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Reconstructing Amelia - A Book Review

'Reconstructing Amelia' is a heart-pounding mystery

Reconstructing Amelia - A Book Review

No matter what, keep fighting to make a change.

Reconstructing Amelia is a novel written by Kimberly McCreight. Kate struggles to accept the suicide of her daughter. Before her death, Amelia was undergoing the stressful dramas of high school. In the clues leading up in the investigation, Kate learns important news and secrets that Amelia was hiding from her.

Kimberly McCreight chose to tell Reconstructing Amelia in a different format in contrast to most stories about crime. Cutting between a creative blend of perspective between Kate and Amelia, each chapter ends with a surprising twist. Some nights I could not put down this book before heading to bed. Reconstructing Amelia is a heart-pounding mystery about love and putting your trust in the right people.

Kate is a hard-working single mother. My favorite aspect of her character is how she never stops fighting to avenge her daughter’s death. In most of Amelia’s chapters, although she is not around for Amelia, Kate still makes an effort to be there. In her own chapters, readers see her fleshed-out character.

15-year-old Amelia stress-fully encounters high school drama in her Brooklyn private school. Other than her best friend, Sylvia, Amelia does not have that many supporting people to turn to for help. A group called the Magpies wants to initiate her. Unfortunately, this group has rather embarrassing hazing rituals. Gradually, this group marks their territory making Amelia regret joining.

An ensemble of characters fills the pages. Unexpectedly, Sylvia became one of my favorite characters. As Amelia’s best friend she proves what a friend is. She may not be the most serious person who only likes to talk about drama, but she helps Amelia in whatever way she can. Friendship is so important.

One aspect that I never expected from this book was the LGBT side to it. The subject matter is handled well. At times this story was hard to read because of the bullying. Bullying is not acceptable. Reconstructing Amelia leashes out the dark sides of bullying and how social media affects students attending high school.

Flaws. Everyone has flaws. It’s okay to have a flaw. Always check in with friends and family to see how they are doing. This is a prominent theme throughout the story. Kate and Amelia try to make up for the missing patches they have in their life. Teenage life is tough, and I am surprised how Amelia can hide so many dark secrets from Kate.

The style McCreight connects us to Amelia and Kate is done very well. Emotions were described well. She explored the life of a teenager examining angst as it pours out on the pages the deeper the story goes.

The construction of her writing is made to fit the modern style. For Amelia’s sections, each chapter started with a Facebook post or including text messaging conversations. Social media has its dark side. Be careful of who you talk to.

McCreight wrote a well-paced story with great characters. Pay very close attention because it is easy to miss details that were mentioned in the criss-cross timeline. The story kept me guessing until the very end. Stories like that are great. I don’t enjoy stories that give away twists right in the middle because then it feels unnecessary to read the rest.

It is an emotional ending. I will not spoil anything, but readers are in for a wild ride. I always looked forward to the end of each chapter. For most chapters, I actually had to shield the last few paragraphs so I wouldn’t skip ahead. Yes, it is that suspenseful.

I recommend Reconstructing Amelia to anyone who loves a good mystery.

book reviews
Marielle Sabbag
Marielle Sabbag
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Marielle Sabbag

Writing has been my passion since I was 11 years old. I love creating stories from fiction, poetry, fanfiction. I enjoy writing movie reviews. I would love to become a creative writing teacher and leave the world inspiring minds.

See all posts by Marielle Sabbag