Reconstructing Amelia

Reconstructing Amelia - Kimberly McCreight

From Goodreads: A stunning debut novel in which a single mother reconstructs her teenaged daughter's life, sifting through her emails, texts, and social media to piece together the shocking truth about the last days of her life.

Litigation lawyer and harried single mother Kate Baron is stunned when her daughter's exclusive private school in Park Slope, Brooklyn, calls with disturbing news: her intelligent, high-achieving fifteen-year-old daughter, Amelia, has been caught cheating.

Kate can't believe that Amelia, an ambitious, levelheaded girl who's never been in trouble would do something like that. But by the time she arrives at Grace Hall, Kate's faced with far more devastating news. Amelia is dead. 

Seemingly unable to cope with what she'd done, a despondent Amelia has jumped from the school's roof in an act of "spontaneous" suicide. At least that's the story Grace Hall and the police tell Kate. And overwhelmed as she is by her own guilt and shattered by grief, it is the story that Kate believes until she gets the anonymous text: 

She didn't jump.

Sifting through Amelia's emails, text messages, social media postings, and cell phone logs, Kate is determined to learn the heartbreaking truth about why Amelia was on Grace Hall's roof that day-and why she died.

Told in alternating voices, Reconstructing Amelia is a story of secrets and lies, of love and betrayal, of trusted friends and vicious bullies. It's about how well a parent ever really knows a child and how far one mother will go to vindicate the memory of a daughter whose life she could not save.


I picked this up as a Kindle Daily Deal because I had thought it sounded interesting. I missed out on winning it as a Goodreads First Reads so I figured I should take advantage of the sale.


What I liked: I don't read a lot of crime mystery them more when my Mommom was around and I'd pick up her library books when I was bored. But on my own, I usually stop at a crime thriller by John Grisham. But this book sounded interesting and I'm happy to say that it was definitely the right kind of crime mystery to read if you aren't already a fan. It was well written and there was a fair bit of twists and turns that made it interesting enough to keep reading...but not so convolued and confusing to want to give up. I really loved that Amelia has a voice and an actual story line and was not stickily a victim. It gave the book a forward momentum that made me want to figure out the mystery...something that if the book was just written in the perspective of Kate and Amelia's old emails/texts messages. 


What I didn't like: There were two flaws. One is that I kept thinking that there were a few unnecessary holes. Unfortunately as it's been almost a month since I read this, I can't get into specifics but I do recall that they were there as well as a few characters that were completely unnecessary and did not do anything for the plot.


The second thing that I wasn't crazy about was the fact that at a few times I got the feeling that I was reading a novelization of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. I kept waiting for Det. Benson to swoop in at any moment...and while SVU is kind of my guilty'd rather not read the show.


Still, over all it was an entertaining, fast paced read. Definitely the type of book that's perfect for taking on a vacation as it was exciting but had well defined stopping points to put the book down and actual enjoy the vacation.