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The book was great overall, but I felt the author spent too much time on some subjects such as the stress of the mother's work/personal life balance, which become repetitive after a while, with no additions that were of any substance, that could aid to the plot. There are areas in the story which were brushed over, and the author seemed hurried to tie up the loose ends and plot twists she had created. A couple of examples would be the revelation of the author of the gossip column and the story behind the character "Ben". The ending was also very anti-climatic and abrupt to me, it felt a little like an afterthought that was thrown in to complete the story. It could have been better written, but in some respects, I think the plot was fitting. Life isn't a movie and the plot line, for the most, was believable and not wildly dramatic.
The writing is definitely not a literary work of art, and is saved by the superb plot line. I was surprised given the background of the author, that it was not better written. There are areas, predominantly relating to younger characters - the teenagers and the "stoner IT guy", that I felt were a little off in their speech. That said, the book still flowed quite well, given the difficulty of linking together two POVs, in two different time frames and also the additions of copies of emails/texts/social media communications. Apart from the writing style, and the foundation of the plot line, I didn't feel it was too similar to Gone Girl.
The main character is likeable, which for me, is important as a reader. Most of the characters could exist in reality, flawed but portraying a palpable realness and complexity, in which their actions sometimes left you disappointed. It discussed issues, incredibly relevant to today's society, including sexuality, bullying, isolation and the destructiveness of social media.
I enjoyed the book thoroughly and found it gripping, especially as the truth unravels in the last few chapters. It leaves you with a genuine sadness, and brings back an awareness of how forceful teenage cruelty can be. I hope it serves as an eye-opener to parents and other adults that believe teens have it easy. In today's society, I believe there are far more hurdles and challenges to overcome, and the pressure of success, acceptance and fitting in is hugely overwhelming. A good read for mature audiences.
This novel uses the same storytelling style as Gone Girl and Silent Wife - popular titles that came out recently. The author presents events from both Amelia's and her mother's point of view. It is definitely very contemporary with references to Amelia's facebook status updates, and strings of text messages that take up about 15% of the book. I really enjoyed it, and quite frankly could not put it down (started reading on Friday afternoon, finished the next day.) Although the book's title is "Reconstructing Amelia" the most interesting and complicated character that really gets somewhat "reconstructed" throughout the novel, and especially towards the end is Kate Baron- Amelia's mother. I found Amelia a little bit too bland for my liking, even though she makes some bad decisions in her short life, she is made out to be a perfect teenager - smart, sweet, innocent, carrying, and kind - who was just terribly unlucky. There are very many characters introduced along the way, and quite a few times I found myself puzzled thinking who a particular individual was. As to the technicalities, I think the author's legal knowledge is very impressive, however she did not necessarily strike me as a technology wiz. I am not sure whether you can TRACK a text message - as if the geographical location it was sent from - to my knowledge text do not contain GPS location, unlike facebook messages or online activity. I wasn't also entirely sure how Amelia's teacher run a plagiarism detecting software on a PRINTED OUT copy of her work. Apart from the few little things as above, overall this book kept me interested from the first page right to the very end I couldn't stop reading - I therefore recommend it to anyone.
There is something else I wanted to add, I think there seems to be a prevalent theme in many of the contemporary novels by women recently that show men as extremely selfish, egotistical and unemphatic people to the point where they almost appear soulless. I find this somewhat interesting, and wonder whether this could possibly be a reflection of the males many young women come across these days? A rhetorical question I suppose.
I enjoyed this book although it was quite disturbing at times. If I were parent of a teenager in this day and age I think I'd be worried. Whilst this was obviously fiction, the underlying power of new technology and social media and the people behind cyber bullying etc, is something that parents need to be aware of. A good book though - although the 'whodunnit' bit was fairly predictable early on. Worth reading - particularly as a book club book as there are lots of topical discussion issues to pick up on.
Got a cheap deal but was not impressed. The mother, Kate, was stupid, and made as many mistakes as her daughter. I found the whole thing distasteful and shallow. Do schools really operate like this in the US?
Had mixed feelings about this book. It was quite slow in places. I think it would be more suited to young adults rather than an adult fiction book. The characters didn't hold much substance for me. I found it hard to believe that the mother would be so closely involved in the police investigation to the point that she was playing bad cop!
I loved this book and it held my attention throughout and the suspense lasted until the very end. The story was well written in a very modern way, including the use of text messages, it was easy to follow and the characters held my attention. I have not read any of Kimberly McCreight's books before but will certainly look out for her again.
Interesting mix of adult thriller and teen "Pretty Little Liars" type narrative and didn't quite work as either. However, this aside, it was a fast-paced read,ideal for commuting. I would read more from this author as it was almost very good!
Very well written, keeps you focused and guessing. After a bit of a shock at the start this book will introduce you to some characters you'll dislike immediately, an insight to the minds of teenagers. A highly recommended read that will keep you coming back for more.