Lawyer Kate Baron was late picking up her daughter.
In the midst of a big meeting, Kate is called with the news that her daughter, Amelia, has been suLawyer Kate Baron was late picking up her daughter.
In the midst of a big meeting, Kate is called with the news that her daughter, Amelia, has been suspended, effective immediately. The news comes as a shock considering Amelia has always been a good kid. The reason behind the suspension is even more jarring for Kate: apparently Amelia was caught cheating. When Kate finally arrives, Amelia is dead. The police ruled it a suicide but weeks later Kate receives a text reading: Amelia didn't jump.
I stayed up LATE finishing this one! It's the first time in a long time that I've been able to delay passing out long enough to finish a book. And it was totally necessary! From the very start, RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA grabs you and doesn't let go. I wish I could think of a better word than "gripping," but the book is just that, gripping.
The story alternates between Kate, present day, Amelia in the days leading up to her death, and Amelia's text conversations, and facebook posts. Interspersed throughout are flashbacks to Kate's actual pregnancy with Amelia and posts from the gRaCeFULLY blog, an unofficial and anonymous gossip blog focused on the students at Grace Hall.
The secrets that Kate learns about Amelia are the kind no parent wants to hear. Amelia is a good kid and Kate does her best as a mother, but her job and its demanding hours mean that Amelia spends a lot of time alone, which is exactly what leaves her prey to the events in the book.
I don't want to give too much away, so I'll leave it at that. This is an excellent thriller in the vein of Laura Lippman (for reasons that I can't really explain other than the fact that it involves high school girls, I thought RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA reminded me a bit of Lippman's TO THE POWER OF THREE). Definitely recommended. Note some folks have mentioned the issues discussed in the book and while they are certainly timely and terrible, it only made RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA that much more of an intense read for me. It's strange to say that I enjoyed it but, quite frankly, this was truly a great read!...more
Chad, Jolyon, Jack, Mark, Emilia, and Dee were just freshmen when they met at Pitt. Together they devised a game, one involving tasks of increasing huChad, Jolyon, Jack, Mark, Emilia, and Dee were just freshmen when they met at Pitt. Together they devised a game, one involving tasks of increasing humiliation. According to the rules, they would fall one by one leaving just one winner to take home the prize. But then the game became something different and one of them died.
Fourteen years later it's time for them to reunite.
I really, really don't want to give anything away but I will say that there were many points in this book where I got those tingly goosebumps that tell you this is something really special. (PAGE 114!!!)
The story plays out in an interesting way, with a narrator intersperced between the characters' Oxford days. This narrator is writing the story and the reader isn't quite sure who it is until around 60 or so pages in. This was the first one that threw me for a loop because it really was not who I expected it to be. And the narrator has some pretty big issues that of course make you wonder how far you can really trust them and the story they're telling.
Agh! I want everyone to read this so I can talk about it!
Anyway, if you like truly clever thrillers and unreliable narrators (and Donna Tartt apparently) you should most definitely check out Christopher J. Yates's debut!...more
Evelyn's life is just about perfect. Every morning she wakes at the same time. She has breakfast. she meets with her Therapist, and then she's free toEvelyn's life is just about perfect. Every morning she wakes at the same time. She has breakfast. she meets with her Therapist, and then she's free to visit her garden. She is respected and well cared for. She is, after all, a Daughter of the People. Handpicked by Mother herself to follow in her footsteps and one day lead Elysium, their underwater haven. They have everything they need here: food, resources, entertainment, jobs, and they're safe from the wicked surface dwellers above. But one day a surface dweller finds his way into Elysium. Evelyn is fascinated by him and wants to help him in spite of everything she's always been taught. No one in Elysium is ever allowed to question Mother. But soon Evelyn begins to do just that. And once she starts to doubt Mother's teachings and rules, Evelyn finds herself in big trouble.
J.A. Souders's debut is crazy! Crazy good and crazy, crazy!
I love the world! An underwater utopia -- anyone familiar with BioShock has to automatically love this idea. In fact, the pitch I read on RENEGADE called it part BOURNE and part BIOSHOCK. I'm all for that!
(As an aside I've often wondered why there aren't more underwater worlds. It seems pretty logical to me that there should be!)
It's not clear at the outset exactly what's going on with Evelyn, but by the end of the first chapter you know Elysium and Mother are pretty freaking warped! Souders wastes no time getting straight to the action while provided a great balance of set up for the reader in explaining the world.
The book only becomes more twisted and bloody from that point forward. Mother is bad. Really, really bad. You know she's bad but Souders still manages to shock and disturb the reader with just how bad this character gets.
And then there's Evelyn. Sweet and flighty Evelyn who really isn't flighty at all. I won't give away her story, you have to read RENEGADE yourself to learn that. Needless to say I kind of loved this book. There were definitely a few moments when I had to roll my eyes and admit maybe the book went a little too far in one direction, but I quickly popped back into the story and forgave those instances. It was too much fun not to!...more
It begins easily enough, a phone on a train and a question: Wanna play a game? Course HP wasn't thinking about games when he found the sleek new cellIt begins easily enough, a phone on a train and a question: Wanna play a game? Course HP wasn't thinking about games when he found the sleek new cell phone apparently forgotten on the seat next to him. When the text appears again, this time calling him out by name, he finds it hard to resist. He's certain it has to be a joke - someone watching nearby, waiting for him to fall for it. The game starts with a stolen umbrella. After successfully completing this task, HP is let in and the points begin to rack up. The tasks escalate but HP doesn't think much of it until his own sister is injured as part of the game. Still he wants to continue in spite of being kicked out. But HP will soon learn that the game isn't a game at all and the consequences are far more dangerous than he could ever anticipate.
This first in a new trilogy by Anders de la Motte initially struck me as being very similar to Ursula Poznanski's teen thriller EREBOS. True, both books do concern a suspicious game that has real life consequences, but ultimately that's where the comparison ends.
GAME divides its time between HP, Henrik Pettersson, and Rebecca Normén, a member of Sweden's Security Police. Much of the beginning of the book is propelled by the story of the game itself and HP's participation. Rebecca's portions in this early part are her work and her development as a character, which makes for a nice set up once her story begins to intersect with that of HP.
GAME is an intriguing premise and I've no doubt that it's one that could really happen. The author has some interesting things to say about his inspiration here - things I agree with on a lot of levels.
Tech meets conspiracy theory all wrapped up in a tense and action packed plot - with more than one twist as well. Game is hard to resist! Since this is the first in a trilogy, it's to be expected that there are still some questions yet to be resolved. The second release, BUZZ, is due out Jan 7, and the final title, BUBBLE, is due out Feb 4.
I should also point out that while this is a translated work, beyond the fact that it's set it Sweden I don't think I would have had a clue that a translator was involved. The narrative flows incredibly easily. Frankly I was kind of amazed....more
Part mystery, ghost story, and thriller. Kate Cypher returns home to care for her mother when a girl is murdered in a manner similar to the murder ofPart mystery, ghost story, and thriller. Kate Cypher returns home to care for her mother when a girl is murdered in a manner similar to the murder of her friend years ago.
Great debut! Excellent build and intense plot. ...more
Short horror story from King and son. Bother and sister Cal and Becky are on a road trip when they hear a call for help issuing from the tall grass. AShort horror story from King and son. Bother and sister Cal and Becky are on a road trip when they hear a call for help issuing from the tall grass. As they enter to help, terror ensues.
Seriously, writing a synopsis for a short story is tough! This one is uber gory and creepy! Plus, it comes with samples of both authors' upcoming works, DR. SLEEP and NOS4A2. ...more
What if your parents died and you were left on your own? In the aftermath of the Spore Wars, everything has changed. With limited vaccine, only the yoWhat if your parents died and you were left on your own? In the aftermath of the Spore Wars, everything has changed. With limited vaccine, only the young and the old were protected from infection. Now, an entire generation of Starters (teens) has been left parentless. Those like Callie Woodlawn and her brother have been living on the streets trying to survive. Unable to work thanks to legislation protecting Enders' -- those over 60 -- interests, teens are frequently rounded up and put into institutions. Desperate, Callie signs on with Prime Destinations, a new company that allows Enders to rent Starters' bodies so that they may enjoy youthful energy and activities once again. The money Callie will earn could save her and her brother. But something has gone very wrong. Callie finds herself sharing her body with the mind of a woman she is unable to trust. What are her renter's motives and will Callie be able to protect her brother?
Whoa! Lissa Price's crazy futuristic dystopian is amazing! Definitely one of those books that you can't put down once you've begun and a cliffhanger ending that already has readers (including me) on the edge of their seats until book two is released.
The pacing and momentum of Price's writing is perfect. From the beginning, the reader is able to easily connect with Callie and is drawn into a story that is irresistibly intense.
I find the plot here a bit close for comfort. There's more than a shred of believability in Price's imagined future and that makes it all that much more exciting and kind of creepy to think about. Either way, Starters is an absolute must read with great cross-over appeal for both teens and adults. Another great 2012 debut!...more
Second in the Gretchen Lowell series finds Detective Archie Sheridan returning to the spot where Lowell's first suspected victim was found. This time,Second in the Gretchen Lowell series finds Detective Archie Sheridan returning to the spot where Lowell's first suspected victim was found. This time, three bodies have been discovered, no connection to the Beauty Killer case, but hits too close for Archie.
Cain holds nothing back. Her crime scenes are brutal, her characters are deeply flawed, and the suspense is killer. ...more
Andrew Taylor is the new kid at Harrow. When a classmate dies, Andrew believes he sees the Lot ghost killing him. But the coroner says the boy was sicAndrew Taylor is the new kid at Harrow. When a classmate dies, Andrew believes he sees the Lot ghost killing him. But the coroner says the boy was sick. Then Andrew sees the ghost again.