Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Reconstructing Amelia

Reconstructing Amelia
by Kimberly McCreight

Genre:  Fiction/Mystery
Pages:  382
Published:  4/2/13 by Harper Collins
Format:  ebook

My rating:
4 out of 5 stars

Amelia Baron is found dead after jumping off a building at her school. But did she really jump? That question serves as the driving force in Reconstructing Amelia. Through shifting points of view between Amelia and her mother Kate, along with interspersed Facebook statuses and text messages, the mystery of both Amelia's life and death is revealed.

I have to begin by saying that I really regret reading a glowing review in Entertainment Weekly about this book. That review raved about this book and compared it to Gone Girl (a book that I loved). So I was expecting something amazing when I started to read Reconstructing Amelia, filled with mind blowing twists and turns.

My mind was not blown, and for the most part, I felt like all the twists and turns were fairly predictable. There was one point at the end where I thought I was reading a soap opera, and a few things seemed implausible. Yet at other times, it felt so real. Too real. Especially for me, a mother of two daughters who will someday be two teenage daughters living in this scary world. I don't know how much of the stuff that happens in this book happens in real life, as I am no longer a teenager. And I don't want to know!

I really did enjoy reading it. I think I would have enjoyed it even more if I hadn't started the book with overly high expectations. It is a great story and a page turner, and I stayed up late reading to finish the story. While it is a story about teenagers, I'm not sure that this is really a book for teenagers. I think it is best for a mature teen audience, as there is some language and sexual content that may not be appropriate for everyone.

The way this story is told is excellent. I loved the shifting points of view between Kate in the present and Amelia in the past, with pertinent Facebook and text messages inserted at appropriate points in the story. It worked beautifully to tell this story set in our modern world of social media.

I also enjoyed seeing both sides of the mother/daughter relationship between Kate and Amelia. Again, this hit home with me as I have girls of my own. I loved being able to see Kate's point of view of a conversation, and then later find out what Amelia thought about the same conversation.

To conclude, this is a highly readable book with enough mystery in it to keep you turning pages, even if it is not as surprising as it proclaims to be.

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