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Reconstructing Amelia

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  59,705 ratings  ·  7,270 reviews
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:
Hardcover, 380 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 2013)
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Doreen Young This book could have appeal for both. I work at a High-school Library and both students and staff loved this book. It is an eye opener regarding the…moreThis book could have appeal for both. I work at a High-school Library and both students and staff loved this book. It is an eye opener regarding the mentality of young teens and the general naiveness of the parents. I would not want to be raising children, especially teens, with today's technology. This story is an eye opener!!(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jenn (One of Many, We are Legion)
This book. This. Fucking. Book. You see all those other reviews talking about how it was unputdownable, and how they never believed something so cliche before this book? You know how you’re rolling your eyes right now at those comments? Stop it. They are all true. This book handily usurped Gone Girl as the best book I have read in the past year. Make no mistake, however, this book is absolutely heartwrenching in so many ways I cannot describe absent spoilers.

This book is many things, which makes
Here are my pervasive thoughts as I read this book:
1 - Gillian Flynn, you should be offended within every inch of your life.
2 - I can see how a puppet show could be entertaining, but not when all you see is the marionette pulling the strings and
3 - I am coining a new term - Offensive Apologetics - to encapsulate much - but by no means all - of what is wrong with this book.

To address 1 - Ms. Flynn penned a successful hit entitled Gone Girl which, while gimmicky and over the top, was engaging and
Emily May
“The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.”
- Virginia Woolf

This book made me cry. And I really wasn't expecting that.

I think the comparisons between Reconstructing Amelia and Gone Girl have done this book a disservice. I know that every mystery/thriller with some unconventional female antics is now compared to Gone Girl - inevitable, really, in a world so focused on the marketing and selling aspect.

But Gone Girl (and the books that deserve to be grouped with it) left me shocked
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
In a nutshell this book is what I said it would be - a Lifetime movie meets Gossip Girl mixed with The Skulls & a dash of Law&Order: SVU for, an attempt at, good measure. If that is your sort of thing then enjoy but if you are looking for imagination, colorful writing, complex characters & a story that doesn't have plot holes then I suggest you pass on this book. EW review gave this an 'A' calling it "this year's Gone Girl — you remember Gillian Flynn's best-selling nail-biter of 201 ...more
A glowing review in Entertainment Weekly suggested this book is the must-read thriller of 2013, the next Gone Girl. Based on that review, and bored by the last book I finished, I was eager to read this one. But the glowing review left me disappointed. Don't get me wrong - this is a fun, engaging thriller that kept me reading. I finished it in about a day and a half. But I would hardly rave about it.

Kate, a single mother in her late 30s, is a junior partner in a large NY law firm, logging in the
I wanted to like this, but the writing is really bad. Really bad. Really, really, really bad. Plus, some of the plot points simply made no sense. There are certain things you can suspend your disbelief to and that’s fine and normal when it comes to any form of fiction, as long as it makes sense in their world the author created, but there is a limit. There’s no way a detective would bring the mother of a victim along with him to interview witnesses and get statements. It….. No, just no.

Unless, h
Good lord this book is awful. It reads like a novelization of a particularly insipid Lifetime movie. I can't even fathom how this dreck got published.

This book is a disaster in all respects. The characters are paper thin and uniformly obnoxious. They are each imbued with exactly one personality trait that is hammered into the ground ("mom works!" "Daughter reads" "boy crazy best friend"). The characters have no interior lives. None of these characters feel like people. They are some of the most
Harpercollins Canada
Reconstructing Amelia is a debut novel by Kimberly McCreight, and, my gosh, is it good. In the beginning of the novel readers meet Kate, a single mother and successful lawyer who struggles daily with determining which role is more important. Her daughter, Amelia, is a bright, creative, thoughtful and focused high school student. Despite Kate’s “crushing work hours, she knew her daughter. Really knew her,” she assures herself. But the closeness of their bond is called to question when Kate receiv ...more

2.5 stars

I could really tear this book a new one if I wanted to, seeing as how it is plagued by incredulous plot twists and nonsensical melodramatic character motivations that at times positively scream daytime soap opera antics.

Despite these maddening shortcomings, I was able to overlook most of them most of the time as the novel fairly hums along with just enough speed and tension to keep you turning the pages. It's a beach read in the sense that if you are sun stoned and feeling epically laz
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight is one of those books that parents of teenagers will read and think, could this possibly be happening in my child's life or is it all just hype.

"Do you really know whats going on inside your daughter's head"

What a brilliant premise for a novel. We have become so advanced in social media and yet so naive to the dangers and consequences of the advancements. Once there was a time when bullying at school might have been confined to the school yard or t
Jun 01, 2014 Katie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Gillian Flynn, literary psychological suspense
I guess we have to thank Gillian Flynn for making the literary thriller one of the hot new genres...after I finished reading this book, I couldn't stop thinking about how much this book would appeal to fans of Gone Girl. It's not QUITE as twisted and dark as Gillian Flynn's novels, but the elements are definitely present, and this is a powerful read.

The story begins with Kate Baron, a single mother and attorney, receiving a call from her daughter Amelia's exclusive private school, saying that Am
So a few weeks ago I was reading reviews here and I can't recall the book but someone pointed out that a problem they have with books that deal with girls coming into their sexuality or falling in love for the first time is this slightly absurd idea that they have no idea what's going on. There's a lot of "what are these strange feelings I am suddenly having that I have never before even heard about?" and "I am completely unfamiliar with this strange tingling between my legs that has never been ...more
This book was one of the biggest disappointments I've read in a long time. I like mysteries, I like books about teenagers, I like books that incorporate different kinds of media (e-mails, texts, blog posts, etc.), and I think the book had a good premise: a seemingly-happy fifteen year old girl flings herself off the roof of her fancy, private school, and her mother is determined to figure out why. But it all goes downhill from there.

Amelia is the cliche of the Perfect High School Daughter: she i
Denise Cornelius
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I read a ton of mysteries/thrillers, so when I saw this one was getting all sorts of glowing reviews and that there's even a Nicole Kidman movie in the works, I had to read it, of course. For the first third, I found it to be a decent suspense novel, and I was even impressed at the believability of some of the plot twists.

But then that all fell apart, as if the author had just thrown in a bunch of plot points she had no idea how to resolve. Several of them were faux-resolved in completely unbeli
Kate Baron is a single mother and a very busy lawyer. Her fifteen year old daughter Amelia attends an exclusive private school. Amelia is a bright, creative and a very thoughtful student so when her mother receives a call from her school to come and pick her up because she's been suspended she is has no idea as to what her daughter could've done.
Once Kate arrives at the school she is shocked to to find that Amelia has fallen to her death from the school roof. Not only is Kate extremely upset she
This reminded me of the television show Castle. Now, I love Castle, it’s one of my favorites, but I love it because it’s campy and silly. (Also, Nathan Fillion helps). Anyway, I don’t think a campy vibe is what the author was going for in this. The premise is terrific. Teen at prep school commits suicide – or did she? Super driven single mom aims to find out.

It’s hard to find characters to root for her. Kate is okay, I guess. And you understand where she’s coming from and why she’s been so drive
I had some trouble deciding on a rating for this book. I give Ms McCreight a lot of credit, and 4-5 stars for tackling some disturbing and hot topics in the world of todays teens...bullying, peer pressure, sexuality...and using the social tools that are todays world, texting, IM, Facebook etc. I think that following along as Amelia's life is "reconstructed" tells a very haunting story and one that could open up all kinds of dialogue not just in book clubs but in homes of parents with teens.

For t
Annabel Joseph
So, I have this rule when it comes to reviews. I always let a book "sit" for a while before I start spewing opinions about it. This is because sometimes a book can give me such strong feelings that I can't think clearly about the actual quality of it. Reconstructing Amelia was one of those books.

The entire time I read it I felt angry, bleak. I didn't like the characters at all. Any of them. A bigger collection of annoying fuck-ups has never been collected in one book. Kate, the mom, was whiny,
Kate Baron, a stressed, overworked lawyer and single mother, receives a call from Grace Hall - the exclusive private school in Brooklyn's suburbs which her only daughter, Amelia, attends - to say Amelia has been caught plagiarising an English paper. This is odd in the first place, since Amelia is a straight-A student whose favourite subject is English. But when Kate arrives at the school, she is greeted by a phalanx of police and the devastating news that her daughter has died jumping from the b ...more
This novel was advertised as being a twisty page-turner a la "Gone Girl." Nope, sorry, not even close. Story: bright, sensitive daughter commits suicide, distraught single working mom tries to find out why. Mix in social networking, bullying, sexting, secret girls clubs, and hipster Brooklyn and all you need is a B-level actress to make your Lifetime movie.

Also, terrible, outdated dialogue, like when the young IT guy at the law firm says he tries to steer clear of the "po-po." And bad editing,

No. No. No.

One of the guardians of a 13 year old child cannot read this book. It hurts. I just hurts, and it's hard to breathe.

This is such a fantastically written book. Too much so. Kimberly McCreight took something that is essentially "ripped from the headlines" and put such an amazing twist on it, fleshing out almost every character involved, giving such depth it was easy to get lost in the story.

I am Kate in this novel, and unlike with a lot of books I get swept up in, her emotions were
Catherine Ryan Howard

Another booked tagged with/compared to GONE GIRL that is nothing of the sort...

This book kept me entertained and mildly intrigued for the few hours I spent reading it. That's the good news. The bad news I will likely forget I ever read it in a matter of days and I certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone else.

I have two main problems with it. The first, without being spoilery (hopefully!) is that once Amelia has been reconstructed, it's like, 'Oh. Fine. Whatever.' There's no shock, no bi
Doug Bradshaw
The author is an attorney and the mother of two girls and lives in Brooklyn. So she is well qualified to write a book about the crazy world of kids in a private high school there. Apparently, their lives are incredibly sexual and especially the girls, are primarily worried about fitting in and doing whatever it takes to get a little morsel of love from some guy or maybe from other girls. And many of their mothers are just as bad, especially the ones working in large important law firms as they h ...more
Liz Krieger
I always snort with cynicism when people rave that a book was 'so good I couldn't put it down."

But THIS book is just that compelling, so it truly warrants that sort of phrase. Within 36 hours of starting this book about a private-school teenager's apparent suicide, I'd come to the end, and I nearly felt out of breath, was deeply moved and had become totally absorbed by both the exciting, heart-wrenching plot and the well-drawn characters.

Some books are beautifully rendered but sort of boring.
A psychological drama written from two POV's;

Kate is the Mother - she is a lawyer and single parent who has spent years juggling long work hours and her commitment to her daughter. Battling guilt and exhaustion she tries to understand what has happened to her daughter.
Amelia is the Daughter - she is mid-teens, studious and struggling with peer pressure, love and missing her Mother but feels unable to communicate this for fear of hurting Kate.

The story is written through emails, texts, facebook u
Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books)
Kate, a single mom, is called at work and told to come pick up her daughter because she's been caught plagiarizing an English paper. She is completely stunned because Amelia is an aspiring writer and has never been in trouble before. By the time she makes it down to the school, she finds it sealed off by police officers. She is then told that her daughter jumped from the roof of the school, committing suicide.

Kate retreats in a world of grief and half-heartedly accepts that maybe her daughter di
Kimberly McCreight’s engrossing debut novel Reconstructing Amelia takes on the hidden life of a teenager. Single mom and busy attorney Kate Baron is at a meeting when she receives a call from her 15-year-old daughter’s school. Her daughter Amelia is being suspended, and the school wants Kate to pick Amelia up immediately. Kate leaves work and hurries to the school to find out what could have possibly caused her good girl daughter’s suspension, but when she reaches the school, there are emergency ...more
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Kimberly McCreight is the New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia, which was nominated for an Edgar, Anthony and Alex award. She attended Vassar College and graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and at
More about Kimberly McCreight...
Where They Found Her Clara's Room The Outliers

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“Sometimes its hard to tell how fast the current's moving until you're headed over a waterfall” 30 likes
“It wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't been counting the minutes until I could forgive her. But it's a lot harder to forgive someone who's not looking to apologize.” 19 likes
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