The Lovely Bones

ISBN: 159413023X
ISBN 13: 9781594130236
By: Alice Sebold

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About this book

When we first meet Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. As she looks down from this strange new place, she tells us, in the fresh and spirited voice of a fourteen-year-old girl, a tale that is both haunting and full of hope.In the weeks following her death, Susie watches life continuing without her -- her school friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her family holding out hope that she'll be found, her killer trying to cover his tracks. As months pass without leads, Susie sees her parents' marriage being contorted by her loss, her sister hardening herself in an effort to stay strong, and her little brother trying to grasp the meaning of the word goneAnd she explores the place called heaven. It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets. There are counselors to help newcomers adjust and friends to room with. Everything she ever wanted appears as soon as she thinks of it -- except the thing she wants most: to be back with the people she loved on Earth.With compassion, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie sees her loved ones pass through grief and begin to mend. Her father embarks on a risky quest to ensnare her killer. Her sister undertakes a feat of remarkable daring. And the boy Susie cared for moves on, only to find himself at the center of a miraculous event.

Reader's Thoughts

Amanda

I can't review this book by thinking about the plot or about theme and diction, for it is only (and truly) a series of snapshots, candid and sore, that piece together the lives of living people. The delicate sweet soul of a father; a grandmother with the heart of an empath; a sister whose youth and adulthood travel arm in arm; a numb and emptied mother; a young girl then grown woman living pierced on the periphery. This book is about the people in my life and yours whose very essence is pinned down to a spot in time and space--these lovely bones, growing in a soft-shelled skeleton around our lives. It is by turning the pages where these bones grow, that I could reflect on the wheel of life--what a joy (can you call it joy when it's sad?) to witness humanity breathing ceaselessly, moving forward, and loving without remorse. I am at peace to think that this sweet family, though scarred, will smile at another sunrise. To touch the living is a precious thing.

S C Tisdale

This is easily the worst book I've ever read in my entire life. SPOILER ALERT: She comes back from heaven to bang the guy she liked.If you like this book, then you hate literature. It's that simple. I'm not joking. Do not read this book.

Jennifer Wardrip

Reviewed by Cana Rensberger for TeensReadToo.comTHE LOVELY BONES will haunt you. This book tells the story of the most horrific thing a family could ever endure, the murder of a loved one, a child. The child is 14-year-old Susie Salmon. We see the murder through her eyes, after she is killed. Susie narrates her story from heaven, a place like I'd not before imagined. Her heaven begins as her school playground. Slowly it grows to become more. Susie merely longs for something she misses from earth, and it appears, except, of course, the living. Although she can watch her loved ones, know what they are doing, thinking, and feeling, she cannot be with them, or they with her. The book begins with the emotional, frightening, and vividly shown homicide. Through Susie's eyes, we understand how he tricked her. We feel her terror as we realize, with her, what's about to happen. Then the scene moves to another, equally heartbreaking moment, three days later when a neighbor's dog finds a body part. You would think, at this point, that you wouldn't be able to read further, that you'd close the book and never reopen it. But you won't be able to. Like Susie, we want to know her family will be okay. We want to know the killer won't get away with it. The author, Alice Sebold, artfully forces you to read on. Susie watches her friends whisper about her at school. She watches as her younger sister, Lindsey, hardens to stone. Her four-year-old brother, Buckley, is passed from neighbor to neighbor, having sleepovers, told his sister has just gone away for a bit. She listens to the detective, Len, tell her parents the inevitable, that they are now investigating her disappearance as a murder. Her family slowly begins to crumble and Susie can do nothing to help. This sounds like a suffocating, depressing book, but as you read you'll feel encouraged as Susie's family begins to move on, never to forget, but to begin to live life without her. Buckley struggles to understand the meaning of forever. Susie's dad becomes obsessed with proving he's not crazy, that he's certain who killed his daughter. Susie's mom handles the stress by hiding from it. And Lindsey, known as the girl whose sister was murdered, strives to find herself again. She searches for love. And she takes a huge risk to help her dad flush out the killer. The ending is incredibly sweet. Amazing as it may seem, you will feel Susie's joy as she lets go of those she's left behind. For me, the ending wasn't perfect, it left me wanting, but I imagine that was deliberate. Life itself is not perfect. But life has hope. And that's the feeling that will stay with you as you turn the last page. It's a memorable read, not for the faint of heart. Expect to feel. To fear, to cry, and, yes, to laugh. THE LOVELY BONES will touch the very core of your being. Alice Sebold has written beautifully of the ugliest scenario possible. Wow.

Carolynn

I worked at Borders for more than a year and I worked the boring ass registers, usually at night whic was always slow. I leaned there with my chin in my hand staring at the shelves actually wishing that I could help customers in their purchases. It's purely insane, but I think that's what happens anytime you place someone in any kind of confinement. The thing is that if I wasn't a register girl, I would have constant actual contact with the books themselves. All lunacy aside, one book that I stared at the entire time was this one, cuz it was literally on the number one shelf in the front of the store for a good two years or so. It sounded interesting and got good critical reviews despite its sucess with the bookish Oprah-watching housewife types. So, I REALLY didn't wanna jump on the bandwagon and read it. But at the same time I would open it and try. But I just didn't get into it. Last week or so, I was reading a friend's blog and she talked about reading the book and how it was so affecting that she found herself driving to work in complete tears. From then on an invisible seed had been planted. I went to the library the other day to pay my fines ($2.75! Man.) and suddenly remembered the book. I read it in three nights. Sebold's voice is entirely unique. Never seen it before ever. I think that being allowed into the vision and point of view of another person is probably one of the awesomest feelings ever. I think that's what it is to be in love, actually. Get in someone's skin, sit in a recliner in a little theatre located behind their eye sockets, and just watch. Not judge, not worry, not affect. Just experience someone who is so not you. Sebold allows this on two levels. She sets you up in the front row seat right next to Susie the murdered and raped 14 year old while she watches her former world from Heaven. But she also delivers this language that is new, original, totally fresh and yet entirely accessible. At 3am. In bed. From a free city library borrow.Her characters are completely amazing individuals, but not unreal or impossible. The way she wrote the book, from Suzie's viewpoint, was definitely some work on her part. And she pulls it off. What I really enjoyed is the way she would sneak in these little pieces of info - I call them " 'omg, are you serious?' mystery info nuggets". She would just be writing a scene, and at an unsuspecting moment she'd just add in a little sentence. And ofcourse, since the story revolves around the grief of the family and the Susie's unsolved case, their are moment of utter thrill as the reader joins the characters in their search for understanding, motive and the killer himself. The sentences feel like when you've been looking for something non-urgent for a while, and it's not really a big deal to find it now or later, but when you do find it your like, 'Man, now I can do this, and this and that, cuz I finally found this thing that I've been inactively searching for for a while'. So, the nuggets definitely keep you reading and sometimes they even make you say, 'omg' out loud. As always, if you read the first few pages and hate it, then don't force the feeling. Just cuz I thought it was a total modern classic, don't mean anything if it really ain't your thing. Either way, truly a great story, even if your mom thinks so too.

Shannon (Giraffe Days)

I would never have read this if it weren't for my bookclub. Having avoided it since it came out, I had very low expectations and so was surprised to be engrossed in the story - untill, about half-way through, it seemed to lose the plot and meandered around aimlessly, getting repetitive as it tried to wring emotion out of its characters, and me. Susie Salmon is dead. She begins her story by describing how she is murdered, and her family's reaction. From her place in heaven, she can watch anyone she wants to, but apart from "touching" Ruth, a fellow 14-year-old student at her school, on her way out, she can't make her presence felt. Ruth becomes a little obsessed with Susie, and starts to see and feel dead people, keeping a record of them in her diary. Susie's mum uses her daughter's death as a trigger to leave her family and try to recapture her youth. She is constantly described as a woman who never wanted to be a mother. Susie's dad takes her death particularly bad, and focuses on his two other children, Lindsey and Buckley. Susie watches from heaven as her family grows older, watches as Lindsey goes from first kiss to accepting a marriage proposal, watches her murderer, Mr Harvey, a serial killer who is [spoiler alert!:] never caught, and, at the end of the book, possesses Ruth's body so she can lose her viginity to the only boy she ever kissed. The Lovely Bones is fairly ambitious, and although it manages to keep from slipping into sentimental indulgence, it also lacks drive, and misses many opportunities to really delve into some interesting and important issues. Some devices were a bit cheesy, and seemed like avoidance. I guess I, like most people, would have been more satisfied if Mr Harvey had been caught, but that's not necessarily realistic either. The main reason why I struggled to finish it and why I give it only 2 stars is that the second half has nowhere to go, it loses its immediacy as the years go by and people start moving on, letting go of Susie, whose body was never found either. The characters started to annoy me - I wanted to be sympathetic, even of the mother, who, in a way, has the hardest time of all, but they began to get cliched. That said, there are some nice descriptions, Susie's voice is apt, there's a great sense of time (she's killed in the 70s) without being too obvious, and even if you only read the first half, it's well written and gripping before it becomes tedious.

Seth Hahne

** spoiler alert ** One book, two rapes. How's that for a bargain? (The book only advertises one.) Yuck.The book in question is Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones. I'm not giving anything away by saying it's a book about a girl (the narrator) who was murdered. That's revealed in the book's second sentence. It's also not a big deal to let you know she was raped and murdered by a neighbour, George Harvey. That all is related pretty early on. What isn't revealed until maybe the last fifty pages is that the girl herself, Susie Salmon, becomes a rapist.Ideologically, I'm not certain which one is worse. I could be persuaded.But the way the book presents the two incidents is markedly different. One is revealed in low lights and has a horror edge to it. It's seen unilaterally as an evil, wicked deed. The other is the book's highlight, the moment at which the author breathes a sigh of relief and says that everything else made right. I suppose it makes sense; the narrator probably wouldn't see her actions for what they were. But in the end, both George and Susie deal with their childhood victimizations in that manner typical to the criminal genre these days.Both George and Susie had horrible things happen in their formative years that leave long-lasting scars. The only difference is that George Harvey lived and Susie Salmon died. Not that it makes much difference. Susie is as alive a character as George for the purposes of the story. They both want what they want and care little for the well-being of the women who get in their way. The difference is that George Harvey is portrayed as the villain he is, while little Susie Salmon is treated as a hero.Those who have read the book may not have even noticed Susie's complete abandonment of moral sense or care for the woman she violates. After all, she doesn't exactly couch things in those terms. So here it is, laid out for you.When Susie was alive, there was a boy who liked her, Ray. In the years after her death, Ray grows up to be, in the narrator's view, an attractive young man. She watches him and loves him. Somehow, events conspire to allow Susie to possess the body of Ruth, a friend of Ray's. Susie uses the opportunity to seduce Ray and they make love several times in the course of a few hours. And then Susie has to go back to heaven. Leaving Ruth, a victim of Susie's power over her body.Imagine that you're Ruth. You wake up. Naked. Probably a little tender. Used. In the back of some bike shop. With a man in the shower. That's what I call horror. Not only was she not conscious or aware for any of the immediately preceding events, but the guy who's been really her only friend in the world is now naked and telling her that he screwed her brains out while she was unconscious. And even if he doesn't tell her that, there's a very short rail of evidence and it all points to that conclusion. And now. She could be pregnant. She could be diseased.Yep. The crowning act of love on the part of the tale's heroine is little more than a petty, rapacious act of power over the helpless woman who got in her way. Good job Susie Salmon. You and George Harvey should get along nicely.p.s. even though I called it a spoiler, I think that Alice Sebold spoiled the book. Not me.

Embee

Have you ever read the introduction to a book and thought the notion so interesting, you began forming ideas for the story in your head?This was exactly the case for me with 'The Lovely Bones'... It started out as I imagined but really fell apart as the story faltered on. I found it very disappointing and wish another author would run with the idea but in a completely different direction.

Blair

In a nutshell: overrated; questionable characterisation; breathtakingly ridiculous ending.The Lovely Bones is a story about a murdered teenage girl, told from the point of view of said girl - Susie Salmon - as she watches over her loved ones from heaven. So, obviously, it's constantly trying to pull at the heartstrings from page one. In this, it occasionally succeeds - while much of it is a little too schmaltzy, there are some genuinely touching moments too. Given the book's ubiquity and popularity, I thought it might be really trashy, but it in fact the writing isn't that bad, despite the over-enthusiastic use of metaphors and similes. The narrative paints a believable picture of a family falling apart after the loss of a child, and the glimpses of Susie's heaven are intriguing, if disappointingly brief (I wish this element had been explored further). However, I had issues with a lot of the characters. Ray and Ruth, for example. Would two teenagers - one a boy who'd kissed Susie once, one a girl who'd barely spoken to her - really find it so hard to forget her and move on, for so many years afterwards? Though the narrative doesn't detail everything that happens to them, it's implied that Ray in particular (despite apparently being incredibly attractive) never has any kind of romantic involvement with another girl as a result of his continuing preoccupation with the memory of Susie. How convenient, since she's 'watching over' him and the reader is almost encouraged to see him as 'belonging' to her. Similarly, the actions of some of Susie's family (particularly her mother) are difficult to understand. I can well believe that the murder of one daughter would lead a mother to become depressed, alienated from her husband and other children, and ultimately to desert her remaining family - but nothing Abigail does, apart from a cursory affair with one of the policemen investigating Susie's death, is actually explained from her point of view. When she leaves her family, the decision just seems completely baffling - it's one of those 'hang on a minute, what?!' moments because you just don't get inside Abigail's head enough to understand her private motivations.Sebold makes some attempts to flesh out and humanise Mr. Harvey, Susie's murderer, detailing his efforts to restrain himself from committing his crimes; for example, killing neighbourhood pets in a vain attempt to restrain his appetite for attacking young girls. (The ghostly Susie can, it seems, read minds and know every detail of past events she wasn't involved in; again, very convenient, and there's no explanation of how she comes to realise she has this 'power', or how she masters it.) However, the character is such a cliché in the first place (creepy loner, obsessed with his mother, has weird hobbies) that in the end he seems like neither a monster nor a believable human being, but just a strangely indistinct and nondescript character given that he's a serial killer. It's also very frustrating that he's never caught or given his comeuppance. Finally, there's the ending. What to say about the ending?! If you've read the book (unless you loved it, of course), you'll probably know what I mean. If you haven't, all I'll say is that something happens that's so utterly ludicrous that deus ex machina doesn't even begin to cover it. Not only that, but the apparent message of this conclusion, and the moral implications for the (living) characters involved, are extremely dubious at best. Having wavered between thinking this book was kind-of-good and kind-of-bad throughout, the ending pushed my opinion firmly into the negative category and ruined many of the positives for me. Sorry to say it, but this is the kind of book that people who normally read nothing but chick-lit will find really PROFOUND and MOVING, which I'd imagine is why it sold so many copies. If you don't fit that description, I think it's best avoided. Have a look at the top-rated reviews on Goodreads; they're predominantly negative, and I agree with a lot of what they say.

Jessica

"These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence: the connections – sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at a great cost, but often magnificent – that happened after I was gone."I hardly ever read books when they are first released. I always seem to be a few years behind, for whatever reason. Sometimes this works to my advantage, as it allows me to avoid a degree of hype that surrounds certain books. I do remember seeing the blue cover of The Lovely Bones on shelves in every bookstore when it was released a few years ago and seeing mentions on best-sellers lists. But I didn’t take much interest in it because, sometimes, when a book/movie/album gets so many rave reviews, I’ll expect it to blow me through the roof and will end up disappointed when it’s only mildly entertaining or moving (see: The Time Traveler’s Wife).I prefer to go in with low expectations and let myself be surprised with greatness. Not that I’m a bitter person or anything. Not at all. Ok, I’m working on it.Anyway, I was visiting my tiny local library for the first time, searching for a book to check out, when I saw the blue spine peaking out from the shelf. Since I had already read the few classics they had in stock, and don’t really go for Harlequin romance, I took Alice Sebold home with me. Much to my surprise, I finished the book in a day’s time. It wasn’t so much Sebold’s writing style, which is good but not spectacular, or even the tinges of mystery in the plot that captivated me. It was the raw human emotion that she so perfectly conveyed through each character. The characters felt real—both their positive qualities and their shortcomings. The pain, confusion, regret, and maybe even hope that they each felt in their own ways really impacted me. The Lovely Bones is the story of a young girl who is raped and murdered in her neighborhood. She speaks to the reader from her version of heaven (it can be different for each person), and looks over her family as they unravel after the tragic event. Perhaps it had something to do with my already delicate state (I was home sick while reading) but the book managed to make me cry. More than once. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that, and the book snob in me would prefer to believe I am “above” sentimental plot devices, but to be honest—the book is just really sad.I also liked the subtle message of hope that carries through the novel, without reading like a “Chicken Soup” book. The ending isn’t the overly hokey “I will survive” type, and still has a shade of melancholy, but seems to say that even through utter grief and personal devastation, life goes on.

Tracy

** spoiler alert ** not generally the sort of book i read, but it surprisingly hooked me in. i'm not sure it was exactly good, but i really couldn't put it down, so there's something to be said for that. my main problem with it was that it was just really unsatisfying in some ways... there's no wrapping up of loose ends. i mean really (and there are spoilers ahead, so watch out), the murderer gets away with it? they never find her body!? that was soooooo frusterating, especially since i'm a big fan of things like cold case files and stuff like that (i mean, how great would it have been if he'd gotten caught like 10 years later at the end of the book? that would have made it about a million times better). and although i kind of enjoyed sebold's interpretation of heaven (my very favorite part was when susie's dog died and joined her in heaven), but it was just a little creepy at the end where susie possesses ruth and gets it on with her pre-teen crush. plus, kind of weird, especially seeing as how ruth is a lesbian, she and the boy are buddies, and the main character was the victim of a sex crime. i know ruth had special abilities and all that, but i think fingering the killer would have been a better use of them.also, i really think i have to point out how strikingly similar the opening line of the book is to teen fiction; specifically, it brings to mind THE LAST VAMPIRE by christopher pike. mind you, i haven't read christopher pike since i was 13, but from what i remember that series (told in first person by the last vampire herself) started pretty much exactly the same way. i think he also had a book told in the first person by a dead girl who possessed the body of a friend of hers, so it's not exactly revolutionary. which isn't neccessarily a bad way to start, but a little bit obvious. anyway, it was a strangely entralling book, but i think it might a bit similar to the davinci code, in that it seems really good while you're reading it, but then afterward you realize it actually was sort of less than it should have been.

Patrick

** spoiler alert ** I have no idea how so many people can love such a boring, pointless book. I don't read a lot of juggernaut pop-fiction, but at least with "DaVinci Code" I can see the appeal; this one's draw baffles me. Besides being uninteresting, there are two plot points that were just rancid:1. The mom suddenly deciding to return to her family when the dad has a heart attack.2. Susie possesses Ruth's body so she can fuck the med student. So if you die a virgin, God lets you back on Earth for a few hours to bang someone with another person's genitals, putting them at risk for an STD or unwanted pregnancy? What if you die as a toddler, do you still get to come back and fuck someone? Also, she says she doesn't want to go after her murderer while in the host, that's real fucking nice, Susie, the whole book's about you wishing you hadn't died and the strain it put on your family, and you'd rather take a dick in a bathtub then stop him from raping/killing more children. That's great. And that whole idea was a rip-off of the movie "Ghost," remember? If you're gonna plagiarize from a Patrick Swayze movie, please make it "Roadhouse."P.S. The real version of this book is called "Remember Me" by Christopher Pike which I read when I was ten.

Ted

** spoiler alert ** Two-dimensional stereotyped characters-Mother – living with the regret of losing her independence to the demands of childrearing. The tragic loss of a daughter accelerates her departure from those heavy burdens and into the arms of the detective working the case.-Father – obsessed to the point that he neglects the living members of his family destroying his relationship with his wife. Only in her absence is he able to fall in love with her “all over again”.-Detective – his ‘sob-story’ past (wife committed suicide) explains his devotion to make sense of senseless death by solving cases of murdered women. This leads him into the arms of the latest victim’s mother (who, incidentally, reminds him of his dead wife - eww).-Mrs. Singh – the exotic, wise, independent, and strong foreigner who calmly dispenses cool sage-like personal advice to near-strangers.-George Harvey – the ‘odd-but-harmless neighbor’ otherwise know as the psychotic pedophile/murderer who builds dollhouses in his spare time. Queue soundtrack with mangled version of a nursery rhyme transposed to a minor key ungainly lobbed from a detuned piano. Snippets from his mildly troubling childhood are revealed…explaining nothing.-Grandma Lynn – the often drunk but all-knowing grandmother with a ‘wacky’ liberal perspective on life.-I could go on…the youngest sibling who sees the ghost of Susie as his imaginary friend, the sister who struggles to become her own person from under the shadow of her dead sister, her boyfriend as the complete antithesis to the evil Mr. Harvey, her boyfriend’s older brother as the macho gear-head with a heart of gold.The NarrativeThere is only the occasional passage where the narrator’s voice sounds like that a teenage girl from the mid-seventies (“Lindsay had a boy in the kitchen!” – oh the giddiness of it all!). Small blessings. Cliché after cliché. If you haven’t already gotten a sense of the hackneyed construction of this book please re-read the first page of this rant. Only a sportscaster from some small-town cable station would stand a fighting chance of besting Sebold in a contest of cliché slinging.The EndingWorthy of Hallmark. Every loose end is tied up with nobody owning up to the consequences of their actions (with the exception of Mr. Harvey, because he’s bad, you see). The family is reunited, the murderer is murdered, the daughter marries her high school sweetheart and has a child of her own (thus proving that life does go on…sniff), and lastly, the teenaged ghost of murdered Susie Salmon transcends her personal minor heaven (a staging ground for spirits who persistently cling to the living world) by ‘falling’ back to earth, inhabiting the now 20-something body of a lesbian acquaintance in order to trespass into another person’s home and have sex with the now 20-something boy she had a crush on shortly before her murder. The moral? Only after wilfully experiencing the delightful carnal pleasures of the flesh can one, even the spirit of a murdered teenaged girl, let go of those lost earthly pleasures and move on to a higher and presumably more enlightened plane of existence where you are free to smite those that have wronged you. Touching, really.The Lovely Bones reviews-Why do they always say “brutal” murder or “brutal” rape? Is that opposed to the “wonderful” murders and “superb” rapes in other novels?-Did any of these reviewers even read the book?! They just seem to be reading each other’s reviews, praising the unique first person narrative of a protagonist in heaven and how it deals with such a horrifying topic. The fist person perspective does not offer anything new and the only thing horrifying here is that people consume mind-numbing garbage like this at an alarming rate.-There’s nothing new here. What was the point? Aside from, paranormal sex is a wonderfully liberating experience for both the possessive-spiri

kensou09

Alice Sebold's haunting and heartbreaking debut novel, The Lovely Bones, unfolds from heaven, where "life is a perpetual yesterday" and where Susie, a girl raped and murdered at the age of 14, narrates and keeps watch over her grieving family and friends, as well as her brazen killer and the sad detective working on her case, struggling to accept her death while as well as clinging to the lost world of the living.The book started out strong, but it fizzled completely in the middle. Sebold kept giving hints of a great story, but fell short with endless, boring, inconsequential details and a lack of detail when it really mattered. Call me unimaginative, but I don't like when a writer leaves important details to the readers imagination. Spell it out for me.Being an avid mystery/horror story lover, and reading my fair share of books regarding the "great beyond", I didn't get the feeling she had enough knowledge to adequately write about such topics. Her clues and climaxes went nowhere and it left me with more questions than answers. She would draw me in with these little details I thought she's expand on, and never did.If you're not a very sentimental person, don't buy this book. If you're the type of person that likes closure at the end of the story, don't read this book. If you're looking for a wonderful view of heaven and the "great beyond", don't read the book.Anyway, it's just my advice. Opinion depends upon each reader's point of view.

tee

** spoiler alert ** I was really disappointed with this book. The first half was easy enough to read and then I started getting bored. Sebold rehashed the same old 'poignant' lines which was just frustrating after a while. However, if that was the only problem I had I wouldn't be complaining.I thought that the ending was nauseatingly shit; falling to earth into a body to have sex with some guy who we didn't really care about ... for no reason? Was it supposed to be a tear-jerker moment because I felt like throwing the book against the wall. Perhaps I was just confused because she'd watched her murderer stalk her sister hours (minutes?) beforehand and didn't use the opportunity on earth to confront her murderer. Maybe it was that the first half really did have promise but then Sebold threw me into an unexpected (and unwelcome) supernatural spin. The worst thing was there was just no substance.Then there's the "random" coincidences - Samuel and Lindsey pulling off the road in the rain, running to the abandoned shack then running all the way home only to ... find out at the conclusion that Ruth's dad owns the house. To me, this really shitty writing. What about Hal, what was the point of Hal's character? To be Grandma's gimp? I felt like there was no point to these side-line stories and cardboard cutout characters.There wasn't even any meat behind the mother leaving and completely abandoning her family. I think if you're going to include something as dramatic as that in the novel perhaps touch on it a little more. We don't want to know she's working in a wine factory, we want to know what is going on in her head! Then she wanders back into the finale, has a cup of tea with another random character, her son runs past because he has new drumset ... loose, loose, loooooose writing. I'm not a believer in heaven but am interested in other's perceptions of it. I found Sebold's ideas disappointing. School buildings? A few people dressed up as snowflakes at Christmas time? A very random connection with her Grandfather? To me, this novel could be a great sketched-out version - to be used for an actual story but as It was, it needed fleshing out, reworking and editing. Oh boy did it need editing.Great idea. Poor execution. And maybe that's what everyone got so carried away with, the idea was grand - so grand that they were blinded by the weakness of the script. Further, we all like to comfort ourselves with the whole heaven theory, don't we? The fact that we mean so much to people that we'll continue having such a huge impact on them. That we get to watch them from above after we're dead (voyeuristic much?). That this isn't it. Our one shot at life. All in all, if people love this book and it affects them, changes their life, their outlook, makes them feel warm and fuzzy, makes them tearful or full of rapture - that's a good thing. I'm just disappointed that such a top seller couldn't do that for me.

Maggie

Title: The Lovely Bones Author: Alice SeboldNumber of Pages: 384Publisher: 2006 by Little, BrownCost: $13.95/19$19.95 in Canada ISBN: ISBN 0-316-6166685 The Lovely Bones is a book that is shocking and moving at the same time. It was everything that a book should be. In my opinion, The Lovely Bones was one the most interesting novels every written. You are probably asking yourself, “Well, what is so interesting about it?” “My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6th, 1973.”(Sebold, 5). That is a quote that appears as the opening sentence of a 384 page book. That tells you directly that the book is going to be attention-grabbing. The book starts out with Susie (the protagonist) telling us (the readers) many things about her life and different events that are happening on Earth. That’s right, on Earth. The setting that Susie is living in and telling us various events is heaven. She is alone and misses her family. She was fourteen years old when she was brutally raped and killed by a neighborhood fellow. Now, in heaven she watched everything and everyone, especially her family and close ones. Along the way of watching all those different events, Susie discovers secrets and things that were never suppose to be seen. Some of the secrets are superior and some very poor, but both of them change her views on certain people. What I liked about the book was the irony that appeared throughout the book. Just think, a little girl growing up. But she is dead. Another fixation that I enjoyed was all the literary devices that were portrayed throughout the book. That is also what makes the book very interesting. I recommend this book for people who enjoy moving, intersting, dramatic and eye catching things. I recommend this book for a good read.=]

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