Amelia’s mother Kate is a lawyer and a single mother.
The book starts with Kate in a meeting at her office. The meeting is held up by a phone call from Grace Hall, Amelia’s fancy private school. The school tells Kate that Amelia has been suspended because she apparently plagiarized a paper on Virginia Woolf. Kate arrives at Grace Hall to find emergency vehicles everywhere. She is told upon arrival that Amelia had jumped off the roof of the school. The headmaster claims that because she was caught cheating on a paper, amelia had committed suicide.Kate tries to cope after she finds out about Amelia’s sudden death and after taking many weeks off she returns to work.
Once she returns to work, Kate receives an anonymous text and is shocked. The text reads “AMELIA DIDN’T JUMP” , claiming Amelia’s death was not a suicide.Kate is extremely upset by the news, and sends her phone to the IT department to see if she can identify the anonymous sender.Kate returns home from work, and begins to go through Amelia’s things in her room to see if there is any evidence to prove that she in fact did not commit suicide.
Kate ends up finding over 20 handwritten notes all reading the same phrase “I HATE YOU”. These notes show that Amelia was clearly bullied, which makes kate wonder if she actually did commit suicide.Kate also looks on Amelia’s computer and finds a paper on Virginia Woolf, but it is not the plagiarized version that the headmaster had shown her, it’s an original.Kate decides to go to the police with her new discoveries where she meets with a Detective named Lew. Lew thinks that there was a lot left out of the investigation and more needs to be looked into. Kate and the detective begin to look more closely at Amelia’s activities before her apparent suicide.
Through their investigation and Amelia’s emotional narration, the truth of what really happened to Amelia is uncovered. Amelia had been asked to join a clique at her school, called the Magpies or The Maggies for short. The Maggies is a group of girls who act almost like a secret society, and the group of them do many wrong things.To join the Magpies, Amelia had to complete a few degrading tasks, such as posting extremely provocative on the internet, and pranking teachers which got her in trouble multiple times. Her only reason for continually being around The Maggies is because of her desire to fit in and be popular.
Amelia isn’t allowed to tell anyone about the Magpies, including Sylvia, her best friend, who she tells everything to. Sylvia and Amelia had promised each other that they would never join the Magpies or any other clique at the school, and Amelia breaks that promise.