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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

#Book #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold #AliceSebold @littlebrown #ReadIt1st

AUTHOR: Alice Sebold
PUBLISHER: Little, Brown and Company
PUBLICATION DATE: September 1, 2006 (first published 2002)
FORMAT: Mass Market Paperback
LENGTH: 328 pages
GENRE: Mystery, Contemporary Fiction
ISBN: 9780316166683
The Lovely Bones is the story of a family devastated by a gruesome murder -- a murder recounted by the teenage victim. Upsetting, you say? Remarkably, first-time novelist Alice Sebold takes this difficult material and delivers a compelling and accomplished exploration of a fractured family's need for peace and closure.

The details of the crime are laid out in the first few pages: from her vantage point in heaven, Susie Salmon describes how she was confronted by the murderer one December afternoon on her way home from school. Lured into an underground hiding place, she was raped and killed. But what the reader knows, her family does not. Anxiously, we keep vigil with Susie, aching for her grieving family, desperate for the killer to be found and punished.

Sebold creates a heaven that's calm and comforting, a place whose residents can have whatever they enjoyed when they were alive -- and then some. But Susie isn't ready to release her hold on life just yet, and she intensely watches her family and friends as they struggle to cope with a reality in which she is no longer a part. To her great credit, Sebold has shaped one of the most loving and sympathetic fathers in contemporary literature.

I like going into books blind, so I avoid read the synopsis until AFTER I finish the book. For this one, I also had to avoid the movie trailer. It wasn't what I expected, but I still really enjoyed it!

This book takes place in the 70s. Susie Salmon, age 14, is murdered by a serial killer living in her neighbourhood who lures her to an underground dug-out that he made. He then rapes, kills, and dismembers her. Three days later, a neighbour's dog finds Susie's elbow. The story is told from Susie's point of view, in heaven. Right from the start, we know exactly who the killer is, so it isn't exactly a mystery or who-dun-it (which is what I was expecting). Instead, it is about how her family and friends deal with her death in the aftermath and how that changes them.

My heart ached for Susie's little brother, Buckley. He was only four years old when Susie was killed, and his family was never the same. As a mom, I don't get how Susie's mom Abigail could just abandon her family and leave those grieving kids behind. She was utterly selfish, and I totally get Buck's anger and coldness towards her. Even in his grief, Susie's dad Jack was the rock that held his family together without the support of his wife. By the way, I think Jack was way too forgiving at the end!

I loved the storyline with Susie's sister, Lindsey, and Samuel. I think out of all her family members, Lindsey is the one who probably dealt with everything the best. Grandma Lynn was great, and I loved how she changed and picked up the pieces when Abigail bailed. 

Parts of the story were strange, like Susie's visit with Ray through Ruth. Also, I was expecting that Susie would lead Ruth to where her body was, and that never happened. I was pleased that the killer received justice through a bit of divine intervention!

Memorable quote:

"But I came to believe that if I watched closely, and desired, I might change the lives of those I loved on Earth."


4 stars!! I really enjoyed it, and you should put it on your TBR.

This book qualifies as:
#19 for my 2018 Strictly Print Reading Challenge
#24 for my Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2018
#5 for my The Official 2018 TBR Pile Challenge
#5 for my Read Your (Book) Shelf Challenge
#36 for my Beat the Backlist 2018 Challenge
#33 for my The Backlist Reader Challenge 2018
#21 for my New Authors 2018 Reading Challenge
#22 for my 2018 Try Something New Challenge
#26 for my 2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge
#19 for my GWB Book Bingo 2018
#2D for my Color Coded Reading Challenge
#1 for my Family Tree Reading Challenge
#13A for my 2018 Literary Escapes Challenge
#36A for my Good Rule Reading Challenge
#7 for my Charity Reading Challenge
#10 for my Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge
#7 for my 2018 Book to Movie Reading Challenge
Task #8 for my Goodreads Spring 2018 Scavenger Challenge - Umbrellas
#6 for my Chapter Break April Bookish Bingo
#9 for my Spring into Horror Readathon April 2018

1 comment:

  1. I read this book when I was around 12/13 years old and I remember telling my classmates about this book because the movie was coming out around this time. I'd recommend you DON'T watch the movie. It was done very badly in my opinion. For me, I thought the book was a 3/5, but the movie itself was a 1/5. I'm glad you enjoyed the book though! Alice Sebold also wrote a memoir named Lucky if you would like to read that. It's a sad read though :(

    Keep on Reading


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