Who Weekly (National Magazine UK) Five Star Review – April 22, 2013
“…And off we go into this year’s Gone Girl -Gililan Flynn’s 2012 nail -biter -set in a posh high school in Brooklyn, New York. Like Gone Girl this seamlessly marries a crime story with a relationship drama, as Amelia and Kate take turns narrating chapters that reveal the truth behind ostensibly perfect lives. And like Gone Girl, it should be hailed as one of the best books of the year. In her riveting debut McCreight somehow delivers thoughtful commentary on mother guilt, bullying, police corruption and Gossip Girl. Every twist is clever and rightfully earned. Virginia Woolf once said, “Fiction is like a spider’s web,” and McCreight is a masterful weaver.”
USA Today – April 17, 2013
“It’s a clever, scary conceit… …this disturbing tale will make older readers fondly recall the days when kids got in trouble for passing (print) notes in class.”
Entertainment Weekly – March 27, 2013 – Graded A
Amelia Baron has thrown herself from her high school’s roof after she was caught plagiarizing a paper on Virginia Woolf…or so it seems. The problem is that Amelia is obsessed with Woolf in a way that only a hyperintelligent 15-year-old girl can be. And her workaholic single mom, Kate — a brilliant attorney — has received an anonymous text that reads: ”Amelia didn’t jump.”
And off we go into this year’s Gone Girl — you remember Gillian Flynn’s best-selling nail-biter of 2012 — which is set against the backdrop of Grace Hall, a prep school in the tony Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope. Like Gone Girl, Reconstructing Amelia seamlessly marries a crime story with a relationship drama. And like Gone Girl, it should be hailed as one of the best books of the year.
Amelia and Kate take turns narrating chapters that reveal the truth behind their ostensible Gilmore Girls life. Amelia is tapped for one of Grace Hall’s secret societies, falls in love for the first time, and has a Manti Te’o-type correspondence with a gay boy named Ben. None of which she tells her mom. Meanwhile, Kate, who has deep guilt over Amelia’s paternity, copes with her daughter’s ”suicide” by going all CSI on Amelia’s texts and emails, as well as a hateful school blog called gRaCeFULLY.
To reveal more would require a spoiler alert the size of a Jumbotron. But in her debut novel, Kimberly McCreight spins a riveting narrative that somehow delivers thoughtful commentary on working-mom guilt, bullying, police corruption, and Gossip Girl. Every single twist in Reconstructing Amelia is clever, and rightfully earned. As that righteous babe Virginia Woolf once said, ”Fiction is like a spider’s web.” McCreight is a masterful weaver.
— Reviewed by Henry Goldblatt
— Library Journal – April 1, 2013
“…a compulsively readable novel that will appeal to Jodi Picoult fans.”
Romantic Times (4 1/2 stars) – February 25, 2013
“McCreight’ s haunting debut will stay with you long after you are done reading. The main characters feel relatable and it is easy to feel sympathy for their situation. Even though the ending is known right away, you’ll hope against hope for a happily ever after for the characters that you’ve become so invested in. This fantastic book whets your appetite for more from McCreight.”
Booklist – February 1, 2013
Kate believes her daughter, 15-year-old Amelia, has committed suicide, jumping from the roof of her private school—until she receives an anonymous text saying simply, “Amelia didn’t jump.” Could she have been murdered? Kate, a successful attorney, is determined to find out even as she is haunted by the fear she has failed her daughter, too often putting her career ahead of her responsibilities as a mother. McCreight has written an elaborately plotted mystery that not only tells Kate’s story but also includes Amelia’s own first-person narrative along with her e-mails, texts, and Facebook posts, all of which tell a harrowing story while keeping the reader one step ahead of Kate and the police. This first novel occasionally requires a willing suspension of disbelief and comes dangerously close to melodrama near the end, but McCreight does a fine job of building suspense and creating characters, notably Kate and Amelia, whom the target audience—both adults and older teens—will care about and empathize with.
— Michael Cart
Publishers Weekly – January 28, 2013
“… McCreight portrays the darkness of adolescence, complete with doomed love, bullies, poisonous friendship, and insecurity. Fans of literary thrillers will enjoy the novel’s dark mood and clever form…”
Entertainment Weekly – January 5, 2013
With the commercial appeal of Jodi Picoult and a splash of Tana French, Kimberly McCreight is an exquisite storyteller offering suspense, empathy, beautifully crafted characters, and compelling plots. A fantastic new voice in fiction, she has been named one of Entertainment Weekly’s 13 to Watch in 2013.