It’s time for my review of Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight.
Litigation lawyer and harried single mother Kate Baron is shocked when her daughter’s exclusive Brooklyn private school calls to tell her that Amelia—her intelligent, high-achieving fifteen-year-old—has been caught cheating. But when Kate arrives at Grace Hall, she’s blindsided by far more devastating news: Amelia is dead. Despondent, she’s jumped from the school’s roof. At least that’s what Grace Hall and the police tell Kate. It’s what she believes, too, until she gets the anonymous text: Amelia didn’t jump. Now, Kate is going to find the truth—no matter where it leads. Sifting through Amelia’s e-mails, text messages, and Facebook posts, Kate reconstructs the pieces of her daughter’s life and the people in it, uncovering why she was on Grace Hall’s roof that day—and how she died.
I really enjoyed this book and they way Kimberly McCreight told Amelia and her mother’s, Kate, stories. Each chapter is a different point of view – Amelia while she was still alive and Kate after Amelia’s death. This book reminded me of a mix between Mean Girls – Amelia’s school mates and Gossip Girl – their online newsletter named gRaCeFULLY. I was a fan of both and secretly still wish Gossip Girl was still on TV. Some chapters were purely Amelia’s text messages or her Facebook statuses. Unlike some other books I’ve read that revolve round teenagers, the language Kimberly McCreight used was actually true to how most teenagers speak which I like. No need to be embarrassed because some teen in a book speaks like they have aPhD and here I am like huh?
The handles a very dark subject well – teen suicide. Obviously I knew before I started the book that Amelia dies. That is the whole plot but again I found myself reading a book hoping for a happy ending. When will I learn? I like Amelia’s character a lot. Reading her chapters let me get inside her mind, the mind of a confused but sweet teenager that did not deserve to have her life end so young.
I was NOT expecting Sylvia, Amelia’s best friend, to be the one that made her fall off the roof. That was a complete and total shock. I was thinking, Zadie – total mean girl, Zadie’s mother – mean girl all grown up, or even Dylan because she was ashamed of their relationship. Which left me wondering, what was the real dynamic behind Dylan and Zadie’s friendship? Zadie was so overly possessive of Dylan and Dylan was always so quick to defend Zadie’s bitchiness and listen to her. It was never explained why and I would of liked to read and learn more about them.
Everything about the book wasn’t all that shocking though. Her friend Ben who she only texted and never met face to face? Well it was pretty obvious it was not really a boy named Ben. I guessed way before the end that it was most likely her biological father. Oh and that twist revealing Jeremy was actually Amelia’s father AND Zadie’s father? I caught onto that pretty quick. Again though this left me with more questions, did Jeremy know he was Zadie’s father too? Why didn’t he ever just tell Amelia he was her father or for that matter tell Kate he knew he was her father? He goes through all the trouble of pretending to be Ben but never just gets to know her in a father daughter relationship. Made no sense to me.
Reconstructing Amelia brings to light some pretty heavy topics almost everyone deals with at different points in their lives – peer pressure, secrets, and how far are people willing to go to keep their reputations in tact.
In the end, I really enjoyed this book. It didn’t quite keep me on the edge of my seat like I’d hoped for but like I said the Sylvia twist was not expected. Amelia was such a likable character and someone I could see myself being friends with when I was in high school. There are so many questions that were left unanswered but that’s is the point of a mystery isn’t it? I would read another book by Kimberly McCreight, especially if she does another Gossip Girl ish style story 🙂
I give it (3.5 / 5)
What were your overall thoughts?
Did you expect Sylvia to be the one who caused Amelia’s death?
How did you feel about Jeremy being her biological father?