would be completely out of character for her over-achieving, well-behaved daughter.

Kate rushes to Grace Hall, but what she finds when she finally arrives is beyond comprehension. Her daughter is dead.

Despondent over having been caught cheating, Amelia has jumped from the school's roof in an act of impulsive suicide. At least that's the story Grace Hall and the police tell Kate. In a state of shock and overcome by grief, Kate tries to come to grips with this life-shattering news. Then she gets an anonymous text: Amelia didn't jump.

The moment she sees that message, Kate knows in her heart it's true. Clearly Amelia had secrets, and a life Kate knew nothing about. Wracked by guilt, Kate is determined to find out what those secrets were and who could have hated her daughter enough to kill. She searches through Amelia's emails, texts, and Facebook updates, piecing together the last troubled days of her daughter's life.

Reconstructing Amelia is a stunning debut pause-resistor that brilliantly explores the secret world of teenagers, their clandestine first loves, hidden friendships, and the dangerous cruelty that can spill over into acts of terrible betrayal.

©2013 Kimberly McCreight (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (546 )
5 star
 (199)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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4.0 (492 )
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Story
4.2 (490 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Nicole J Jakubowski Maine 05-15-13
    Nicole J Jakubowski Maine 05-15-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    114
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
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    Performance
    Story
    "Skip this one"
    What would have made Reconstructing Amelia better?

    A rewrite


    What could Kimberly McCreight have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Read it out loud before she published.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When the narrator said it was over


    What character would you cut from Reconstructing Amelia?

    All of them


    Any additional comments?

    This book bugged me for so many reasons. None of the characters were likable. Everyone's reactions were unrealistic, and I found myself going 'whaaaa...??' for most of Kate's reactions.
    Both Kate and her daughter jump to the strangest conclusions. Ian says yes, he's aware that Sylvia thinks he's cheating on him, and Amelia takes this as an admission that he's cheating. And when Kate sees that the daughter she thought was perfect has almost naked pics on the internet, the first conclusion she comes to is that Amelia is a prostitute?!?! Really? Her first assumption isn't going on a furious rampage that, 'gee someone skanky Photoshopped pics of my daughters face and put them on half naked women?!'
    I also couldn't wrap my head around her reason for hating Jeremy and denying his paternity. Just did not make sense.
    Kate is the most passive character I've ever read.
    And the writing...all the characters did was STARE. Nobody looked or glanced or anything else. Also, they all spoke quietly. All the time, except when they were yelling for no reason.
    I'd say skip this one.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tina Anderson, SC, United States 03-23-14
    Tina Anderson, SC, United States 03-23-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "FANTASTIC AND SURPRISING!"
    Where does Reconstructing Amelia rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best read and most entertaining listens I have ever heard on an audiobook! It is something I would highly recommend to anyone to listen or to read!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Reconstructing Amelia?

    The ending definitely! That last moment when you truly find out what happeend, when the entire book was leading you through it backwards. Such a fantastic structure and the killer! WOAH! Very surprising.


    What about Khristine Hvam’s performance did you like?

    She brings life to the characters and perfectly creates the mother and the children in a realistic manner. She performs well both adults, adolescents, and men, which for one woman is very difficult!


    Who was the most memorable character of Reconstructing Amelia and why?

    Probably Amelia herself! It was not until the last moment that you realized who she was and how she felt about the people around her in the story.


    Any additional comments?

    Everything about this book was perfection! There was no moment that I would have changed in this book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Anne Philadelphia, PA, United States 08-04-13
    Beth Anne Philadelphia, PA, United States 08-04-13 Member Since 2012

    i like to read. i like to listen.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    103
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    132
    91
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    Story
    "fun summer read"

    following the trail of emails, texts and alternating chapters to reveal what happened the day Amelia Baron died proved to be a fun roller coaster ride full of twists and turns and lots of shady characters whom the reader thinks pushed her off that roof.

    up until the very last few seconds of Amelia's story, Kimberly McCreight throws in little things to keep you guessing.

    great narration. really embodies teenage girls well.

    i am really sick of everyone comparing different novels that have twist endings to "gone girl" - honestly, this is not like gone girl at all. it's a book of its own with it's own interesting (and screwed up) characters and really doesn't mirror "gone girl" in any way.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tamela S. Elliott Washington, WV USA 06-07-13
    Tamela S. Elliott Washington, WV USA 06-07-13 Member Since 2010

    Game nut

    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    95
    13
    FOLLOWERS
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    4
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing!!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely!


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's true to life.


    Any additional comments?

    I love true to life stories, and this one was amazing!! Khristine Hvam never disappoints!!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leigh Mount Pleasant, SC United States 04-20-13
    Leigh Mount Pleasant, SC United States 04-20-13 Member Since 2013

    There is nothing better than a good book!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
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    45
    45
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    4
    10
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    "This was a non-stop listen for me!"

    I was sucked in from the first words! I listened to this one non-stop..... This is everything an audiobook should be!

    2 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Merrilee Big Rapids, MI, USA 04-24-13
    Merrilee Big Rapids, MI, USA 04-24-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    62
    11
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    0
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    Performance
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    "Gut wrenching"
    Where does Reconstructing Amelia rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Near the top. I have a list of special favorite books that I would re-read, and that I recommenc to friends/family. This book is on that list


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Amelia was my favorite. She was so "normal". She expressed her emotions well, and handled herself very maturely.


    What does Khristine Hvam bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Oh the characters came alive with such emotion! She especially reads teenage girl voices very well.


    If you could rename Reconstructing Amelia, what would you call it?

    The title is exellent. I wasn';t sure what it meant, but after reading the book I realize how clever the title is.


    Any additional comments?

    The author explores parenthood with all it's emotions, flaws and joys. the book is heartbreaking and beautiful.

    1 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan LYNDHURST, OH, United States 04-19-13
    Bryan LYNDHURST, OH, United States 04-19-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    8
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    1
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    Story
    "Amelia is Amazing!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Reconstructing Amelia to be better than the print version?

    I really enjoyed listening to this book. It made the commute to work fly by.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Amelia of corse.


    Any additional comments?

    A great book that keeps you listening.

    1 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beverly Hermosa Beach, CA, United States 04-11-13
    Beverly Hermosa Beach, CA, United States 04-11-13 Member Since 2008

    bella jackson

    HELPFUL VOTES
    310
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1507
    47
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    6
    1
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    Story
    "Peer Pressure Can be a Killer"

    This is a story about how teenagers can be narcissistic in their actions and cause irreparable damage to other teens or parents. Unfortunately, it is too true that in our society we are seeing more bullying and hateful actions that cause kids with hormones already out of control to lose sight of moral attitudes. This is not a story of redemption but looking back at a tragedy that could have been stopped at the start. Unfortunately you see bullying everywhere but from my experience it is insidious in prep schools amongst the "privileged". Sadly all parties are guilty from the teachers, the parents, the peers. Truly a current problem in our country. The story became a little convuluted and therefore I gave it a 3 star rating. Not a happy read.

    1 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Musser Atlanta 04-27-13
    A. Musser Atlanta 04-27-13 Member Since 2013

    30-something engineer and audiobook addict.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Predictable but endearing"
    Where does Reconstructing Amelia rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book is a good book, a compelling story, believable and likable characters, but it's predictable. So, I waivered between giving it 3 and 4 stars for the story. But I really did enjoy the story even if there weren't any twists or turns that I found thrilling or exciting.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Reconstructing Amelia?

    I think the dynamics of the clubs at the school are really interesting. It's hard to understand the dynamic of "mean girls" and why they do some of the things they do but this book really explores why girls that aren't mean would take part in hurting others.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite scene is a scene where Amelia is with her best friend Sylvia and describes her in her internal monologue. I can't remember the exact words she says but it was something along the lines of "Her heart is huge and wreckless." I can relate. Who doesn't know someone (or maybe is someone themselves) that falls in love easily and quickly and jumps in with both feet?


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Probably something about picking your friends carefully or the dark side of friendship.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a good listen, the narrator is great and does an excellent job of capturing the tone and inflections of high school girls....that "attitude" they all seem to be infected with.

    0 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carla Santa Barbara, CA, USA 04-26-13
    Carla Santa Barbara, CA, USA 04-26-13 Member Since 2009

    Audible, take me away!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    113
    17
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    1
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    "Enjoyed it!"

    Good story of high school bullying or hazing. Right from the start it had me wanting more. Would definately recommend this one.

    0 of 6 people found this review helpful
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