The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

I keep a ridiculously long list of books I want to read on amazon.com. I’ve been doing this for over three years. Occasionally, I will remove a book if it no longer interests me. As of today, I have over 500 books on the list. The Lovely Bones was one the first books I put on the list. I added it back on July 8th, 2005. I finally purchased it earlier this month and began reading.

Susie Salmon (“like the fish”) was a fourteen-year-old girl who was brutally raped and murdered in 1973. The killer was her neighbor, the odd Mr. Harvey. Susie watches her loved ones mourn from her view in Heaven, while she tries to find solace herself.

Initially, The Lovely Bones sounds like a grim novel, and for the beginning of novel, it is. This is when the events immediately before and after the murder are described. As the novel progresses, readers learn that The Lovely Bones is not meant to be dark. Instead,  it shows the healing process of death.

Susie has a voice beyond her age. While dead at fourteen, she only grew wiser in Heaven, and I loved this.  However, sometimes, I think Sebold when a little too far. Some sentences were confusing, while others were plain corny. They were unneccessary and cluttered the book. Another thing I disliked was the end. It felt unbelievable and rushed.

While The Lovely Bones has small flaws, I do believe this is a book worth reading. It was powerful and successfully tackled the topic of coping with death. It was a smart choice to choose Susie as the narrator. I loved seeing her come to terms with her death while in Heaven. This is the first book I’ve read that has shown the coping of one’s own death, although I’m sure there are more out there (any recommendations?). Anyway, I definitely recommend you read The Lovely Bones if you have not already.

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17 Responses to The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

  1. Diana Dang says:

    My friend is actually reading this book at the moment and she tells me that so far it is a bit of a drag. She doesn’t like it because it is boring for her. I personally haven’t read it yet but I don’t appeal much to the cover.

    But oh my, you certainly have a long list to read! I don’t even know how you manage to stick to it!

    (Thank you for your comment on my blog! It’s a pleasure to know another person that is reading it!)

  2. towerofbooks says:

    You’re welcome. I know exactly what you mean. 😉

  3. chartroose says:

    I agree with you about the flaws in the book. I found the ending to be stupidly moronic too. The beginning was great, and then it just went putter, putter, putter, and then ppfffttt at the end, ya’ know?

  4. Lenore says:

    This is not one of my favorites, but I keep it on my shelf and go back to it every once in a while. It does have a lot of powerful scenes.

  5. bkclubcare says:

    I don’t remember how it ended! oh well. I liked it – I remember that.

  6. Emily says:

    I love this book! One of my favorites (:

  7. bunny says:

    I didn’t really like the story, but the way she wrote it was quite nice.

  8. Arleigh says:

    I read this a few years ago and enjoyed it. I like books that have an odd perspective.

  9. Alessandra says:

    I’ve read this book too, and agree with you on the flaws of the book. I found it someway too long.

  10. Book~Adorer says:

    I just picked this up at the used bookstore, i’m so glad to hear you liked it. It makes me feel even more like I picked the right choice.

    Book~Adorer

  11. ambear says:

    Thanks for the review…I read a few chapters of this book but it didn’t seem to interest me much ;(
    I’ll read again someday, hopefully it’ll be better.

  12. Lauren says:

    I read this a couple years ago, I believe, and I really did enjoy the book. I think it was best to have Susie be the narrator as well.

    -Lauren

  13. Marie says:

    ooooo! nice review! sounds pretty interesting from what i’ve read in the review.

  14. Dominique says:

    I remember reading this book a few years ago (after much insistence from my friend!)! Aren’t they making it into a movie?

  15. towerofbooks says:

    Yes, they are. The director is Peter Jackson which is definitely an interesting choice.

  16. Zara says:

    I love this book too. It is firmly on my keeper shelf. Thanks for your review. 🙂

  17. […] week’s book is The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (my review). For the video, I have the movie trailer. I am super excited about this movie. The song in the […]

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