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
Chicagoan. Natural redhead. Happy mama of a corgi and a blue crown conure.
Soooo good! Didn't ever want to put this one down. I've heard this compared to Gossip Girl and Gone Girl, and I totally agree. There is definitely a Gossip Girl vibe because the novel takes place in a posh high school, but it's not as teeny-bop as Gossip Girl. It's more like Gossip Girl meets Body of Proof. And the Gone Girl comparisons are due to the story telling style. There are two timelines: one of the mother moving forward and finding out what happened to her daughter; and another reverse timeline from her daughter's point of view which is delivered to the reader through the daughter's texts, emails, and even her own story. I love that the author kept things moving around like that. It seemed to keep the story fast-paced and keep me on my toes. The story is so juicy I found myself wanting to gossip with my friends about things that happened in the novel. Full of secrets and totally delish!
Reconstructing Amelia was billed somewhere as "this year's Gone Girl." Not even close. Gillian Flynn made Gone Girl's somewhat improbable plot seem plausible with a thorough and highly entertaining dissection of her two main characters, especially Amy. But author Kimberly McCreight lacks any subtlety as she puts human pinata Amelia through every possible kind of peer harassment and bullying ever imagined. It's difficult to believe that an entire student body knows what the kid is going through and not one adult (even those with some clue) intervenes.
Plausibility takes another dive after Amelia's death. What homicide detective investigating a possible murder would allow the victim's mother to participate in the interviews of witnesses and potential suspects?
A reader might sympathize with Amelia's pain and suffering and even buy into the reasons why she doesn't seek help. But that sympathy dissolves as clueless mom Kate learns more and more about what her daughter endured in her final months.Screaming and blaming everyone but herself, Kate just comes off an an annoying harpy.
The subject of school and cyber bullying could make for a good story by an author with a defter touch than McCreight.
At the beaches at last
I can't think of anyone who would like this book
From beginning to end
It's like listening to whining in the high school gym
Say something about yourself!
This book is to bullying what porn is to sexual activity, gross and extremely cruel. I don't know how anyone could find this book entertaining.
No just no, maybe I'll like it more after book club discussion. Did not care about most of the characters, bored rich high school kids. Not great writing style. Liked the Virginia Woolf references, & the fact Amelia's character was supposed to be exceptionally smart even though her behavior was opposite.
The storyline was good and keep me interested but so much unnecessary use of foul language. It's a bit mature for a YA novel. So many scenes surrounding Drugs Sex, hazing - am not naive to the reality of those situations occurring at 14-15 yrs of age but having raised 6 teenagers I can tell you it is not the norm for everyone. Nor do we want our teenagers to think it is the norm, or okay to be part of. Very disappointed with the author's judgement and portrayal of young people today. How much better if we faced the issue but gave more detail to the positive side of family, fidelity, maturity - even if it is a reality for some to face the opposite.
Be Aware of all that your children are doing; be there Patent in every way. Love them burgundies them to full fill there drams! This book was about adults not being aware and parents to vulnerable teenagers. Good read!
First time in a long time that I didn't guess the ending 1/2 of the way through. There were zero lame red herrings, all of the way through everything connected to the story and was important. Loved it!
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