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Review: Reconstructing Amelia

June 28, 2013

Reconstructing Amelia

High powered attorney and single mother Kate Barron is called to her fifteen year old daughter’s prep school because of a discipline issue.  Amelia’s a good kid, though, and Kate really can’t imagine it’s all that serious so she finishes what she’s doing before she heads down to the school.  When she gets there, entrance to the school is blocked and there are a lot of emergency vehicles outside of the building.  In a panic at that point, Kate forces her way in and learns that Amelia jumped from the roof of the building after being accused of plagiarism.  Kate is devastated and blames herself – what if she’d come as soon as she got the call?

Before she can begin to come to terms with her grief, Kate receives a text from a blocked number that says Amelia didn’t commit suicide.  It doesn’t provide details or proof, though, so Kate becomes determined to find out what really happened.  As she digs for the truth, she learns that she didn’t know Amelia as well as she thought she did.

Reconstructing Amelia, by Kimberly McCreight, grabbed me from the start and took me on one crazy ride!  The point of view alternates between Kate’s in the present day and Amelia’s in the past and I was equally captivated by both voices.  The story is fraught with tension and full of twists and turns and kept my attention throughout.  My heart ached for both Kate and Amelia as I read this book.

I’ve heard a lot of people say that this book is particularly disturbing for those with teen-age girls, and maybe it is, but I found the behavior of the adults in the book to be more disturbing than the teens, since they should know better.   Anita and I talked about the book and she pointed out that one character’s actions seem a little far-fetched, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book at all.

Not only is Reconstructing Amelia one heck of a ride, it also addresses issues like social media, sexuality, and bullying.  I think book clubs would find a lot to discuss in this book.  I know I did!

I listened to the audio version of this book.  Khristine Hvam does an outstanding job with the narration – she nails the voice of Kate and Amelia so I always knew whose point of view I was listening to.  The audio lasts a little over twelve hours but, I swear, the time just flew by.  You won’t want to miss this book!

Review copy provided by Harper Collins.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
25 Comments leave one →
  1. sandynawrot permalink
    June 28, 2013 5:01 am

    Oooh, I like Hvam’s narration work! I actually got this book at SIBA last year…it was definitely a book everyone was talking about. But because it is in print, there it sits. I may see if I can grab it on audio, then I would have a better chance of reading it.

  2. June 28, 2013 6:06 am

    I too listened to this one. I really didn’t like it at first but it has grown on me.

  3. June 28, 2013 6:35 am

    This sounds like one I will definitely pick up for the summer.

  4. June 28, 2013 7:08 am

    I thought this was well done as well. Glad u got a chance to read it.

  5. June 28, 2013 7:41 am

    WOW! Sounds like a book I need to read. Will be picking this one up this weekend!

  6. June 28, 2013 9:36 am

    I just read and reviewed Whatever You Love and I found it horrifying – a parents worst nightmare where you open your door to two policemen who tell you your daughter has been killed. This sounds similarly emotional and tense and frightening. It has been on my TBR for weeks now but I did not have any luck finding it in Melbourne libraries. This will have to wait for my next visit!

  7. June 28, 2013 9:45 am

    I am all into “crazy ride” books this summer. I want quick reads that aren’t fluff and this sounds like just that.

  8. June 28, 2013 11:32 am

    I recently read another good review of this one. It sounds great and quite fascinating!


  9. June 28, 2013 12:11 pm

    This sounds like a perfect summer read. I like lots of suspense in the summer!

  10. June 28, 2013 12:41 pm

    I liked this one too. I listened while getting the garden cleaned up for spring, not a fun task, but it made the time fly by.

  11. June 28, 2013 12:59 pm

    I’m still on the fence about this one, but I’m starting to think I should give it a try.

    Happy weekend to you and Carl!

  12. June 28, 2013 1:14 pm

    I JUST got this from the library – am SO excited to get started. Sounds like a great read.

  13. June 28, 2013 2:17 pm

    “Social media, sexuality, and bullying.” Can I tell you how TERRIFIED I am to be a mother to teenaged girls in 10 years. When I was in high school it was just chatrooms but now with facebook and twitter and instagram and who knows what else–I fear for this. Maybe I need to stay away from this one. 😉

  14. booksnyc permalink
    June 28, 2013 3:33 pm

    It was great to meet the author at BEA. Her book certainly sounds gripping and I believe I saw recently that it will be made into a movie.

  15. June 28, 2013 6:10 pm

    This one is on my must-read list. Having read that synopsis too many times, I just cannot sit here wondering what happened next.

  16. June 28, 2013 6:41 pm

    What a terrific review! This sounds like a must-read, or should I say, must-listen to, book, although it might be hard for mothers to do so.

  17. June 28, 2013 9:28 pm

    This sounds really good! I was mixing this book up with a nonfiction book with “Ophelia” in the title, I think.

  18. Patty permalink
    June 29, 2013 10:13 pm

    I read this one a few weeks ago and loved it…it has so much feeling!

  19. June 29, 2013 11:41 pm

    I wish I had the audio of this one. This sounds like my kind of book and I hope to fit it in soon.

  20. bookingmama permalink
    June 30, 2013 8:00 pm

    I agree. I really enjoyed the audio book and thought the narrator did a wonderful job.

  21. July 1, 2013 1:49 pm

    Sounds like one I might check out at some point, since you’ve made me so curious about the adults’ disturbing actions and what was really going on with her daughter.

  22. July 2, 2013 1:30 am

    I’ve been considering this one, but I don’t know. I didn’t like Testimony by Shreve and it feels similar.

  23. Jennifer permalink
    July 2, 2013 11:45 am

    Being someone who deals with teenage girls a lot the premise of this book sounds like one of my worst nightmares. Still, that draws me into the book. Looking for answers to explain the actions of teenagers can seem like an impossible task but we still have to try. I’ll definitely be adding this to my TBR list!

  24. July 5, 2013 5:59 pm

    I can’t wait to go on “one crazy ride!” 🙂

  25. July 14, 2013 11:30 pm

    This one has so much going on. Sounds relevant!

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