Monday, April 1, 2013

The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold The Lovely Bones
By: Sebold, Alice
Reviewed by: Teralyn E., 17
Rating:  It was amazing!

[TRIGGER WARNINGS: Rape/Sexual Assault, Murder, Pedophilia]
Inspired real life events, The Lovely Bones was an engaging novel told from the perspective of Susie Salmon—a fourteen-year old girl--who was sexually assaulted and murdered in a corn field near her home. The story takes no time to swing the reader into action, and is written in a way that makes the reader feel everything that Susie feels, and even the people around her.

Susie observes the majority of the story from her personal Heaven, having to watch her family and friends grieve over her death. Susie also grows to accept her own death as finality, by the end of the book, after years of watching the people closest to her grow to live again without her being there.

The book is very powerful and, due to the subject matter, may be upsetting for some readers. I loved it, but I couldn’t read it all at once because it was emotionally disruptive. The chapters are large enough chunks to read one or two a day.

The main themes, aside from death, are individuality, family, and happiness. Throughout the story, Susie is able to see her friends and family in a way that she had not been able to see them when she was in the world with them. She begins to see her mother as a woman, and not just ‘mom’. She watches her younger sister and brother grow into their respective personalities—strong willed and independent, reliable and collected—while observing the way that her family begins to heal together, without her.

Her crush, Ray Singh, also plays an integral part in her acceptance of her death, as well as the girl who she touched when her spirit fled her body—Ruth. Ray and Ruth become very close friends, bonding over the mutual loss of Susie.

Alice Sebold’s writing style brings the reader into the story, and illustrates it as if it were a movie. The themes that are covered in the book are not preachy or overbearing, and the story itself flows seamlessly from chapter to chapter. While the subject matter is dark, the portrayal has a very even-kilter tone, although it is emotionally heavy in some places.

Overall, I really loved this book, and I would read it again.

Recommended to: Older Teens, Adults

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