Reviewed by Krystal Larson
How would you react if your teenage daughter supposedly committed suicide? How much do you really know about other people? No one is a mind reader, but surely parents know their own children well enough to know when they are thinking of killing themselves, right? When Kate receives a call that her daughter, Amelia, has been caught cheating, she can’t quite believe the accusations. Amelia isn’t the type to cheat. She is hard-working, secure, and bright. As Kate leaves to go address the issue of cheating with the school, Amelia appears to jump from the school building, instantly killing herself. Is Amelia’s desperate jump an act born out of extreme pain and embarrassment? Or is there an underlying issue that needs to be discovered below the surface?
Kate was a nice character to read about. I use the word “nice” because she is a pretty good mother and a pretty good worker, but doesn’t seem to excel particularly at either one. To me, it felt like she was very disconnected from Amelia, her own child. I didn’t like the secrets and discoveries that kept popping up that proved just how unaware Kate was. I like to think that mothers pay more attention than that. Amelia, on the other hand, wasn’t the easiest character to get to know. She is, in essence, secretive. She holds a lot inside of herself, releasing bits of her character to the reader as the story progresses. It wasn’t that easy for me to like Amelia right away, but I did end up enjoying her character in the end.
Reconstructing Amelia was a bit disjointed in some places, but otherwise flowed very well. McCreight did a terrific job of capturing the reader’s interest with the first terrifying scene and holding on to that interest. I was riveted until the end because I needed to find out just why/what/who had made Amelia decide to jump. I think there are many lessons that this novel can offer up to the reader; lessons that will be appreciated and may be applied by the reader to their own life. The author also handled several controversial issues quite tactfully. Overall, I would recommend this book to mature young adult and adult readers.
Krystal is a young college student who loves meeting new authors and finding great books! Her favorite place to read is the Botanic Gardens.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Harper. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.