Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight


Strong single parent Kate Baron has had no problem raising her daughter Amelia on her own. Amelia, even now at the age of 15, has always been a fairly easy laid back kind of girl.  She didn’t get in trouble or hang out with the wrong crowds, she had few close friends but by choice not because she couldn’t have them. She gets good grades, Amelia’s easiness made it possible for Kate to pursue and be successful as a litigation Lawyer in a good firm. 

So when Kate received the call from the Private School her daughter attended saying that she had been caught cheating, Kate is floored.  Amelia had never done anything like this before and there must be some mistake.  When Kate arrives at the school she is hit with an even bigger shock, Amelia had went to the roof of the school and jumped to her death. 

Suddenly Kate is caught up in a whirlwind of emotion and pain.  What had she missed?  Where did she go wrong?  The police have ruled it a suicide.  Then Kate receives a text.

Amelia didn’t jump.

Now Kate is searching for the truth. Looking through her daughters emails, texts, and Facebook posts, Kate uncovers what everyone had missed, and she discovers a daughter she never really knew at all.

Why did I want to read this book?  This book was chosen for our January Bookies read.  When it was nominated, the synopsis was so powerful it brought tears to my eyes.  I had to read this book.

Reconstructing Amelia is a YA style read with a lime twist.  It has a bit of a zing to it that makes it different from any YA I have read before.  That zing is both surprisingly good and a bit bitter at the same time.

It is hard for me to put a rating on this book.  On the one hand, I have always appreciated books that surprise me and this one did indeed do that.  I liked Amelia.  I liked the setting of the Private School. On the other hand, I had a hard time keeping in mind that Amelia was 15.  It felt as the protagonist role was written for an older girl… 17 or 18.  That may be just me.

Reconstructing Amelia is a good read.  If you enjoy YA reads with modern-day and realistic teen dealings, this will be a good fit for you.  I can see this as a movie.

Because my head is full of questions, I am wheeling out the Spoiler Button.  All DOT certified for 2014… here we go.


Reconstructing Amelia is set in New York

32 thoughts on “Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

  1. In my library system this is cataloged as a book for adults. Not sure my teen readers would go for it. How did your book group like it? I am always looking for new book discussion book ideas. Maybe I’ll add this to our list for 2014. Thanks for your review! The story sounds really fascinating.

  2. I read this last week. I didn’t know until just now that it was a YA book. It wasn’t baaaaad. it Just wasn’t all that good. That Zadia character was a little over the top for having so much control for a 15 yr old. Just a little psycho for a 15yr old. And the relationship between dylan and amelia!…well…for two virgins…they sure seemed a little to worldly all of a sudden to know what they were doing with the situation that’s for sure. Both 15…I don’t know – maybe if one of them was 18-20 it would be a little more believable.. And give me a break….”mom” got to tag along with the police???? Everywhere???

  3. I wasn’t as taken with this as others were — I had issues with the plot: some of the characters didn’t ring true and some of the details were a little hard to accept. The audio was nicely done though.

  4. I enjoyed this book.
    I think kids mature a lot more earlier these days, I think. When I chat to the youth at church, half the time I think that things don’t change but then the other half was that I never would have thought of or done that in my youth! So, I think, with all this technological things = easy access to many things, things are a lot different for our youths

  5. I’ve never read a YA book, but am very interested to know what you think is the age group of this genre. And maybe, just a thought, you could write a blog about the different genre’s we have these days, general fiction, YA, coming of age etc. Actually what is the difference between YA and coming of age? Sorry went off at a tangent there. Nice review as always 🙂

    1. Thanks Ruth. I like writing posts that start conversations. There are so many genres…. Its hard for me to choose an age group for a book as I LOVE YA…. the book however, without looking around on line I would guess is YA – which can be 14 – 20 years old…. I do not fit in that category 🙂

  6. Hi, that question “What IS YA?” is such a tough one to answer and I suppose it might depend on how the publisher markets it more than anything. But I am no expert. This book looks intriguing and scary since I work with HSers.

    LOVE the spoiler button/link. This is sort of what I was trying to ask you via Twitter (I can probably/hopefully explain my question here – more words!) I wanted to have a post that had a menu in the post that would like to a point later on down the post. Does that make sense? LIke if you had a link at the very top of this post that would take the reader to a point further in the same post but not to a new page. That’s all. I don’t think WordPress allows it. I could give you an example but my need to figure it out has past and I don’t need it anymore! THANKS for offering to help. 😀

    1. Care I agree on the YA definition, sometimes I am surprised what is considered YA (The Book Thief for instance…. and then this one is apparently marketed as Adult).

      Your link idea is cool – but I do not think you can link to another spot on the same page. You could however do like I do with the spoiler and open up another page. The other page doesn’t have to be a full post – it could be whatever you want… a few sentences… whatever 🙂

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