Friday, February 26, 2010

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Title: The Lovely Bones
Author: Alice Sebold
Published: In 2002 by Little Brown and Company

My Rating: 4.5 stars
Tags: Adult | Murder | Romance | Family
Includes: Profanity, Rape, Sexuality

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

Susie Salmon is an innocent fourteen year old girl, who just so happens to live next door to a serial killer. On her way home from school one day, her neighbor Mr. Harvey persuades her to follow him. As she enters his underground hideout that he claims he built for the neighborhood kids, he brutally rapes and murders her. And thus begins the story of Susie's family trying to cope with their loss. The book is from Susie's point of view, looking down at her grieving family members, from heaven.

This was a different kind of novel; not your regular whiny-teenager in a lot of YA books, or dull storyline. This one was a mix of heartache and sorrow, with a little bit of happiness and smiles sprinkled on top. The chapters alternate with each family member's personal story, and how they are trying to cope with Susie's death. There were definitely beautiful moments in the book that I distinctly remembered, and that I'll take away with me.

The author did a fantastic job with character development. I grew so fond of Susie and her thoughts seemed so realistic, especially for a girl her age. While her younger sister grows up and experiences her first kiss, Susie feels a pang of jealousy but also happiness. The emotions are greatly stirred from this book, and it hits almost each of the emotions throughout the story. It was really interesting seeing how each of Susie's family members dealt with her death completely differently.

From page 47
My father turned but was unable to stop his tears. He was about to smash the mirror over my dresser, rip the wallpaper down with his nails, but instead he fell against my bed, sobbing, and balled the lavender sheets up in his hands.

But one thing to point out is how long this book seemed to be. Sometimes I just wanted to hurry up and finish the book already when the story line would drag. I definitely think some parts could be cut out, they seemed irrelevant - but that's just my opinion.

Mr. Harvey... *shudders*. The quiet, friendly neighbor that no one would expect to be a crazed rapist. He's such an awful character, yet somehow so believable! I think the author did an amazing job with him and his personality, it fit into the story perfectly. And the ending? Wow...if I hadn't seen the movie beforehand, I would never have expected that to happen!

From page 8
I was aware that Mr. Harvey was looking at me strangely. I'd had older men look at me that way since I'd lost my baby fat, but they usually didn't lose their marbles over me when I was wearing my royal blue parka and yellow elephant bell-bottoms. His glasses were small and round with gold frames, and his eyes looked out over them and at me.

This is a horrifying book yet filled with beauty and sad, but sweet sorrow. If you start it, you most definitely have to finish it.

Book Supplied by: Won from a blogger's contest.


  1. Oh my God!
    It sounds great.
    By the sound of it, I agree with you when you said that it is 'a different kind of novel'.

    This book is definitely going in my wishlist.
    By the way, good review!

  2. I definitely enjoyed this book. It was a little creepy and disturbing, but it had a good story. I thought it was very original, and I can honestly say I'm glad that I read it.

  3. I've heard a lot of bad things about this book. But it's refreshing to hear that you enjoyed the book. I just picked up a copy and am hoping I enjoy it as much!

  4. This sounds pretty damn good. I am still waiting for someone to bring the book back at the library!

  5. I have this one in my TBR pile....Now I can hardly wait to read it!

  6. I picked this book up ages ago and can't remember how I'd even heard about it. I adored it, but I had a similar complaint that you did. It did seem to drag at times. I haven't seen the movie yet. I was worried I'd hate it, but if you liked both, I guess I'll give it a shot.

  7. I want to read this terribly. I must move it up my ToRead list.

  8. I loved this book. It's so heart-felt and lovely. Awesome review.

    Btw, I have an award for you. =D

  9. I can't tell if it's a bad sign that I'm reading this and that I'm a guy, but I've been reading this book on and off and I like it a lot.

  10. I read this book in January and I liked it. I wanted to read it before I watched the movie (its finally coming out here in the Philippines). But I think I'm going to pass on the movie because I find the whole thing to disturbing after what happened in my community in San Diego. So I'm glad I read the book...I actually liked the whole concept...I'm glad you enjoyed it as well : )

  11. It's tragic what happen to her it was as amazing as your review said :D i saw the movie saiorse did a good job

  12. I haven't read the book or seen the movie but I had the general gist of what it was about. I appreciate your honesty in the review about it being filled with beauty and sad sweet sorrow. Maybe I'll add this to my TBR list as well!

  13. I've heard about Lovely Bones from movie reviews (and now, your review). It sounds so sad. I don't think I'm going to read it, considering that I really hate sad endings and tend to dwell on the horrible parts. Over and over again. Anyway, it's just my opinion. Thanks for your lovely review! :)


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