The Lovely Bones: A Novel by Alice SeboldThe Lovely Bones: A Novel by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones: A Novel

byAlice Sebold

Paperback | July 3, 2002

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When we first meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. This was before milk carton photos and public service announcements, she tells us; back in 1973, when Susie mysteriously disappeared, people still believed these things didn't happen. In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death and her own adjustment to the strange new place she finds herself. It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets. With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief, her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor and begin the difficult process of healing. In the hands of a brilliant novelist, this story of seemingly unbearable tragedy is transformed into a suspenseful and touching story about family, memory, love, heaven, and living.

Heather's Review

I am not sure quite why but this year my favourite fiction books have all been by first-time writers. When I first read the synopsis of this book – a young girl is raped and murdered by a serial killer – I said to myself, "This is not for me." Fortunately, I was on an airplane and this book was the only one in my briefcase. This tour...

see all heather's picks
Alice Sebold is the bestselling author of The Lovely Bones and Lucky, A Memoir. She lives in California with her husband, the novelist Glen David Gold.
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Title:The Lovely Bones: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8.6 × 5.9 × 1.1 inPublished:July 3, 2002Publisher:Little, Brown & CompanyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0316666343

ISBN - 13:9780316666343

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really interesting take on death and grief I meant to read this throughout the week during my afternoon commute but ended up consuming it all in a day or two. Really engaging style of writing and made me think a lot about death and how it affects so many people in ways you wouldn't even know about. I really wanted Mr. Harvey to have a far more harsher punishment but that's just me being idealistic and the book really did have a fitting end for him.
Date published: 2018-04-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A different perspective A different way to tell the story of a missing person. I was very impressed by the voice of the character who watched with interest but also the realization that where she was, she couldn't really change things or give answers to those searching for her, just watch. The maturation process and how her "heaven" changes throughout the book was interesting.
Date published: 2018-04-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good story but a slow read In my opinion, it's a slow read and difficult to get into, but if you push through, it is an incredible, chilling story. Overall, the story was wonderful but the writing left something to be desired. It may be easier to just watch the movie, which is also a bit slow, but easier to get into.
Date published: 2018-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking This was the first book that ever made me cry. Will make you love and appreciate your family and the ties that bind us
Date published: 2018-03-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from interesting i liked how this book was written, it was a peculiar and lovely book with a chilly subject. i found it was both dark and chilling and yet light and colorful at the same time.
Date published: 2018-03-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not as good as people say It was weird and unrealistic in some places. I think there are better books to read on this topic
Date published: 2018-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great! Beautifully written. Great thriller. Just hands down an amazing book.
Date published: 2018-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Difficult Subject Matter, But Very Enjoyable I was not sure how much I would like a book where we knew from the beginning who the killer was, in a type of anti-mystery. But I found it just as enjoyable and just as hard to put down.
Date published: 2018-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Difficult but Beautiful This book is great for adults and older teens alike. The narrator's perspective is a unique take and gives you a sense of the frustrations and struggles she goes through in her situation. The family's struggles are heartbreaking but thoughtfully written.
Date published: 2018-01-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from different i really liked this book because of the unique perspective of the narrator. you really feel like you are with the protagonist on her journey. it is difficult to read but worth it!
Date published: 2017-12-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from So-so It's a great story but it's a little bit more difficult to read compared to other leisure fiction reads.
Date published: 2017-12-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Ok It's hard to get into in the beginning but does pick up towards the middle. It's defiantly chilling and heartbreaking. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-12-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Chilling Such a chilling story, yet a beautiful depiction of the afterlife.
Date published: 2017-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hauntingly Beautiful! I think I read this book in a matter of days. It is a real page turner! If you are interested in reading a murder-mystery/thriller then give this one a go!
Date published: 2017-12-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my Favourites.. Oh man, this book will make you feel feelings. I was recommended it by my 12th grade teacher and have loved it ever since. It's a heartbreaking story about the aftermath of a girl's disappearance and murder, focusing on how her family especially is dealing with it, all from her point of view. The ending could have been better, I think, but it might work for others.
Date published: 2017-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lovely Bones I really loved this book. While it is about the murder of a young girl, it focuses on what she leaves behind and how it impacts those who loved her. It is a really beautiful and sad book. Be prepared to cry.
Date published: 2017-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My all time favourite book I love this book so much, ive read it so many times. I usually only read a book once but this one I haven't put down for years. amazing read, better than the movie.
Date published: 2017-11-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A ittle disappointing The book was really good until close to the end. Disappointing story twist but very well written and most oft he book was great.
Date published: 2017-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Tragically beautiful! Wow this story broke my heart. Right from the start, it was already full of tragic heartbreak. It is beautiful written throughout, but despite the heavy subject, I felt hopeful and inspired by the end. A terrific read.
Date published: 2017-10-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking Story This was sooooo sad. Like heartbreaking sad. I usually don't go for these kind of books but it was recommended to me so I had to grab it. The ending could have been done a bit better, in my opinion and there were a few parts throughout the book where I just had to take a break or I wouldn't finish. For the most part though, it was very easy to read and the story flowed quite well. A bit repetitive sometimes, but what do you expect from a book narrated by a dead 14 year old girl, lol. 4 solid stars from me and I look forward to reading more from the author.
Date published: 2017-10-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from beautiful by far one of my favorite and most recommended books, wayyy better than the movie and impossible to put down.
Date published: 2017-10-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking, Powerful This book holds such a domestic, and potentially realistic plot of a mysterious neighbour murdering a teenage girl, while maintaining a unique perspective of said girl in heaven. Definitely a refreshing twist! I think the overall message I've gained from this book is that life doesn't stop for anything. This girl is forced to face a torturous fate of watching her family and friends grieve, then her memory slowly fade from them as they learn to go on with their lives. All of this taking place while this innocent girl is in heaven, which is supposed to be the perfect place.
Date published: 2017-10-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE! I watched the movie first and regret it! THE BOOK IS SO MUCH BETTER!!!
Date published: 2017-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I LOVED this book! I read this book a couple of times because I loved it so much. It was sad at times but it was very hard to put down.
Date published: 2017-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Way better than the Movie! Read this book years ago before it became a hit on the screen. The book is 10x better than the movie as you can experience her thoughts and emotions on paper. I would definitely recommend it and I have lent this book out many times!
Date published: 2017-09-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Touching and Sad A truly sad story, touching and powerful. Well written, the movie was awful though unfortunately. Would definitely recommend this book to friends. It was intense and dramatic without being over the top. It's really more about coping with loss rather than what happened to the young girl.
Date published: 2017-08-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent Thriller The Lovely Bones is an excellent thriller novel. I read this novel in one sitting because I could not put it down. The twists and turns within the novel kept me intrigued. I recommend this book to another who enjoys thrillers.
Date published: 2017-08-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hard read at times, but really enjoyable Although this books starts off with some pretty heavy material, The Lovely Bones was a great book. Introduced interested mythlogy and I enjoyed following the protagonist as she not only told her story, but followed the stories of her family members as they kept going on without her.
Date published: 2017-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE this book When people ask me for book recommendations, this is one of the first I tell them to read. Great mystery and suspense, an emotional rollercoaster. LOVE this book.
Date published: 2017-08-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from a page turner I stayed up to ungodly hours of the night on school nights to read this because I wouldn't put it down, for every hour between basketball games in a tournament I read this book. It didn't take me very long to finish because it was so trilling, I highly recommend this book for someone in a slump, or who wants to read an exciting novel.
Date published: 2017-08-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Touching When I first started reading this I was tempted to put it down, because I thought it was going to be too gruesome and just another story about the murder of a young girl. But I am glad I kept going, because very soon I realized it was a story of love and the power of good over evil. I enjoyed the different perspective provided by the deceased girl as narrator.....really made me think about death and mourning in a different way.
Date published: 2017-07-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such a great read! I read this many years ago and loved it. The book was so visual for me and so well written. It was as much amazing as it was heart-breaking. I would highly recommend and do not use the movie as a reference.
Date published: 2017-07-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Worth the read. A little more religious than I was expecting and the ending took a bit of a weird turn. Otherwise this was a book I would recommend because the writing was really captivating.
Date published: 2017-07-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! A difficult read at times, only because of the heartbreaking content, and yet so beautiful. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2017-07-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it Ive re-read it many times, and I'm always impressed by how well written it is. (And much better than the movie)
Date published: 2017-07-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So beautifully written I was haunted by this but also amazed at how truly great it was. To this day I can recall the book's plot, as well as the characters. I loved it
Date published: 2017-07-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from good a very different narrative, but interesting.
Date published: 2017-07-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Page Turner Liked the book, it kept me interested until the end.
Date published: 2017-06-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superior to the film adaptation Alice Sebold's writing creates great mystery and suspense in this novel; it's an easy book to get through primarily because of the methods she incorporates in her work.
Date published: 2017-06-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from An Ok Book I picked this book up at a garage sale after watching the movie version of it. Although it is filled with very dark themes the book was a light read, easy to get into with an enjoyable protagonist. I did enjoy reading it and was able to finish it quickly however I didn't find this to be an amazing book like all the hype surrounding it suggests. I'm glad I've read it once, however this book has landed in my donate pile since I don't think its worth a second reading.
Date published: 2017-06-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great mystery! So interesting to read a book from the view point of a murdered victim!
Date published: 2017-05-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! So sad but also beautiful.
Date published: 2017-05-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from haunting and disturbing This is a heartbreaking story that would be easier to read if this kind of thing did not happen in the world. It is beautifully written and does justice to the characters and the horrible ordeal the family is put through. Definitely worth the read
Date published: 2017-05-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Heartbreaking While extremely heartbreaking, it is extremely well written. It was difficult to read emotionally, as well parts that can be fearful yet realistic of what can happen in the real world.
Date published: 2017-05-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Compelling! This was a page turner. I just wanted to find out more. It was an interesting perspective on the murder of a child. Enjoyed this read as I found it to be different to murder-mysteries I've read in the past.
Date published: 2017-05-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from wonderful So well written and beautiful. It's hard to describe how good this book is but be assured you will enjoy it.
Date published: 2017-05-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing One of my top 5 favourite books. The story is so gripping, so tragic, and so beautiful all at once.
Date published: 2017-04-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Easy, quick read This was a quick read that I finished in an afternoon. There's not much in terms of character or plot development, but rather a series of vignettes. It's alright for a mind numbing page turner if you're not in the mood for something deep #plumreview
Date published: 2017-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Favorite This was one of my favorite books in high school and is still one of my favorites. I enjoyed the movie equally as much as well. It's a page-turner for sure!
Date published: 2017-04-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such a good book This novel is certainly unique and beautifully written. I love the perspective from a 14 year old dead girl. The story captured my attention and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Date published: 2017-04-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Haunting, both in story and context If anyone's lost a younger person in their lives, it might be too hard to get through this. I got into this without knowing anything about it, and it really brought a lot of horrible memories to the surface, the whole way through reading it. Other than that, it's a fantastic book, but I didn't get to enjoy it due to it hitting too close to home, about someone I cared about, who is no longer around. I wouldn't really call this review a "trigger warning", but a "sensitivity warning" maybe?
Date published: 2017-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book. Sad and full of mystery. I read this book at a younger age and it was a pretty harsh read at the time. I suppose it was good that I was little more known of hard topics at that age already but it's definitely a great read. One that is more than worth it and really makes you think about the people around you.
Date published: 2017-03-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Intense read Its an intense read that you don't want to set down till you are done.
Date published: 2017-03-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Page Turning Mysterey #plumreview I have to admit, the synopsis of this story made me second guess why my friend recommended I read it. But it is a great book. It was written so well. Its a page turner!! Worth taking a chance, you won't regret it.
Date published: 2017-03-24
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Very boring This book sounded interesting and I was very excited to read it - ultimately it was a disappointment. Very boring and not compelling at all.
Date published: 2017-03-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from loved it i love this book but it was dry at certain times. VERY SAD but the characters are very relatable
Date published: 2017-03-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Something different I was a bit put off by the subject matter and by the narrator being a murdered child. But the story is compelling and I was gripped. And the ending was pure karma! #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Be prepared for tears I suppose the synopsis really tells you how sad it is. It's a great book nevertheless. Definitely recommend. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from simply incredible one of my all time favourite books. It is so beautifully written and I couldn't put it down
Date published: 2017-03-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hauntingly beautiful story This book was a thrilling and haunting tale from start to finish. It broke my heart for the protagonist and what she went through. It kept me hooked till the very end.
Date published: 2017-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved! Get your Kleenex ready. An amazing read. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2017-02-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Incredible book This book is so well written and hard to put down one it's been picked up. A thrilling mystery.
Date published: 2017-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my Top Fav books ever! I really loved this book! I has over the years maintained one of my top favorite books I've read! It is thrilling and interesting! I recommend! But it can also be a little creepy, so read responsibly :) LOVED IT! totally recommend!
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was fine I think it was easy to read, fast paced and whatnot, and i think it was pretty good, but some things really ruined it for me. There were parts that seemed so odd, unnecessary and very unbelievable, which took away from how meaningful this book is supposed to be. Instead of a sad story about a coping family and a murdered teen how has to move on, it turned into just a really weird story that felt very fictional so it really didn't have an impact on me.
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good, not great I think that the book would have been much better if the story did not take over as a long a time period as it did.
Date published: 2017-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved, loved, loved, loved this book I cannot recommend this book enough. It was such a unique piece of art. It felt so new, and gripping!
Date published: 2017-02-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting yet boring Though the plot line itself is interesting it was definitely a harder book to get into. I often found myself bored while reading it and I think it was dragged out longer than needed.
Date published: 2017-02-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A little too much for a YA book I never read this as a teenager when it first came out, so I thought I'd give it a go now... Man, it's a sad book! Maybe I was in a vulnerable place when trying to read it, but I teared up before getting even 1/4th of the way through the book... Not a bad read based on other reviews, but just know what you're getting yourself into before giving it a go. Sad book!
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from amazing book very sad but worth the read
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Sad A read for young adults, but so, so sad. I teared up so many times along the way... I couldn't even finish the book! Definitely a page turner, but I couldn't get past my tears!
Date published: 2017-02-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good I thought it was well written but a bit too sad for me to read. Very emotional reading about the little girl's death and her watching her family grieve.
Date published: 2017-02-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from It was just ok It was a good concept but the characters and the story itself fell flat for me. It was pretty sad but I didn't find myself attached enough to care.
Date published: 2017-02-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Could not put it down! If there was more closure in the end it'd be five stars. Too bad..
Date published: 2017-02-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Haunting This was very well written and an excellent read. I would definitely recommend it.
Date published: 2017-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this! I read this the summer before university and it has stuck with me ever since. The story pulls you in right from the beginning! It's suspenseful and thought provoking, with interesting characters and issues. It's dark and heavy at times but it's engaging throughout. I didn't think I would like it as much as I did because of the disturbing events that start the book but I was wrong. I loved it from start to finish which was only a couple of days because it was that good! Great teen and young adult read.
Date published: 2017-01-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from really enjoyed it it was one of the first books i read that had a real sinister character that was very real life.
Date published: 2017-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read I read this book for a novel study in high school, and I couldn't have picked a better book. I read this book so quickly, and there was so much to think about and analyze.
Date published: 2017-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Intriguing and disturbing Well written but scary to think how this actually happens.
Date published: 2017-01-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Very well written and impossible to put down. It is sad but also beautiful.
Date published: 2017-01-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Meh The greatest first 50 pages ever. The worst rest.
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful While the synopsis may be a deterrent - the book is beautifully written and worth reading.
Date published: 2017-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this Book This is a book that I have read several times over the years and often come back to whenever I need the comfort of good literature.
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it A very sad but well written story. Much better than the film. Would recommend.
Date published: 2016-12-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Lovely Bones?! I read the book after watching the movie, and I was a little disappointed with the turn the book took. It was a little difficult to get into, and it really was a strange. However, it does perfectly show the effect of death on the family greatly. It was a moving novel, and was chilling at some points.
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful This is still one of my favorite reads. It is so beautifully written and you cannot help but be pulled into the story. Alice Sebold is very talented and there hasn't been a book of hers I haven't loved.
Date published: 2016-12-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Chilling! It took a bit for me to get into, but when I did it was worth it! I don't get spooked easily but this book gave me the chills!
Date published: 2016-12-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking From start to finish I wanted so desperately for her family to find out what happened to her! It's unfortunately a story our world is becoming all too familiar with but I believe seeing things from the victim's perspective gives a different inside perspective on a family's grief of losing someone in such a horrific manner. I just couldn't put it down, I had to know how it ended!
Date published: 2016-12-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE!!! This is a book everyone should read!
Date published: 2016-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hauntingly Beautiful This book pulls you in and doesn't let you go... Such a hauntingly beautiful read. It has moments where it breaks your heart and brings tears to your eyes, and other moments where it brings a smile to your face. All in all, a great read.
Date published: 2016-12-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Very creepy and you just wanted to keep reading until you got to the end.
Date published: 2016-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! This is one of my favourite books. I read it in high school and have re-read it a couple of times since, and it's still just as wonderful. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-12-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing! Loved the different point of views in the book and the mystery and suspense.
Date published: 2016-12-12
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Boring This book was hard to get into and really boring storyline
Date published: 2016-12-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! The story, mystery, and characters make you never want to put the book down!
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Potential When I read the description on the book, it sounded like it would be a great read. Once I started reading it though, I just couldn't get into it. I got about halfway through and did not finish.
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unique Read A devastating, beautiful emotional rollercoaster of a novel. The writing could have been better, but the story and characters made it impossible to put down!
Date published: 2016-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great great book, id read again
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from So slow. It was so slow and I could not get to the fifth chapter. I ended up stopping and watching the movie. The movie was a lot less graphic then the book and far too much was just placed at the beginning I felt drained and uninterested after the first couple pages. Even the movie was slow and I felt like it dragged on for seven hours when it was just an hour and a half. It was recommended to me and I still cannot get to finishing it. I don't recommend this to anyone unless you are able to push through a very very slow start.
Date published: 2016-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful A wonderful mystery of a horrible crime. Gut wrenching imagery of what happens to your loved ones after you die. This story is not just about Susie but about the people her life and death touched. A page turned like no other.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from okay this book was okay. it did take a while to get into it though
Date published: 2016-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heather's pick for a reason Excellent and moving book. Very much a page turner.
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Far better than the movie Read the book long before the movie came out and really liked it. Easy read!
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Worth the read. As much as I liked this book, sometimes I found it hard to keep reading. Some chilling imagery in here.
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from chilling after a couple of years I FINALLY decided to read this - wish I didn't wait so long! #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-04
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Difficult to Stay Interested In I had read this book on recommendation that it was as timeless as To Kill a Mockingbird, on some aspects I agree. However, I found this book hard to read because it was difficult to stay interested. The characters are beautifully developed but the story line jumps sporadically, sometimes from paragraph to paragraph. The plot is centered on the murder of a young girl, how she go to heaven and her perspective of how she watches her death unraveling the lives of her family members. On an aside, what bugs me the most is that in the book they describe a glimmer of gold when returning the house charm as seen on the cover of the book, however, the charm depicted on the illustrative book is silver.
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from really liked I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Very interesting view from a murder victim.
Date published: 2016-08-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Simple and nice Nice description of heaven
Date published: 2014-09-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Emotional read I chose to read this based on a "must read" list that I reviewed a short time ago. It was not a book I had ever considered reading because I did not hear good reviews of the film. This book however was fantastic! Unique ideas and lots of emotion poured out of it. I strongly recommend.
Date published: 2014-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from lovely bones great read well written highly illustrious very deep and heavy
Date published: 2014-05-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding An outstanding read. Found it very hard to put down, once I downloaded it to my tablet.
Date published: 2014-02-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Outstanding Better than the movie, loved how it described her depiction of heaven.
Date published: 2014-01-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Outstanding This is Alice Seibold's first novel and its getting a lot of press and attention. The story is narrated by a 14 year old girl who has been murdered and is telling her story from heaven. (Quite a gamble for a first novel). The story is quaint and believe it or not it works but it was nothing to rave about! I'm so sick of people portraying mothers as being so weak that grief forces them in the arms of other men and causes them to run away from or ignore their other children (a la Jacquelyn Mitchard-The Deep End of the Ocean) My estimation is that the women I know are so much stronger than that and would die themselves before leaving or losing their other children. I just don't know what people are raving about. Oh, and get this: the killer, a creepy, odd, little man, a serial killer is killed when the girl causes an icicle to fall off of a building and kill him before he can hurt another girl. Iicle are the perfect murder weapon, a favorite in heaven because they melt-and yet the author herself says that you cannot cause any change from heaven. The other disturbing part is when the main charactor "falls" out of heaven into her best friends body because she died before she had the "pleasure" of making love to her boyfriend the first time---Just awful stuff!
Date published: 2014-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding I read this book years ago , then reread it - and still I loved the way she painted her picture . A bit disturbing at time yet a great depiction of what , perhaps the family and victims may face.
Date published: 2014-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding I could not tear myself away from this book once i started reading! Alice Sebold is a truly magnificent writer..
Date published: 2014-01-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Outstanding I really liked this book...very different approach to telling a story that captured me from the beginning - had to know 'what and how'....sad at times and frightening - could it happen in real life - Yes....Not up there with the best, but glad I took the time
Date published: 2014-01-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Outstanding Just a sad beautiful story, I would recommend to any one brought tears to my eyes
Date published: 2014-01-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Outstanding I find her books so incredibly different and this one intrigued me and shocked me all the way through.
Date published: 2014-01-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Outstanding It was a great story, I found it a little hard to read as it seemed to jump from person to person but once i had read the book i watched the movies and it all came together
Date published: 2014-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding Amazing book . Tension is kept up all through book but only slows down towards end . Susie salmon's chilling story will definatly keep you on edge !
Date published: 2014-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Outstanding Such a good read! Emotional and moving. Also suspenseful in terms of following what happens to the murderer in the following years.
Date published: 2014-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding One of the best books I have ever read. Beautiful but sad. The characters are so real.
Date published: 2014-01-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Lovely Bones Alice Sebold Kept me reading
Date published: 2013-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lovely Bones Alice Sebold This is an amazingly well written novel that pulls you into the characters and makes you feel their anguish. Very emotional but well worth the read.
Date published: 2013-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Touching Great read. I highly recommend this thought provoking true story.
Date published: 2013-06-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Eerie read This is definitely not a book I recommend reading before bed if you get goosebumps easily. I love Alice Sebold's books. Really enjoyed this one.
Date published: 2013-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent read Loved this book
Date published: 2013-04-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Decent Book In Canada almost 2000 cases of children and youth homicides were recorded from 1974 to 1999 and more have been occurring every year. The Lovely Bones written by Alice Sebold is about a 14 year girl named, Susie who is brutally raped and murdered in the early 70’s. She begins her journey in heaven and must watch her friends; family and her killer cope with her disappearance. Susie Salmon is a 14 year old girl who is raped and killed. A characteristic about Susie is she is a loving person. She loves her family and close friends. In the novel she acts motherly towards her younger brother Buckley. A character trait about Susie is that she is a creative person. She loves to take photos and view life differently. Susie is a character that we learn about and tells us the readers, what is happening on earth. The novel contains different themes throughout the book. Grief is a theme shown in the book from the disappearance of Susie. Many of the characters deal with this and go through the process like her family. Thirdly, a major theme in the novel is “good vs. evil.” The innocent girl, Susie, is murdered by the neighbour Mr. Harvey. These are the types of the themes most readers like to read. Evaluating, the book, I liked the suspense aspect. There were close times where the killer tries to strike again or is close to getting caught. The thing I disliked about The Lovely Bones was the ending. I thought the ending didn’t really tell me about what happens to the family. Generally, there were things about the book that made me want to read the book even though there were some boring parts. Overall, the book is decently written with the storyline being a bit disturbing for younger audience. Additionally, they made a movie which I thought wasn’t good because they didn’t include some parts from the book and I thought the actors weren’t good representations of the characters. I give this book a rating of 3 out of 5.
Date published: 2013-01-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Worst Book I ever rea There is just nothing more I can say. No delight in this book of doom.
Date published: 2012-05-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful The reason I bought and read this book was because I fell in love with the movie. Normally after watching a movie I do not find myself thriving to dig into the details. After losing a close friend of mine, and having been touched by the movie I purchased the book. I found the style in which Alice Sebold wrote kept me interested. She was descriptive but not over whelming. This book is brilliant and stands out from others.
Date published: 2012-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A seriously amazing read I just finished reading this book for the first time and I can't really even put into words how it made me feel. It's a heartfelt story told almost as a memoire by a murdered young girl as she looks down on earth from heaven. This book will tug at your heard strings as you follow her family (along with other people in her life) and watch them deal, each in their own way, with her death. It's beautifully written and will captivate you from the first page.
Date published: 2011-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Breathtaking Honestly, there are no words. This is one of those novels that can't really be categorized--my favourite type. It's a mystery, but reads sort of like a memoir, and there's the whole fantastical element.... It's for young adults but it's not, it's for adults but it's narrated by a 14-year-old.... It's stunning. It's incredible. I can't believe I didn't read it sooner.
Date published: 2011-08-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heart-wrenching Lovely Bones is a wholly original story of a teenage girl murdered by a serial killer living in her neighborhood, her family's quest to find answers and pick up the broken pieces of their lives, and her efforts to solve her own case from beyond the grave. Outstanding and a must read for everyone!
Date published: 2011-03-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A mood lifting novel This book is truly an incredible emotional rollercoaster you are left teary eyed, or smiling. There is more to this book then just its content. It’s about the present and the afterlife. The Lovely Bones is the story of a young girl named Susie Salmon whose life was taken when she was raped and murdered at the age of 14. From heaven she narrates her family and the murderers’ life as they continue on life without her. Mrs. Salmon; Susie’s mother, continues to push her family away as she tries to deal with the grief. Her father, Mr. Salmon; who is the most emotionally stable person in her family uses this stability to start off on his own investigation. He believes he knows who the murderer is but is unable to prove it. As Susie watches her family fracture over her death she finds herself living vicariously through her family she will never age physically but is growing up emotionally.
Date published: 2011-02-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Easy, enjoyable read I picked up this book a few years back and have read it three times so far. I really enjoy it. It's a story told from the perspective of a dead girl watching over her family and friends. Different. I'm giving it four stars instead of five because there is one part that I really didn't like and I skip over it every time I read it. Not to ruin anything from the book, but it was the only part I found to be unbelievable.
Date published: 2010-09-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold http://insubstanial.blogspot.com/2010/08/lovely-bones-by-alice-sebold.html Blog for Book Reviews.
Date published: 2010-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from lovely! On her way home from school on a snowy December day, 14-year-old Susie Salmon is lured into a cornfield and brutally raped and murdered, the latest victim of a serial killer. Susie struggles to accept her death while still clinging to the lost world of the living, following her family's dramas over the years. Her family disintegrates in their grief: her father becomes determined to find her killer, her mother withdraws, her little brother Buckley attempts to make sense of the new hole in his family and her younger sister Lindsey moves through the milestone events of her teenage and young adult years. Random acts and missed opportunities run throughout the book--Susie recalls her sole kiss with a boy on earth as "like an accident--a beautiful gasoline rainbow". This book was soo difficult to put down.Although we know who Susie's killer is, one is constantly hoping her family and the police will figure it out. The novel alternates between the characters point of view and this helps to make a well rounded story. We are able to see/feel how everyone deals with Susie's death differently. You hurt right alone with the characters, only being able to imagine what they must all be going through. Although Alice Sebold's novel has some difficult issues to deal with she gives us a very well written story!
Date published: 2010-07-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Bitter sweet... A insightful read...if you can get past the first chapter, you're okay. I found it difficult to get past the fact that she was gone...she would never marry, have children. I have children so it absolutely hit a soft spot for me. This is a book that takes some personal tolerance. To tolerate the horrible event that kicks off the book and then you are hooked...hoping the attacker will get what he deserves...
Date published: 2010-06-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Book I read this book probably about 4 years ago, it was a really good book and I did enjoy it. At times I felt a little grossed out, but that was just because of the story line. It makes you feel sad and if you have your own kids, or are close to a child you think "what would I do if this happened to me?" None the less, it was a good book and I would recommend it to someone else who is able to read stories about children and murder.
Date published: 2010-05-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Odd It started off as though it was going to be very good, but I got very disappointed near the end when it took a turn on the weird side. Most of it was even quite boring and it dragged on and on...and the writers opinion of heaven is a VERY bland one. I hope the movie proves to be better than this.
Date published: 2010-04-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fantastic but... Great book, great story, page turner from the start. I may have declared this the one of the best books I've ever read had it not been for the ending.
Date published: 2010-03-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Hard to get into. This was a book with good potential but failed in it's delivery. Althought alice is a good writer it fails to capture my attention. With a great opening chapter it starts to fade as I continue to read. I found that it was just a downward slope as it went to the end, it took a lot just to finish the book and a reader should not have to force himself to finish.
Date published: 2010-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a page turner!!! Where to begin?? This is an excellent read for those seeking a thriller, adventure and for an escape. The story starts off with the main character Susie Salmon, she's 14 and has been murdered. The story is narrated by her and tells the story of how she was murdered as well as how she was able to leave a clue for her father to find out her killer. She looks down on her old life through "her heaven" as she calls it and is able to see how her family and friends cope with her loss as well as move on from her death. I believe this book is not suitable for children under the age of 10 for some of the content it speaks about. I read the book. I saw the movie. They are different, I recommend reading the book first obviously! The book is better and goes into more detail and more background on Susie. WARNING: You will find it hard to put this book down, allow yourself time to read in one sitting...bring tissues! 2Thumbs Up!
Date published: 2010-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Bittersweet and emotional... The Lovely Bones follows a young girl named Susie Salmon who follows her family's lives after her murder at the age of 14. This story is incredibly heart breaking as the family member's lives gradually seem to fall apart trying to come to terms with Susie's death, and Susie in turn attempts to come to terms with the reality that her family will continue to live without her. The story takes the reader through an emotional roller coaster following the events of Susie's murder and its aftermath (including some insights into the murderer himself) and ends with a bittersweet heartfelt ending. An excellent read, I would definitely recommend it.
Date published: 2010-02-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Truly Amazing ♥ I thoguht this book was sooooo good. It took me a while to get into it, but after the first couple of chapter, i really started to enjoy it. I'm guessing a lot of people know what the book is a about, so ill skip the summary. But the book was a cold hard truth of what happens after someone in your family is murdered! The pain and the anxiety of it all, changes peoples life drastically. I really enjoyed the book, and i thought it had a great plot and a great conclusion. Even though the book was very sad, it was still very good!
Date published: 2010-02-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Charming If you are expecting a warped mystery where the ghost-girl helps her family find the killer, don't. The story strays away from the cliche spiritual/gothic plotline to something with more heart. Susie captures the heart as easily as she watches her family from heaven go through their various problems as they cope with her death. It is amazing how the author is able to attach something like "and while I pulling pieces of myself back together" with "I knew that it should have been like that, the four of them together, my family" in the same novel bound by glue and ingraved in ink. However, Alice Sebold did a wonderful job and I definitely recommend reading this book....and BEFORE you see the movie, don't spoil it for yourself. If you are planning to write me off on your list of crazy people, ignore the review and never look at The Lovely bones, do us both a favour and DON'T.
Date published: 2010-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I LOVE YOU SUZIE!!!!!!!! I found this book to be an amazing read. I love Susy Salmon and her personality. The author takes something so sad and makes the reader feel for all the characters and their loss and at the same time falling in love with Susy. You just need to keep reading to know what happens as well as waiting for justice for the neighbor. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie as well!!!
Date published: 2010-01-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from So Glad I'm Done Reading This! I bought the Lovely Bones because I had seen the trailer for the movie. It looked interesting enough to read and the idea was a new topic for me to read about. After having read past Suzie's rape and murder, the book never seemed to pick up after that. It felt as if the story went on about nothing and just when you think it is gonna good - it doesn't! Then it ends without any closure. Also, I thought the whole last bit at the end, where setting takes place in the future, seemed really pointless. Overall this book was a huge disappointment. I feel the author could have done so much more her main idea for the story.
Date published: 2010-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Book of '09 If you can stomach through the first chapter of the book, that doesn't got into extreme detail but enough that it causes your stomach to churn, you'll be pulled into a beautiful tale. I've never read a book that held both hopeless and hope at the same time. You want revenge yet somehow through the journey that gets shuffled aside from the stories of how those left behind are dealing with the lose. Everything about this book felt real. The struggle the police had with finding clues and how without evidence a gut feeling isn't enough. How the family dealt with the absence of Susie and how the conviction of a father can at times be painful to watch. Now, there are some books where you read them in super fast speed. These books are 'page-turners' and have a great flow where you keep reading faster and faster. Then there are books that you love-love but it seems to take you forever to read. This, is no fault of the author's rhythm or anything but rather the fear you may miss something. "The Lovely Bones" falls into this category and the one where it's just so brilliant that you don't want to race through it to the end, you want to slowly eat away at it. During this book I never hit a point where I found the plot hit a dry spot or I'd lost interest. Every time that could have happened Sebold dropped details and facts where other authors may not have. This kept you constantly engaged, waiting for more information and reactions. Her details were so vital, she gave lots but she held back at the same time, baiting you in a way that never felt obvious. Hands down the best book I've read in 2009. I am now eagerly anticipating the movie release. Jackson was brilliant with LoTR and I'm counting on him blowing my mind with the movie version.
Date published: 2009-11-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Troubling and touching Over the summer I was looking for a novel to have my advanced college students read in the fall. After reading many books, including The Lovely Bones, I made my choice. As the mother of a young daughter, I found the first chapter very difficult and troubling, although beautifully written; but upon finishing the novel I was left with a sense of hope and love. Finally, I have been getting some positive feedback on the novel from my students. I am pleased with my choice!
Date published: 2009-11-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Enlightening Read An unusual novel for me to purchase but one I fell upon by chance and quite enjoyed. The Lovely Bones is written from the perspective of a murdered teenager, barely old enough to experience a school girl crush, and the characters view from heaven, or Sebold’s version of heaven. The reader follows the murder and the life and death afterwards through Suzie herself and her family. Dealing with such a shocking loss in a small town is something none of us want to consider, live through or ponder as each person has their own way of dealing or ignoring the tragedy. Read how Sebold winds the tale of deceit, acceptance, ignorance, etc with the way everyone treats the value of the families loss. Some say this only scratches the surface of the tale that could have been and I agree although, like any good book, it left me pondering the situation and the possibilities while not forcing me into Sebold’s views.
Date published: 2009-11-10
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Ugh Could there be a more boring, depressing book? I think not! I really dont see what the big fuss about this book was. Yes, it's about important issues such as sexual abuse, yadda yadda... but there are better books about those types of issues out there! This one was really not that great. I got bored after, hm, I don't know... 25 pages?
Date published: 2009-11-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Depressing Bones At first I didn’t want to touch this novel because of the depressing issue of rape and murder (both of which have affected many members of my family, myself included) and I did not want to face up to haunting memories that I had put behind me, but I did put this on my reading challenge for this month (October) because I've wanted to read it for a while I've just never had the courage too. Not only did the novel put me past my demons, but I also enjoyed reading something of spectacular prose. Sebold was quoted as saying (and I paraphrase), she wanted to write a novel about violence because it is all around us. She herself was a rape victim and therefore fitting that she included this plot line in her first novel. The main character, 14 year old Susie Salmon, is dead and lives her afterlife in “heaven” a place where everyone has their own sanctuary, hers is much like the schoolyard she left behind. While she spends the remainder of the novel coming to terms with her death, her family spends the time trying to piece together the mystery of her disappearance. Through their grief, the Salmon family grow and learn to accept her death while learning to come to terms with the emptiness of their lives. While the hole, that was Susie, never quite mends their lives continue to the best of their ability and one sees a broken family survive the best they can. While the novel touches on themes of grief and loss, it also brings to the forefront a topic that one doesn’t like to dwell upon often: murder and rape. The murder scene is raw and unforgiving, and it’s what makes the reader so much more sympathetic for the main character. Sebold was BOLD when it came to writing out this scene for many people would not want to hear or read about a child brutally raped and murdered, however bringing this issue to the masses and merging it into a plot line is probably, however extreme, the best way to address the real horrors it is to experience rape. Throughout the novel the child is sometimes sympathetic towards her killer. Going into the minds of a psychopath as Sebold attempts to do is risky however, she does it tastefully. The reader is angry at the Murderer but also feels somewhat sympathetic towards him, for he’s a man possessed who desperately wants to break out of the mental frame he finds himself in yet doesn’t want to end the pleasure he gets from murdering his victims. The characters in the novel all deal with the disappearance of Susie in different ways: her father becomes obsessed with finding the Murderer, her mother becomes a shadow, her sister suppresses all emotions, and her neighbours eventually get over it. She becomes “the girl who was murdered,” not even her name is remembered in that statement. The one person she affected the most was Ruth, whom she passed (her ghost) as she was exiting the world. Ruth later becomes possessed by women victims of murder and starts to see them everywhere and befriends Susie’s only boyfriend Ray. The book, however well written it is, is not without flaws. The ending is drab as the author tries to give Susie a coming-of-age type of epiphany. This scene is not necessary and seemed a bit rushed and to me the ending doesn’t seem that fulfilling… the irony of the bones I guess is what disturbs me. All in all it was a well written story and I was glad I got the chance and the courage to read it.
Date published: 2009-10-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Touching and Poetic After being raped and murdered, a fourteen year old girl, Susie Salmon, looks down from heaven and watches her family cope with her disappearance. I was hooked on this novel from the first sentence. The concept of a character, dead and narrating the story from heaven is a unique one. Here we have an omniscient character that can see all, experience all that is going on on Earth. Only able to watch and unable to help her family find her murderer. The narrative is often times poetical, which stands to reason since Sebold, I later found out, spent her college years writing poetry. This story and concept hit close to home for me, as I’m sure it will for those of us who have lost close family members, especially siblings. I completely related to the Salmon family, the way, at times, they wanted to ignore and not talk about the loss they were feeling, just wanting to feel normal. Also I can imagine that this book has been able to give comfort to a lot of people, to believe that a person you have lost, that you really care about is still watching over you and that you can still talk to them whenever you want. I also related to the suburban landscape that Sebold chronicles. Somehow it makes the crime seem even more brutal and threatening. But is one that happens all the time all over the world. As uncomfortable as the rape and murder scene is, in particular hearing it from the point of view of the victim, we know it serves a purpose, for us to truly understand what a victim of violence and their families go through. This is defiantly one of those timeless classics that, I feel should be read by everyone.
Date published: 2009-10-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Moving This book turns homicide into literature. A great book narrated by Susie Salmon, the girl who was tragically raped and murdered by her neighbor, George Harvey. She tells her story and the story of her family as she watches them from Heaven. It was very touching to see how Susie's short life (only 14) and death affected so many people, and the book included with the fantasy, be it a morbidly selfish fantasy, of being able 'attend' your own funeral and to see who showed up and who truly care after you are gone. I thought this was a very sweet, very endearing book.
Date published: 2009-09-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read, and Re read I loved this book when I read it about 4 years ago. And I found myself reading it again 2 years ago, during my first year of college. I loved the basis of the story, and it reads at a great pace. I had also recently lost a family member when I read it the first time, which made me love and appreciate the narration in a big way. People, do not see this movie without reading the book first!! The movie might disappoint, while the book will no doubt become a favourite.
Date published: 2009-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it so far! so far i'm about half way into it and i think it's really good and i can't wait for the movie to come out so i can see of how well they have made it like the book =)
Date published: 2009-09-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful and insightful novel of the dead... Incredibly written novel, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. It took me some time to finally get to this book but boy was it worth it. Sebold has managed to write a novel like no other. Written from a small girl's perspective of overlooking her friends and family from the heavens above. Susie Salmon; like the fish, was raped and murdered at a tender age. She finds her self in heaven overlooking the ones she loves. She watches as they try to solve her murder, as they grow together as a family, and then as they grow apart. She remembers back to the times in her life that were great and the people that meant so much to her. Take the times to read this beautiful, heartfelt story of the Salmon family. Note: The Lovely Bones is being made into a major motion picture. Directed by Peter Jackson and released December of 2009.
Date published: 2009-09-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Lovely Bones Susie Salmon is a 14 year old girl, That is murdered on December 6th, 1973. The Whole book comes from her view up in heaven. She is watching down on her family and the person that killed her desperatly trying to help the peice together the clues that connect her murder to the man that killed her. This book was quite compelling, I found it hard to put down. The idea of the book was unique and refreshing, something i haven't seen before. Alice Sebold was very descriptive with their characters, You could understand how they were feeling. I would recommend this book. The book will have you looking at things in a whole new perspective.
Date published: 2009-09-03

From Our Editors

In the hands of a brilliant new novelist, and through the eyes of her winning young heroine, this story of seemingly unbearable tragedy is transformed into a suspenseful, touching, even funny novel about family, memory, love, heaven, and living.