Bookies Review: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

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In past years I posted my book club book review along with my book club thoughts in one post.  Starting this year I will be posting my personal review of the book club books and my book clubs thoughts separately.  Click here for my review of Reconstructing Amelia.

This past Tuesday the Bookies Book Club gathered to review our January book, Reconstructing Amelia.  As anticipated, the book made for a wonderful discussion.

Reconstructing Amelia is about a 15-year-old girl who joins a coveted undercover group at her Private School called the Maggie’s.  If you are tapped to be a Maggie, you do not say no.  The book centers around coming of age issues such as; parent/child relationships, trust, friendships, sexuality, fitting in, bullying, social media and oddly… adults in high position roles who act in the most inappropriate ways.  When Amelia dies early on in the book (not a spoiler, this is part of the books synopsis on the back cover), her mother is left to figure out the pieces as to what happened.  Through a series of emails, texts, and Facebook posts, things start to come together to a shocking conclusion.

Reconstructing Amelia is a tangled weave of dishonesty and rabbit trails that cause you to think things one way… only to wonder (even in the end) if it was not something completely different.  This sort of writing can be both exciting and frustrating as our book club discussed. 

What discussion topics can Book Clubs pull from this read?

There is so much that makes for good group discussion here. 

  1. Peer pressure…. how hard is it at 15 to say no?  How important at this age is it to fit in?
  2. Social media… how much worse can social media make it for teens?  Now when friends disagree it can be posted for everyone’s eyes. 
  3. In a world where we know everyone’s business… how much is too much?  Where do we as parents draw the line when it comes to internet, social media, texting, emails, dating….
  4. Bullying is such a  huge topic right now.  How can we protect our children – especially when they are at the age where they do not necessarily come to us with problems.
  5. Single parenting is common.  How does a single parent juggle maintaining a job, a home, the bills, and relationships with their children?
  6. What about these clubs in schools like college?  The ones that include hazing.  Is it a right of passage?  Is there reason for concern?
  7. How important is it to keep communication with your teen child?  Do you have a limit to what you want to know?  If you do not, do you give off the impression that you do?

 

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Top left: As the center pic sign says, Amelia’s favorite food was Hibachi and that was what I tried my hand at. It was good – lots of seasoned chicken and fresh vegies as well as home-made hibachi sauce.
Center row: left is a spinach bacon salad and far right is an assortment of wines that we called Maggie hazing potions… you must drink!
Bottom: center is a pea and cheese salad and far right in a New York Cheese cake as the book is set in New York.

 

The Bookies had a vibrant discussion over these topics, occasionally even talking over one another.  Many of us had stories of our own kids being bullied.  Social media is another fire conversation.  For a group of women who grew up for the most part without Facebook and cell phones and instant pictures; we are concerned as to the “where does it go from here.”  So little is considered taboo now, what does the next generation have going on?

Reconstructing Amelia scored well with the Bookies overall.  On a scale of 1 -5 (5 the best), Amelia landed at a solid 4 rating out of the 17 of us who rated the book.  Over all the bookies found the book to be hard to put down, it kept you guessing as to what actually happened all the way to the end. 

Book clubs looking for a fairly quick read (the pages of texting and Facebook posts make for some quick chapters) with great discussion topics are encouraged to choose this book.  Reconstructing Amelia will leave you with some questions, and either intentional by the author or not, most of the Bookies were not bothered by this unknowing. 

About Sheila (Book Journey)

Bookaholic * Audio Book Fan *Bike Rider *Rollerblader *Adventure Seeker *Want To Be Runner*Coffee lover *Fitness Fan * Movie junkie

Posted on January 17, 2014, in Being Bookie and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

    • It was, I reviewed it as an average read but the discussion with the book club really raised my value of the book. This is part of the reason I decided to do my reviews before book club and separately, Bookies have a way of swaying my vote. :D

  1. I’ve been wanting to read this book for awhile. Maybe I can get my book club to read it soon!

    • Kate if you have people in your book club who have dealt with the topics I mentioned above or have children in the MG to YA group – this is a super fit. Our discussion was rather passionate, and in some cases, what they shared was very sad.

  2. It sounds like a great book club pick!

  3. someone was telling me about this book the other day. It sounds like it would be a great choice for out book club! Thanks!

  4. This book definitely has a lot to talk about!

  5. I have this one on Sparky…need to read it soon!

  6. Sounds like an intriguing and thoughtful discussion was had. Thanks for the run down.

  7. I think this is one for me. Thanks for the review.

  8. I am going to be adding this to the list for my book discussion groups! Thanks for the recommendation. I really like how you wrote the post with book discussion groups in mind (the discussion topics especially). I always find great reading ideas on your blog!

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