Review: The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

Posted 12 August, 2015 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 21 Comments

Review: The Lovely Bones – Alice SeboldThe Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Published by Little on 7 August 2002
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Kindle
Source: Kindle Purchase
2 Stars

My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. My murderer was a man from our neighborhood. My mother liked his border flowers, and my father talked to him once about fertilizer. This is Susie Salmon. Watching from heaven, Susie sees her happy suburban family devastated by her death, isolated even from one another as they each try to cope with their terrible loss alone.

The Lovely Bones was not at all what I expected, and while the beginning was quite emotional, I felt detached both from the characters and the storyline as it continued on.

My The Lovely Bones review:

While the writing in The Lovely Bones was very good, I had a hard time connecting to the story and the characters after Suzie was killed. In the very beginning, I could feel her fear and her disgust, but afterwards, everything that happened was filtered through her, and so I felt detached and separate from everything. What should have been a very emotional read ended up being pretty much meh in my opinion. I don’t know if it was because Suzie was so young when she was killed, or because she was observing everything from far away, but it just didn’t work for me.

Seeing Suzie’s parents and siblings in the aftermath of her death should have hit me hard, but it kind of didn’t. Maybe because Suzie herself wasn’t really involved, and I didn’t really feel her longing or her despair at not being able to live through her adolescent years and become an adult herself. The Lovely Bones has many very high ratings and rave reviews everywhere, but that didn’t really help me when it came to this story. I also really didn’t enjoy this version of ‘heaven’ or how long it took for Suzie to come to terms with everything. Even the ending kind of fell flat for me, especially because there was never a final resolution for Suzie’s family.

Some of my favorite The Lovely Bones quotes:

For three nights he hand’t known how to touch my mother or what to say. Before, they had never found themselves broken together. usually, it was one needing the other but not both needing each other, and so there had been a way, by touching, to borrow from the stronger one’s strength. And they had never understood, as they did now, what the word horror meant.

Buckley drew back and stared at my father’s creased face, the fine bright spots of tears at the corners of his eyes. He nodded seriously and kissed my father’s cheeck. Something so divine that no one up in heaven could have made it up; the care a child took with an adult.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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21 responses to “Review: The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

  1. I haven´t read this book, but I´ve seen the movie and it was really good. I helgen har vi vært i bryllup i Lofoten, og nå er det tilbake til hverdagen igjen. Snart skole også, hvor ble sommeren av? 🙂

    • Maybe I’d like the movie better for once? Bryllup høres hyggelig og gøy ut! Sommeren er nesten over for oss også, i morgen drar vi hjem til Geneve, og det føles litt melankolsk å dra herfra etter nesten 7 uker 🙂 Men det blir bra å komme tilbake til en vanlig rutine igjen, også.

  2. Very interesting review. I have this book and it was highly recommended to me, but I have not had the courage to tackle it. Mostly because it is based on events that happened very near to where I live. We don’t like to think of that kind of brutality happening in our neighborhood (when we know it does).

    Xyra recently posted: Home Again 2015
  3. Oh man, I read this when it first came out and remember liking it a lot, but … can’t really remember why. lol. Oh wait … it had come out not long after a girl around her was taken and killed by her neighbor, and it kind of hit hard. So I think mine was much more of an emotional response.

  4. This is one of the books I read prior to joining the book community. I gave it high marks, but at that time, anything I finished was given 5 stars. I think I would rate it quite a bit lower now that I have a definite taste.

    Lyn Kaye recently posted: Book Review: The Mockingbirds

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