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Reconstructing Amelia

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3.83  ·  Rating details ·  112,544 ratings  ·  11,071 reviews
In Reconstructing Amelia, the stunning debut novel from Kimberly McCreight, Kate's in the middle of the biggest meeting of her career when she gets the telephone call from Grace Hall, her daughter’s exclusive private school in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Amelia has been suspended, effective immediately, and Kate must come get her daughter—now. But Kate’s stress over leaving work ...more
Kindle Edition, 405 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by HarperCollins
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xoSammiDxo My take is a mild form of autism, perhaps Asperger's. Dylan wasn't socially awkward, she simply didn't relate to social cues nor did she always…moreMy take is a mild form of autism, perhaps Asperger's. Dylan wasn't socially awkward, she simply didn't relate to social cues nor did she always provide them. And in a piece it is revealed by Dylan's mom "only her father, me, and Zadie know." this is what is meant by "knew the real her". Zadie knew of the Asperger's, but no one else outside of the immediate family knew.(less)
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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3.83  · 
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 ·  112,544 ratings  ·  11,071 reviews


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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
...more
M
Jun 20, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Emily May
Dec 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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
...more
pdbkwm
Dec 10, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Sammee
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
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
Lisa
Apr 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
...more
Korey
Jun 17, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister
*3.5 Stars

• Gripping and mysterious build-up
• Intriguing plot
• Wonderfully composed characters
• Decent conclusion, but wasn't as blown away as I'd hoped

*Would recommend*
Katie
May 19, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Norma * Traveling Sister
3.5 stars / Recommend / fast, easy read / enjoyed the characters and the story / suspected what actually happened to Amelia and a few other mysteries / was happy with the ending / no real wow factor for me but all in all it was a very good read
Dem
May 09, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub-reads
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
...more
Rose
Initial reaction: I was really surprised how engaged I was throughout this entire narrative. The book somehow missed my radar when it was first released, but I got it on Google Play for $1.99 during one of their sales. I couldn't put this down at all. I loved the format, loved the way it kept me guessing, and the characters were well constructed. I still need to collect my thoughts, but this is looking like a 4 star read.

Full review:

Edit 1/28/2016: Character name corrected to Kate. Apologies for
...more
Brenda
Jun 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Time to deconstruct Reconstructing Amelia. I think I must have enjoyed this book. After all, I never considered not finishing it. So it kept me engaged. I had no problems switching from Amelia to Kate and back to Amelia. And I had no problems reading current time and 1997. I wanted to know the whole backstory.

This was not, however, a perfect book. I really objected to how Lew the Lieutenant let Kate get so deeply involved in the investigation. She was the one poring over what was on Amelia's pho
...more
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
Maria
Nov 04, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
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
...more
Trudi

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
...more
Carol
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-audible
O-M-G! I'm so glad that I was a teenage girl way before the arrival of the internet. These girlies take bullying to a whole new level!
Celeste
Jan 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: just-fiction
2.5 out of 5, rounded up to 3.

This was not my favorite book. But that’s not the book’s fault. I’m just not a fan of contemporary murder mysteries unless they’re penned by Nora Roberts, my favorite guilty-pleasure author. I would have never picked this book up on my own, but joining a real-life book club has gotten me out of my fantasy comfort zone. All of that being said, the hatred I had for the first half of the book mellowed, and I sped through the last half.

I think one of my big problems wi
...more
Amelia
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I quite enjoyed this book.

The ending was a little bit of a letdown. There was this build-up to the ending and Kate finding out what really happened to Amelia but then it ended up being something very predictable.

I did like how the mystery unravelled, going back and forth between Amelia's and Kate's point of view while everything still remained this huge mystery, and the build-up towards the end. It was only the conclusion of the book that ended up ruining the story for me.

I think McCreight did
...more
TL
Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to TL by: Nikki
""I don't know what she was doing with them," Seth said, "But I know that nothing Amelia could have read would have changed how much she loved you. And she did, Kate. She really loved you."

"Then why do I feel even worse?"

Seth reached forward and put his hand over Kate's. "Because she's still gone.


This book tugged at my heart, and made me cry at times... also frustrated and angry at some of the things happening.

It drew me in from the start and didn't let go, letting up now and then to let some t
...more
Katie
May 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Sara
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
Denise Cornelius
Jun 17, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Becky
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Susan Johnson
I gave this the old college try of 75 pages and then read the ending. UGH. I think this is actually a YA book and I found reading texts and Facebook pages just down right annoying. The story is not original, the writing is trite and nothing appealed to me. I worry how I will discuss this at book club without hurting the feelings of the person recommending it. This was not for me and there are just too many good books for me to read to waste my time on this.
Chase
Feb 22, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readin14
I am giving this book 2 stars just because I want to believe that I wouldn't bother to even finish a book that's truly 1 star. I picked it to take on vacation on the recommendation of Goodreads (THANKS GOODREADS), because I like to take something light (or "terrible") on my vacations. Really the only reason I read it was because I was trapped inside of a metal tube hurling through space with nothing else to do.

This book is just super dumb. The story is dumb, all the people are dumb, the twists a
...more
Liz Krieger
Feb 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: just-finished
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.
...more
Blair
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
Sharon
Apr 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Michelle
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
...more
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Play Book Tag: Reconstructing Amelia - Kimberly McCreight - 4* 1 13 Oct 28, 2018 08:59AM  
Fresh*Reads: January Title 1 9 Dec 19, 2017 10:57AM  
Bookworm Bitches : July 2014: Reconstructing Amelia 41 326 Sep 27, 2017 01:59AM  

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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 kimberlymccreight.com
“Sometimes its hard to tell how fast the current's moving until you're headed over a waterfall” 61 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.” 30 likes
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