I finished Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight yesterday. A few months back, I found it on list of “novels we couldn’t put down” or something of the likes. I do admit that this was a novel that I ran through (it took me 2 days) but that doesn’t necessarily make it… good.
I do not dislike this novel. But it’s one of those books that didn’t leave a lasting impression and I’m going to forget about 2 months from now.
Reconstructing Amelia is an easy read, and it’s a quick read. The language is very accessible, and the characters are full enough to enjoy, but they are not extremely complex and layered. Each character you meet has a “hidden” side to them, which makes the novel interesting as it is the characters that really drive the story. The plot is pretty basic, and could be extremely deep and disturbing, but chooses not to be. While I was reading it, I came up with a million possible resolutions to the “who killed Amelia” question (and the other questions that come up throughout the novel, like who Ben is, and who writes gRaCeFULLY), most of which were incredibly disturbing and interesting. However, the novel kind of disappointed me by going with a more tame resolution (although there are some strange and disturbing aspects in this resolution as well). My biggest issue, however, was that I didn’t see the ending coming. In a lot of these mystery novels, I can guess the ending to some degree, but this one I didn’t. When I get to the “twist” in mystery novels, I want to be shocked, but I want to see all the clues that came along the way in a quick flash before my eyes (such at the end of The Usual Suspects). This did not happen in Reconstructing Amelia, and I’m not sure if that’s because I missed all the clues, or if it’s because there weren’t any to begin with. Either way, because I didn’t see it coming, or didn’t see how it came together, I found that the conclusion was extremely anticlimactic; a deflated balloon.
What I did love about this novel was the writing style. I love mixing the past with the present, and having Amelia herself narrate her last few days. The pieces come together slowly, as both Amelia and Kate work to put the puzzle together. The writing is extremely accessible as it is not overly complex or wordy, yet still sophisticated. The only thing that bugged me was the texting because… seriously? Why do adults all think we young people text like illiterates? That’s so 2008.
Reconstructing Amelia is not a bad novel, but it’s not exactly life-changing. If you’re looking for a quick, engaging read, then Amelia is your kind of book. And with beach season coming up, it’s the perfect companion for you while soaking in that sun.
3 teenage gossip blog entries out of 5.