Reconstructing Amelia Paperback – 20 Jun 2013
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'This year's Gone Girl.... Like Gone Girl, Reconstructing Amelia seamlessly marries a crime story with a relationship drama. And like Gone Girl, it should be hailed as one of the best books of the year...in her debut novel, Kimberly McCreight spins a riveting narrative that somehow delivers thoughtful commentary on working-mom guilt, bullying, police corruption, and Gossip Girl. Every single twist in Reconstructing Amelia is clever, and rightfully earned. As that righteous babe Virginia Woolf once said, ''Fiction is like a spider's web.'' McCreight is a masterful weaver.' Entertainment Weekly
A fantastic novel. If you liked Gone Girl, you'll love this too.' Jodi Picoult
'[A] mystery with enough red herring to stock Lake Michigan...this is the novel most likely to be found in coming weeks not on the beach but on the F train.' New York Times
'Clever and scary . . . McCreight has her finger on the private school zeitgeist. . .and this disturbing tale will make older readers fondly recall the days when kids got in trouble for passing (print) notes in class.'USA Today
'Reconstructing Amelia will keep you hooked till the last page.'BookPage
'McCreight captures the complexities, cruelty and angst of teenage girls so well my stomach was in knots. What really happened to Amelia? You'll find yourself staying up all night to find out.' Jennifer McMahon, New York Times-bestselling author of The One I Left Behind
'The real story of Amelia's life and death emerges slowly, through a creative blend of Kate's present, Amelia's past, and such varied communication methods as texts, e-mails, blog entries, and Facebook status updates. . . . Fans of literary thrillers will enjoy the novel's dark mood and clever form.' Publishers Weekly
'A multilayered legal thriller. . . . Comes to a seamless and unanticipated conclusion.'Kirkus Reviews
'An elaborately plotted mystery. . . . A harrowing story. . . . McCreight does a fine job of building suspense and creating characters, notably Kate and Amelia, whom the target audience both adults and older teens will care about and empathize with.'Booklist
'McCreight combines a poignant, pulled-from-the-headlines story with writing sanctified by Antietam Review and Oxford magazine.' Library Journal
'We love a powerful debut, and this is just that.... It's Mean Girls meets The Secret History meets the cyberbullying case of Amanda Todd and it's unputdownable.'Daily Candy
'Fast-paced and suspenseful.... a page-turning mystery and thriller will appeal to...fans of Jodi Picoult.' School Library Journal
'If you loved Gone Girl, why not try Reconstructing Amelia...This is a very clever, menacing novel that will make you rightly wary of damaged teenage girls' Daily Mail
'Gossip Girl meets Gone Girl...' The Times
'Reconstructing Amelia' has used all the best ingredients to make the perfect thriller and I hope there are more books similar to this in the future' Asoulfluorescent Blog, ASoulFluorescent.wordpress.com --Asoulfluorescent Blog
From the Back Cover
When Kate, single mother and law firm partner, gets an urgent phone call summoning her to her daughter's exclusive private school, she's shocked. Amelia has been suspended for cheating, something that would be completely out of character for her over-achieving, well-behaved daughter.
Kate rushes to Grace Hall, but what she finds when she finally arrives is beyond comprehension.
Her daughter Amelia is dead.
Despondent over having been caught cheating, Amelia has jumped from the school's roof in an act of impulsive suicide. At least that's the story Grace Hall and the police tell Kate. In a state of shock and overcome by grief, Kate tries to come to grips with this life-shattering news. Then she gets an anonymous text:
Amelia didn't jump.
The moment she sees that message, Kate knows in her heart it's true. Clearly Amelia had secrets, and a life Kate knew nothing about. Wracked by guilt, Kate is determined to find out what those secrets were and who could have hated her daughter enough to kill. She searches through Amelia's e-mails, texts, and Facebook updates, piecing together the last troubled days of her daughter's life.
Reconstructing Amelia is a stunning debut page-turner that brilliantly explores the secret world of teenagers, their clandestine first loves, hidden friendships, and the dangerous cruelty that can spill over into acts of terrible betrayal.--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition. See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
The mother, Kate, is a successful lawyer. Her efforts to balance career and family, and the resultant stress and guilt are realistically portrayed. After her daughters' death is ruled a suicide, she is unconvinced and decides to investigate.
Facebook and texts replace the diaries kept by Bridget Jones or Adrian Mole, and are very well used to give you an insight into Amelia's personal life. They allow you to build a clear picture, despite never actually meeting her. They work particularly well at conveying peer pressure and the sininster nature of cyber bullying. The contrast in narrative styles also helps you transition between the perspectives of the analytical Kate and the impulsive Amelia.
The main pieces of the investigation come together rather late on in the novel, and are rather rushed. A few of the final "twists" are disappointingly implausible.
More frustratingly, several of the secondary plots, for instance around the handling of bullying and gangs, are not fully developed. This would have given more depth to the story.
The novel was nominated for several awards and has been optioned for a film.
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