May 27, 2014

Mini Review: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

My name is Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered. 
-from The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

 photo 12232938_zpsf38cd917.jpg
Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones is a paranormal YA novel that explores what happens to 14-year old Susie Salmon and her family after her murder. Narrated by Susie from her perspective in Heaven, Susie watches and guides her family as best she can to her murderer and to their healing in life after her death. I listened to this as an audio book read by the author, which I highly recommend.

The most fascinating part about this book is how it explores the way people handle grief so differently. Susie's disappearance and apparent murder turns her father into a fighter intent on revenge while it makes her mother apathetic, reconsidering her identity as a mother. Susie's sister reinvents herself, her grandmother becomes more responsible and even her friends are changed in different ways. Ultimately the message is that grief changes people, no matter how deeply one is affected. Even Susie grows and transforms in her paranormal struggle to keep in contact with her family. When all these relationships are layed out and explored, it really makes for a well-rounded explication on death.

The one part I did not like is how deeply Susie is able to interact with the living. I won't spoil the way I was mostly irritated, but if you read it I think you will understand. I felt that it cheapened the experience of the book and made it a little too paranormal than it needed to be. I didn't mind the small ways Susie affected her dad and sister, but her interaction with Ray Singh from beyond the grave really disappointed me.

Bottom Line: This is a classic must-read for any contemporary YA lover. I read this in college and was happy to re-read it again via audio book. 4/5 Stars.


  1. gosh, i LOVE this book and i LOVE the movie as well. Peter Jackson did a great job with the movie. i agree. this book will get the readers from the beginning. it had me since the opening, when Susie introduced herself after her death. i agree about that part that irritated you (i think i know which one ;) ) the experience of reading this book made me feel the grief too. her father struggle - that he didn't let go, and her mother struggle - trying to let go. and her sister, who found courage and strength. people handling grief in different way, and in some ways grief changing us. i love your review about this one :)

  2. I didn't even know this one was YA! But I've heard a lot about it over the years. I remember someone reading it when I was in HS. I might have to give it a shot! The interaction sounds annoying though. I read Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff and some people mentioned it's similar-ish to Lovely Bones, and I liked it.


Thank you so much for reading my blog! If you leave a comment I will try my best to email you back directly and visit your blog, too! If I can't find a way to get back to you, check back for a reply to your comment. Thanks again and happy reading!!