Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

Reconstructing Amelia (4/2/13)
by Kimberly McCreight

Ugh, I don’t even know where to start. I feel like I keep having high expectations for these supposed “The Next Gone Girl!” story lines and end up transported into a Lifetime Movie. (Which, I found out, was how a lot of other readers on Goodreads felt as well.)  This story had a great shot at being a great story. But it fell flat…like boring, I could just turn on Lifetime and find the exact same story told different ways.

I need to point out, this review has spoilers. So if this is one on your To Read Pile and you don’t want it to be ruined by me…then stop here. If you want an honest review that will save you some disappointment, then let’s continue.

Okay, first off, I was disappointed how the author used Amelia’s sexuality. The author started out with this glimpse of Amelia discovering her feelings for other girls and the possibility of her first love. Then she used that as what could have been the reason for her death, and then just kind of dropped it. She could have explored the bullying she was receiving and showcasing the reality that LGBTQ teenagers go through in high school. Instead, she had Amelia teased relentlessly, but in the end that had nothing to do with anything. It wasn’t a cause for her death, it didn’t have anything to do with why they were actually teasing her, nor did it teacher her character much of anything.

Sadly, the adults in this novel were just as petty as the teenagers. There was no consistency in the story line, and really, no mother is going to go investigating with a detective about the death of her child. The last chapter was rushed to get out what exactly happened. The epilogue was just as bad. We find out the cause of death, we find out the truth about Kate’s past and her connection to the other characters, and we find out that the girl who started it all, in reality was a pawn in her mother’s game.

I would have prefered the author really showed the dangers of secret clubs in high school (which was not even secret, nor was it addressed by the adults the dangers when even the headmaster warned Amelia how dangerous those girls were). The English teacher was never punished for the blog she wrote that sounded like a gossipy teenager. And there were no criminal actions taken against the mom who initiated the cyberbullying.

I read it all the way through, although some parts I skimmed over because I wanted just get to the end to find out who did what. This could have been so much better. It could have taught us something, or at least opened our eyes to the dangers of high school bullies and cyberbullying…but no. It was just a teenage drama that was only fit for daytime TV.

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