Tuesday, September 22, 2009

BBW Review: The Lovely Bones

I read and reviewed this book in honor of ALA's Banned Book Week. This book was moved to the faculty section of the John W. McDevitt Middle School library in Waltham, Mass in 2008 because its content was too frightening for middle school students. I actually understand this one because there was murder, rape, some language, and sex in the book, but I still think it's up to a child and/or their parents if they are mature enough to read this powerful and amazing novel. Summary is from Amazon.

Title: The Lovely Bones
Author: Alice Sebold
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Publication Date: April 20, 2004
Pages: 328

My Edition: Paperback
Reading Level: ----
here I got it: Goodwill for 47 cents!

Once in a generation a novel comes along that taps a vein of universal human experience, resonating with readers of all ages. THE LOVELY BONES is such a book — a #1 bestseller celebrated at once for its artistry, for its luminous clarity of emotion, and for its astonishing power to lay claim to the hearts of millions of readers around the world.

"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.

The major motion picture version of THE LOVELY BONES, directed by Peter Jackson and starring Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, and Saoirse Ronan is scheduled for release on December 11, 2009.

Review (Lots of spoilers about the book, so read at your discretion!):
Wow, this book started off very intensely! I couldn't put it down, but once I got past the aftershock of her murder, the story kind of became a little boring. I really liked it, but it was a little too sad to read about. One things for sure Alice Sebold can really tell a powerful story of a teenage girl who is raped then murdered by a male neighbor. I was surprised that only the first 4 or 5 chapters was about Susie's murder, then the rest was about her "life" in heaven and how her family deals with her death. I really liked Susie's sister, Lindsay. She was a very strong female character, and I love how her life turns out with her childhood crush then husband. Also, it was perfect ending with Mr. Harvey (the murderer, ex-neighbor) dying by an icicle (the perfect murder). It was really interesting how connected Susie was to her school friend Ruth and how Susie actually went into her body and made love to her I guess boyfriend. This book will have me thinking and I won't forget her tragic story. I highly recommend it, and I give it 4 stars only because it was a little boring.
The movie for Lovely Bones is coming out this year, and it looks amazing! Here is the trailer:



  1. The Lovely Bones is a lovely book. I'm not sure I'd recommend it for middle school kids, though. What is that... like 13-year-olds? Some of the themes seem a little too adult for that age group. For older teens, I don't see why they can't read it. It's a good story.

  2. Wow I loved this book, sorry it was boring for you!

  3. I really want to read this book asap! The movie looks beautiful and heartbreaking.


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