Saturday, April 7, 2012

Book Review: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

 Title:  The Lovely Bones

Author: Alice Sebold

Synopsis: "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


a.) Characters: 5/5 score.  Susie Salmon was fourteen when she was murdered.  Clearly insightful when she was alive, she is more so now that she is dead.  It was hard not to fall in love with Susie, even when you knew she was already dead and gone.  You love her life, her memory, and her character.  But above all, you love her hope.  

b.) Plot: 4/5 score.  Susie witnesses all.  We learn much through her life, her death, and her afterlife as she views her friends and family grow without her.  We learn through her heaven, and we see the aftermath of her removal.  I found myself weeping and laughing with each mountain that was presented.  

c.) Writing style: 4/5 score.  I was amazed at how Sebold could get Susie to sound like the teen she was and also as the ground up she would never become.  There was times when I would read chapter after chapter and I would skip dinner and stay up hours passed my bedtime because I got so wrapped up in the tale.  And that’s how you know it’s a good book.  

Rating: 13/15 total

From the beginning to the end, hard to put down and absolutely powerful.  If you've never read this, you should.  I absolutely LOVE this book!  I seen the movie first (by accident) and really thought the movie was grand.  But the book goes beyond that and really captures a surreal world into a perfect little snow globe.   It's so hard not to like this book.  When I watched the movie and then read the book, I was put off by the rape/murder of a fourteen year old.  (Still am.)  But the story focused on Susie- not the darkness that took her life, but the life that continued on after the darkness. 

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