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The Lovely Bones
The Lovely Bones
Author: Alice Sebold
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 on Earth continuing without her-her school friends trading rumors ...  more
ISBN-13: 9780316166683
ISBN-10: 0316166685
Publication Date: 9/1/2006
Pages: 372
Edition: Reprint
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 793 ratings
Publisher: Little, Brown, and Company
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review
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Top Member Book Reviews

  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
reviewed The Lovely Bones on
12 member(s) found this review helpful.
A strange book about a disturbing topic. There is nothing uplifting or happy about this story. I know others rave about this book, but I'm going to be in the minority. I didn't like this story. No one really mourned Susie in the way I would have expected. The mother is barely described. Only the father is keenly drawn. The grandmother is a caricature. The worst part is the incredible hard to believe scene near the end of the story.

This book has a lot of hype around it. Perhaps in the hands of a better author it could have been something really great. The premise of the story while incredibly tragic is intriguing, and the story starts out with a very memorable beginning, but the plot and writing just don't deliver. The ending was so unsatisfactory.

[SPOILER ahead] Susie is raped, murdered, and dismembered. After several years in Purgatory, she has the opportunity to switch bodies briefly with her somewhat psychic school friend who is alive on Earth. What does Susie do? Instead of alerting the police to where her remains are (the remains were never found except for an elbow), instead of contacting her grieving family, instead of alerting someone to what exactly happened, instead of all those things she could possibly do to help her case and her family, she has sex with a boy she knew in school!! After having sex, she returns her friend's body back to her, and returns to Purgatory. That makes no sense at all. Susie's last sexual experience as a virgin was a brutal rape. So the first chance she has at communicating with people in the living physical world, she decides to have sex? She wants sex that badly after her last experience with a man? It's very unrealistic and very strange to say the least. I nearly gave up on the book at this point because it was so ridiculous especially considering the author's very public acknowledgment of her own rape during college.
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 34 more book reviews
9 member(s) found this review helpful.
Sebold's novel has become a staple of bookshelves and reading groups everwhere, because it really is that good. Her elegant prose is engaging and fluid, and the plot is intruiging.

Sebold is a gifted storyteller and even those who did not like the book often praise her imaginative storyline. Finally, her novel is so cleverly written that it makes one forget it's fiction, which is exactly what a good novelist aims for. If you have not read this thought-provoking book, take a chance on it. I highly recommend it.

(Those who have lost a child in a crinimal manner and/or those who are particularly sensitive to sexual crimes may want to avoid this book due to certain images. While not shockingly gruesome, they are somewhat perverse--which fits directly into the plot.)
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 117 more book reviews
6 member(s) found this review helpful.
I really liked this book.You could say that the subject matter was disturbing about a 14 year old girl who is murdered.I thought the author did a wonderful job showing us what a family goes through when they lose a child.I also liked the way the murdered girl describes what heaven looks like to her.I also liked how she could look down from heaven and could see what was going on without her being could really feel for the characters in this story.The book had me hooked and I read it every chance I got.

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  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 3 more book reviews
An abstract story with a murder mystery underneath. One of my absolute favorite stories. Compeltely seperate from the movie. It's almost something that I wouldn't know how to translate into a movie, so I give them credit for trying. This definately isn't a light-hearted story, but a great read that never leaves you bored.
  • Currently 1/5 Stars.
reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 31 more book reviews
I couldn't finish it once I started reading it. I had great expectations because of all the good press and hype about the book. I found it strange and not my style at all.
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 4 more book reviews
This book started out so strong and intriguing. I was excited to read it through the first couple hundred pages. I enjoyed the point of view from "heaven" and found Susie to be a good storyteller. However, the book reaches a point where it is just dragging on and then at the very end moves quickly into this bizarre, and very unbelievable, place. By the end of the book I was just glad it was over and disappointed at how such a strong start became so lack luster in the end.

Book Wiki

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Original Publication Date (YYYY-MM-DD)
Susie Salmon (Primary Character)
Lindsay Salmon (Major Character)
George Harvey (Major Character)
Jack Salmon (Major Character)
Abigail Salmon (Major Character)
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