Like Gone Girl? With fingers crossed, I bought into the hype and took a copy of Kimberly McCreight's, Reconstructing Amelia, on our summer vacation.
PLOT - Kate is a high powered attorney and her daughter, Amelia, is a star student at Grace Hall, a prestigious private high school. Their world is rocked when Kate gets a phone call telling her that Amelia has been caught cheating and has been suspended. When Kate arrives at Grace Hall, she finds the school surrounded by police and learns that Amelia had died. Ruled a suicide, the official report states that Amelia jumped off of the school's roof in despair. Kate's suspicions of foul-play are heightened when she receives a mysterious text message saying "She Didn't Jump". What really happened to Amelia? Can any parent ever really know their child?
LIKE - Reconstructing Amelia is a tightly plotted murder mystery with compelling characters. Keeping it interesting is theme of a parent never quite knowing their children and how children, especially teenagers, lead very private lives. McCreight reveals her story by bouncing between Kate post-death and Amelia pre-death, which was a smart way to handle the pacing and plot. Reconstructing Amelia is a page turner.
DISLIKE - Gone Girl this is not. Although to be fair, I think it's difficult when comparisons are made, especially to a best seller like Gone Girl. With the comparison, I kept anticipating a shocking twist, which didn't happen. It's a bit like The Sixth Sense and watching other M. Night Shyamalan films. When you expect or even demand a good story twist, the bar is set too high. Possibly without the Gone Girl comparisons, I would have enjoyed Reconstructing Amelia more.
The teenage text messages grew old fast. I realize that this was an important part of setting up Amelia's world, but it was still grating. I found it difficult to care for Amelia, although I think that McCreight did a solid job at getting into a teen mindset.
RECOMMEND - Maybe. Reconstructing Amelia is a fast read and a decent mystery. The hype killed it for me, but I suspect that I would have been more favorable to it, if I had gone in without preconceived notions. This is probably a good novel for anyone struggling with a teenager.