Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight (Audiobook): Book Review

Reconstructing Amelia, Kimberly McCreight, audiobook, thrillerFiction
Released April, 2013

12 Hours, 15 Minutes (405 Pages)
Bottom Line: Read it.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon
Source: Purchased

Plot Summary

After the studious and athletic Amelia jumps to her death from the roof of her exclusive Brooklyn girls’ school, her mother (Kate) sets out to learn more about the events surrounding her daughter’s death.

My Thoughts

After bombing with my first audiobook, Delicious!, I was looking for something more fast paced and Reconstructing Amelia was just the ticket! It’s hard not to get hooked quickly when there is a dead body in the first few chapters.

The beginning of Reconstructing Amelia is basically a riff on the beginning of “Gossip Girl” (the TV show)…except with a dead body instead of a missing Serena Van Der Woodson. It even has a “Gossip Girl”-esque blog called “Gracefully Yours” with the tagline:

Because there are 176 definitions of the word loser on Don’t Be A Statistic.

I loved the twisty, turny plot and the suspense of trying to figure out the details surrounding Amelia’s death. Did she jump, as the police think? Or was it something more sinister? There were lots of plot twists…some not that surprising and some very surprising. And, the plot ended up being more complicated than I expected…in a good way!

Beyond the exciting plot, Reconstructing Amelia deals with real issues that give it more depth than your average teenage thriller. You’ve got secret clubs, bullying, teen angst, sexuality, and social media. It illuminates the struggle of the single working mom…how does she balance it all and how is she perceived by other parents? Finally, it tackles what has been a recurring theme in my reading this year: how well do parents really know their children? How much privacy should a parent allow their child? How does social media affect their behavior?

I did think some of the teen voices on the audio were annoyingly “OMG” to listen to, especially Sylvia’s (Amelia’s best friend). But, it didn’t bother me that much because the story is told through Amelia’s and her mother’s alternating perspectives…and, thankfully, Amelia’s voice is normal. She’s also a relatable and likable character that I was rooting for.

The ending was a little anticlimactic, but Reconstructing Amelia was an exciting Page Turner overall. It will also go on next year’s Summer Reading List (click here to see this year’s list).

You May Also Like:

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The Fever by Megan Abbott

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

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  1. I liked this book a lot too although I did think the behavior of one of the adults was a little odd.

    Posted 9.10.14 Reply
  2. I enjoyed your review Sarah. I am not a big mystery fan or audio fan, but the themes in this story sound really interesting. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Posted 9.11.14 Reply
  3. Trish wrote:

    So what you’re really trying to say is listen to it. 😉 Another fast-paced thriller type of book that is great on audio is Before I Go to Sleep. I’m not sure it’s one I would have loved so much on paper but the audio had me cleaning my house like a madwoman just to have an excuse to keep listening.

    Posted 9.11.14 Reply
  4. Sarah, now I know what you meant (when I posted on Ghosting) about reading books recently that involve kids behaving badly! This sounds like a great read; I’ll have to check it out. I’m thinking of downloading an audiobook to listen to on long runs…

    Posted 9.12.14 Reply

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