Book review: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight Baron, litigation lawyer and single mother, is shocked when her daughter’s prestigious school calls her with stunning news: her highly academic 15-year-old daughter, Amelia, was caught cheating. Kate has a difficult time believing that her daughter would be capable of doing such a thing. But before she arrives at the school and find out the truth, Kate is hit with even more devastating news: Amelia committed suicide from a rooftop.

Overcome with grief and guilt, Kate has choice to believe the story that both the school and police are giving. That is until she receives an anonymous text:

Amelia didn’t jump.

With an intense investigation through Amelia’s social media, text messages, and cell phone logs, Kate is determined to find out the truth behind her daughter’s death.

This was a great page turner for me. It was a mystery and emotional fictional novel all wrapped into one. Kate was grief-stricken over her daughter’s death understandably. But as the reader, you can really feel the character’s grief in the pit of your stomach. The grief that she felt, you couldn’t help yourself to feel it too. I felt also a connection with Kate, but a deep emotional one with Amelia as well. I felt like sh was my own child and my paternal instinct kicked in and wanted to do everything in my power to find out what happened to my own child.

There were some issues though, mainly with the supporting characters’ motives. Without giving anything away, it really wasn’t clear or plausible as to why they did the things to Amelia. Well, it goes to show you that bullying never has a good reason. The ending also felt a little incomplete. I felt the author could have done more to tie everything together. Unless, she wanted us to come up with our own conclusions. That is a possibility.

Some reviewers on Goodreads claimed that this novel was similar to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I believe that the magazine Entertainment Weekly claimed that and readers were disappointed when it wasn’t. This novel is nothing like Gone Girl so if you are looking for that type of plot twist, this is not the book for you. The only similarity is the narrative is told in two different perspectives.

Overall, Reconstructing Amelia is an outstanding debut novel and highly recommend it if you want to read a quick mystery with a little social justice entwined.

Overall rating: 4 out 5 stars

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