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
Narrator was really good. I thought the book ran a little too long, but I was still intrigued until the end. Recommend this book for younger adults as the story is voiced from many high school students with the use of social media. Yes, there is a concerned mother, but the book is driven by the updated high school culture and relationships.
Avid reader Gal!!
Keep your perspective in check- the Mother is as much a victim as the Daughter- both are amazing Persons. Unbelievable what Social Media and bullying can do these days--,eEveryone is at risk.. Reader be ware!
Several moments. The Mother, the Daughter,the Friend, and all the other characters who may have been involved
The fanciest house with most of the answers-- who knew!?
Not My Daughter- Never
Kate is very vulnerable- but grows up instantly when she loses her only daughter- although she blames herself - no parent with good intentions is a bad parent. Ask questions and love your children and ask questions
The dark and disturbing experience of a young teen dealing with the pressures of adolescence, bullying, the social hierarchies of high school and the ache and need to belong, and to be loved. It broke my heart, but I couldn't stop reading. It was exquisite and unapologetic. Life can be very cruel.
Although portrayed graphically, this book contains a great story I couldn't wait to listen to once I started it, and is a disturbing, but accurate, look into the new face of bullying, and the horrors experienced by those being bullied. I think all parents should read this for the eye opener it is. But I can't deny that I loved it - it was truly gripping, I couldn't wait to see what would happen next, to whom, by whom. The 'villians' are not who you think, and of all the people I thought the road would end with, I did not see what happened coming. I sat in my car on my lunch yelling at the characters, and I was constantly surprised by the twists and turns. It is wildly entertaining, but the realization of this technological age is also sad and scary. I loved this book and cannot wait to listen to it again, but I almost feel badly for loving it - because I know this is the reality for so many out there. I apologize for the rambling, weird review, but that last sentence pretty much sums it up. I highly recommend this book, for so many reasons.
This book had a knot in my gut for the whole week or so that I could not bring myself to stop listening. This is a great mystery that had me guessing until the end. The characters, even the minor ones, were written so vividly. It is almost hard to grasp how the author gave such life to all of these characters in what is a fairly short book. Dare I even say that I think this book is better than the ones in the Robert Galibraith series!!!... Anyway, this book will stick with me for a while, I have already recommended it all over town... I will definitely check out more from Kimberly McCreight.
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