Saturday 13 September 2014

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

Stressed single mother and law partner Kate is in the meeting of her career when she is interrupted by a telephone call to say that her teenage daughter Amelia has been suspended from her exclusive Brooklyn prep school for cheating on an exam. Torn between her head and her heart, she eventually arrives at St Grace's over an hour late, to be greeted by sirens wailing and ambulance lights blazing. Her daughter has jumped off the roof of the school, apparently in shame of being caught.

A grieving Kate can't accept that her daughter would kill herself: it was just the two of them and Amelia would never leave her alone like this. And so begins an investigation which takes her deep into Amelia's private world, into her journals, her email account and into the mind of a troubled young girl.

Then Kate receives an anonymous text saying simply: AMELIA DIDN'T JUMP. Is someone playing with her or has she been right all along?

Reconstructing Amelia swings back and forth between alternating chapters; Kate in the present and Amelia approximately 1 month before her death to slowly reveal what happened on the roof. We quickly learn that both Kate and Amelia had secrets that are also revealed through snippets from Amelia's E-mails/Facebook page and a scathing school gossip blog. Amelia had recently been pegged to join an elitist all girls club at school. As a pledging, Amelia becomes enamored with one if its founding members, Dylan, and makes an enemy of another vindictive club member, Zadie. Amelia's secretive/time consuming membership in this club called the Magpies also causes tension between her and her self-centered boy/crazy best friend Sylvia. It tackles very relevant subjects such as emotional bullying, teenage isolation, autism and sexuality. Amelia was a believable and likable teenager. Kate's guilt and regret were palpable as she slowly begins to uncover the many facts she did not know of her daughters life.

Reconstructing Amelia is a well written story about cruel teenage behavior and a coming-of-age story. For Kate Baron, a lesson in how secrets from the past can influence your future. Reconstructing Amelia is highly recommended for the appropriate reader including a young adult. It has been compared to "Gone Girl" but unfortunately I don't see many similarities as I didn't like Gone Girl at all, this story was much better & was well paced with a few great twists in it. That is a huge difference between these two books. I brought this book on holiday & it didn't disappoint, I read it in 2 days, it was such a roller coaster ride and I had no idea what was going to happen next!  I'd highly recommend this book to anyone.

This book is available on Kindle & in all good bookstores.

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