Friday, March 21, 2014

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

Kate, a single mom, is called at work and told to come pick up her daughter because she's been caught plagiarizing an English paper.  She is completely stunned because Amelia is an aspiring writer and has never been in trouble before.  By the time she makes it down to the school, she finds it sealed off by police officers.  She is then told that her daughter jumped from the roof of the school, committing suicide.

Kate retreats in a world of grief and half-heartedly accepts that maybe her daughter did commit suicide... after all that's what the police and the school are in a hurry for her to believe.  Then she gets an anonymous text telling her: She didn't jump.  Something Kate has known all along.

With a new investigation opened, Kate begins finding out more and more about Amelia that she never knew.  Secret clubs, secret friends, things about her sexuality, and darker things than she ever would have guessed.  Through all the texts, emails, and facebook posts, she's trying to decipher the tangled web that led to Amelia's death.  And even the identity of Amelia's father may have played a role.

This is one of those rare books that while I was reading it, I didn't ever want it to end.  I just loved the mystery and all the different twists, that I wanted it to go on and on.  And now that it's over, I miss it!!  I miss running to my bed and grabbing this book and reading about Amelia and how her life got complicated in a hurry.  I just LOVED this book!

I think technically that this book is classified as Adult, but it could easily be put under YA too.  It's about teenagers and 1/2 the time it is narrated by a teenager.  It is also about the mother, but it's more about her coming to terms with the secret life that Amelia had going on the last month of her life.

This book is told in alternating views from Kate during the investigation and Amelia in the days leading up to her death.  It's also told in text messages, emails, journal entries, and blog and facebook posts, which really added to the book and made me feel almost involved in the investigation.  The mystery in this story took so many twists and turns and had so many reveals, that it just entertained the shit out of me.  I loved reading about Amelia's involvement in a secret society-type club, all the drama with her best friend, and her falling in love for the first time.  It was like ANYONE could have been involved in her death.  There were SO many people involved in so many areas of her life, that I was dying to know, but since I didn't want the book to end, I also didn't want to know.  If that makes any sense.  I also really got to like Amelia, which since I knew she had died, I found myself wanting to save her somehow.  Even though I knew that was sort of pointless.

This is not a simple book.  It's complicated and definitely had to take an amazing writing process to tie everything together the way it was.  It's definitely one of the most in-depth books I've read in a while.  There's so many themes going on, so many lessons to be learned.  Oh and there's mean girls!!!  I love mean girls!!

The one thing that I didn't really LOVE love was that there seemed to be a blaming of Kate throughout the book for her being a single working mom.  That somehow she would have known more about her daughter if she wasn't a partner in a law firm.  To me she was trying the best she could.  She made a point to make the most out of the time she did have with her daughter and tried on multiple occasions to get Amelia to confide in her, but the reality is: teenagers don't tell their parents stuff.  They just don't.  Especially if it's about their love life (because that's awkward) or things they think their parents will disapprove of.  All teenagers (okay maybe not all, but most) not just the ones of single working moms.  Bottom line: Kate was doing her best, and I didn't like the bias coming at her from all angles for having a successful career.  Oh and Sylvia (The BFF) definitely got on my nerves... but I still liked having her in the book.  At first I wanted Amelia to punch her in the face, and then I just ended up feeling bad for her.  Her bitchiness was really a result of her insecurity, so I ended up just pitying her.  But that's how this book was!!  It made me feel so many different things about all the characters!

OVERALL: I freaking LOVED this book!!  It's Adult, it's YA, it has epistolary elements... it's just awesome.  I found it Unputdownable and the mystery was complicated and will keep you guessing.  I can't recommend this one enough!!  I'm actually sad that it's over :(

This Book Contains:

  • Death
  • Love
  • Mother-Daughter Relationship Issues
  • Brooklyn, New York
  • Private Prep Schools
  • A Gossip Girl-type Blog
  • Hottie with an English Accent
  • GLBT themes
  • emails, texts, etc
  • Secret Societies
  • Rich people
  • Mean girls



How I got this book: I own it
Date Published: 4/2/2013


  1. Ahhh! You're getting me so excited for this one Michelle! Thanks so much for sharing!

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

  2. I LOVE the idea of a book being told by mother/daughter perspectives. I've never seen that before and it definitely make me want to pick this one up. Great review!

    1. You should it's SO good!! Like I said, it's like YA AND Adult!! So fun!

  3. Heard many good things about this book and I'm glad you enjoyed it so much!