Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Book Review: Reconstructing Amelia

Title: Reconstructing Amelia
Author: Kimberly McCreight 
Publisher: HaperCollins
Release Date: April 2013
Pages: 405
Service: Bought
Format: Kindle
Buy: Amazon
Author Twitter: @kimberlymccreight

'Stressed out single mother and law firm partner, Kate, is in the meeting of her career when she is interrupted by a telephone call to say that her teenaged daughter, Amelia, has been suspended from her exclusive Brooklyn prep school for cheating on an exam. Torn between her head and her heart, she eventually arrives at St. Grace's an hour late, to be greeted by siren wailing and ambulance lights blazing Her daughter has jumped off of the roof of the school, apparently in shame of being caught. 

A grieving Kate can't accept that her daughter would kill herself. It was just the two of them and Amelia would never leave her alone like this. And so begins the investigation that takes her deep into Amelia's private world, into her journal, her email account and the mind of a troubled girl. 

Then Kate receives an anonymous test simply saying: AMELIA DIDN'T JUMP. Is someone playing with her, or has she been right all along?

I had so many mixed feelings about this book. There were points where I loved it but towards the end I was left feeling disappointed. 

McCreight had such an amazing way to connect with the reader. She managed to write heart wrenching descriptions of Kate's grief and you couldn't help but to feel that emptiness as you tried to understand what she was going through. The chapters would interchange between Kate investigating her daughter's death and Amelia's life in the weeks leading up to her death. Between the alternating point of views, we got given the chance to be able to try and piece together what we thought had happened to Amelia before reaching the ending. 

What I loved about this book what that at every point where you thought that you were sure of something, McCreight would add a little piece of information that changed the way you thought about the entire case. It really kept me on my toes when I was reading and I was desperate to find out what was going to happen at the end. 

The ending, however, made my excitement about the book die out. There was so much more that I wanted from it, so much more that I think would have given the book the justice it deserved. But in the end, it left me feeling a little deflated and I put the book down wishing that there was an alternate ending.  

There were subjects in the book, relating to mental health, that were only ever suggested to. I would have loved to see a slightly more in depth description of how it related to the plot of the story. It was briefly skimmed over in two separate cases and I feel that there was a lot more scope to really tie it into the story and really thicken the plot from it.

I feel like the epilogue to the book didn't really tie up all the ends that it needed to. I completely understand writers wanting the reader to be able to come to their own conclusions but there were things left in the middle of the story that just needed to see some closure and we really didn't get it. 

Overall, I did enjoy the book but there were so many things that I was still waiting for when I had put my tablet down. 

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Friday, 19 August 2016

Looking Back At: Year 12

Displays have been taken down, chairs are up on tables, summer is well and truly underway and I have officially finished year 12. The past academic year was filled with so many new experiences and meeting a load of new people. It's been such a great school year and here's what's been happening. 

I decided to go to sixth form instead of going to the local college and that meant me changing schools and not having any of my old friends who had opted for college or a more popular sixth form. It was daunting to start in a new place along with having to start A Levels but I wouldn't change it for the world. After a week or so, I managed to settle in pretty quickly and find people in my classes that I got along with. 

It would be a lie for me to say that A Levels started off pretty easily for me. Whilst it wasn't difficult for me to settle in to sixth form life, I did struggle adjusting to the pace of my lessons and the amount of work that was needed. My first mock exam in my maths class was so disappointing for me but it gave me a push in the right direction and I was more determined than ever to make sure that my January mock exams were better. Thankfully, I managed to turn my maths grade around in two months and my maths teacher was more than happy with me. 

It's been a year that has gone by so quickly but if I'm completely honest I've enjoyed it so much more than any of my years in secondary school. It's been the first time where I feel like I've completely enjoyed all of my classes, I've loved the challenge of my lessons and I feel like I have a group of friends that I feel comfortable with and fit in with. 

This entire year has been a little bit hectic with everything going on. However, towards the end of the year, I had the chance to apply for the senior prefect team and managed to get a place on there as well as becoming the Head of the Year 12 Prefects. I've gone to HE+ meetings, had the chance to visit Cambridge and had some amazing evenings with my friends. 

Results topped what has been an amazing year so as Year 13 dawns, I'm going in a little more confident compared to what I started last year with, a spring in my step and a new determination to get through sixth form and apply to university. 

Good luck to everyone that is going to be starting a new school year. I would love to hear what your favourite parts of the year were! 

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