Tuesday, December 5

Book Review: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Author: Alice Sebold
Title: The Lovely Bones
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Fantasy, Thriller
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 372
Published: July 3, 2002
Where I Got It: Borrowed from friend

"My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973."

So begins the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on earth continue without her -- her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling. Out of unspeakable tragedy and loss, The Lovely Bones succeeds, miraculously, in building a tale filled with hope, humor, suspense, even joy.

Been meaning to read this for a while. I watched the movie eons ago but never the book. My friend decided to be nice to me and let me borrow her copy ;) 

Susie Salmon was murdered and she is still trying to adjust to that fact. She is trying to adjust to her new home in heaven. Watching her friends and family continue on earth try to come to terms with first her disappearance and then obvious murder. It breaks her heart watching her killer covering his tracks, her family falling apart because of grief, and her friends trying to cope. Out of this tragedy and loss, we will watch Susie and everyone find their way through grief. 

I first want to mention the format and writing style. Loads of people had some issues with it in Goodreads. I honestly feel that it was fitting. The narrator is a 13/14-year-old ghost who wasn't a writer. She would write simply. I found that the jumping around between her memories and what is going on on earth would make sense. It was easy enough to follow. I found the writing style and format were perfect for this particular story. That is my two cents. 

The story was simply and utterly tragic. However, there is hope. There is some humor. There is some light. I think the author did a fabulous job of balancing this. 

I loved the perspective we got to see. So often we only get to see the family cope with the loss and get through the steps of grief. Here....we also get to see the dead cope with the loss and get through the steps of grief. In a way...being dead seems harder. You can see the people you love but you are mute and can very rarely communicate. Sometimes the living can hear whispers or shadows or have dreams. 

This was for sure a book I would recommend. Just be ready to have some tears here and there. The ending (and I knew from the movie) wasn't going to fully satisfy me. Yes, karma and justice does find the target but not the way I wanted. Not the way we all deserve to see/read. Sighs. 

I also was a little meh about the Ray and Susie scene near the end. Mmmm. I have a love-hate of that. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this. It is a refreshing read and it will make you feel all the feelings. I do want to watch the movie again. There are a couple of scenes/plot points that I feel meh about, but overall I highly enjoyed this. I'll give this 4 stars. 


Sophia Rose said...

I would only want to go through the emotions of this one if justice was done so I'm glad you mentioned that it was. It does sounds good.

Northwoman said...

I'm not doing tragedy right now.

Anne - Books of My Heart

Jen Twimom said...

I remember when this was out and I didn't read it, but I couldn't remember why... Oh yes... dead girl. I can't with the emotions. But I'm glad you finally read and enjoyed it.

Carole Rae said...

Sophia, yes justice came in a way.

Anne, I think I need a break of sad after the one I'm currently reading.

Jen, this is tragic.