Book: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight, Harper Audio, April 2, 2013
Book Info: Literary Fiction / Mystery Thriller, borrowed OverDrive MP3 Audiobook from the library. Running time: 12 hrs, 15 mins. Read by: Khristine Hvam. Also available in hardcover, 400 pages from Harper.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Kate is a workaholic lawyer single mom, and her fifteen-year-old daughter Amelia attends an elite Park Slope prep school. One day the school calls Kate to pick up Amelia. She’s in trouble for plagiarizing an English paper – something very out of character for bright Amelia. When Kate gets to the school from Manhattan, she finds out her daughter leapt to her death from the school roof. The case seems cut and dry, until a mysterious text comes through stating that Amelia didn’t jump.
Reconstructing Amelia is a literary fiction book with YA appeal. There’s Gossip Girl-type drama in Amelia’s story, and mystery and heartache in Kate’s. It’s always been just the two of them, with Amelia’s dad out of the picture, and she doesn’t even know who he is. Kate works long, hard hours, but all her free time is devoted to spending quality time with Amelia. The two are close, but Amelia is keeping some dark secrets to herself, and after her death, Kate puzzles to put the missing pieces of her life together.
We get both Amelia and Kate’s POV in the book, Amelia’s through flashbacks, texts, interviews with classmates and status updates. Amelia was going through a very tough time with bullying, a secret club and relationship, and she didn’t know where to turn. A school gossip blog run by the mean girls of Grace Hall called gRaCeFULLY adds more salacious details to the story.
Kimberly McCreight builds a complex story with plenty of exciting reveals and twists. I couldn’t put the book down until I found out what really happened to Amelia. I didn’t figure out all the mysteries on my own, and some were very surprising.
I listened to the audiobook, read by the masterful Khristine Hvam. This is the first audiobook I’ve listened to by Hvam, but I can see why she’s so popular. My favorite audiobooks are ones where the narration doesn’t distract, and just lets you get lost in the story, and that was the case with this audiobook. Hvam embodies the voices of all different types of characters with ease, male and female of all ages. I’m glad I have her reading of the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series to check out. The story shifts in time and perspective but I didn’t find it hard to follow. This audiobook is like candy for your ears, and I finished the twelve-hour book in no time.
Reconstructing Amelia is a good book to read if you’re in a reading rut- it’s riveting and you won’t want to put it down.