The Other Hit Mystery of 2013 by Carlene Moore
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn seemed to be on everyone’s lips last year. It was one of the undisputed big mystery hits of 2013. After I read it, I had a taste for more. So I went looking for another great mystery and found Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight. I dove in head first, anxious for more twists and turns, and found myself floored. How was it that this book wasn’t on everyone’s lips? In my opinion, it should have arguably been just as big as, if not bigger, than Gone Girl
The novel begins with the death of a teenage girl at a wealthy private school. Desperate for answers, this girl’s mother starts to piece her daughter’s life back together through Facebook, notes, texts, emails, and all the other modes of communication that teenagers use these days. It’s impossible not to hang on the end of each chapter and salivate at each reveal. It’s also a fascinating look of how much we express ourselves through “meaningless” communication outlets, and what those communications may say about us that our verbal communications don’t. Which is better, I’m not sure, but those texts that come in and out of our phones each day may say a lot more about us than our dinner conversation. Well, at least in the case of teenagers.
The novel is written in alternating points of view, which adds to the thrill. One story line leaves you wanting to plow through the next chapter in order to get back to it, but by the time you do, you’re hooked on the alternating story line as well. I just love that style of writing!
But the best part about this book for me was that in addition to the mystery, there is a lot going on elsewhere. Secrets are revealed, workaholic tendencies bring guilt, mother-daughter relationships are questioned, friendships are tested, sexuality complicates everything, and the world continues to turn amidst it all. It’s a book that almost anyone can really relate to – at least pieces of it. In some ways, I reverted right back into my teenage self, remembering how everything felt like it meant the whole world back then. That teenage viewpoint definitely enhances the suspense.
In true mystery fashion, Reconstructing Amelia leaves you guessing until the very end, which makes each page worth the journey. It’s a quick and captivating read that doesn’t disappoint. If you’re craving a few quiet but thrilling nights, pick this book up! What other mysteries have you read that should top the list?
Wantrepreneur, wife, adventurer, blogger, wine drinker, avid traveler…in no particular order. Carlene Moore is a Midwestern brain with a California soul. Follow her on Twitter @EverMooreMilest and read her blog here.
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