Recommended book: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

  • Recommended book: The Lovely BonesFormat: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 509 KB
  • Print Length: 348 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0330511742
  • Publisher: Picador (9 April 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon UK, Amazon US


Susie Salmon was fourteen years old when she was murdered by a man from her neighbourhood. Now in heaven, she can have whatever she wishes for – except the one thing she wants most: to be back with the people she loved on earth. Susie watches from above as her suburban family is torn apart by grief; as her friends grow up, fall in love, and do all the things she never had the chance to do herself. In time, Susie will realise that even in death, life is not quite out of reach . . .

My Rating: ★★★★ (4 out of 5)

My Review

After reading The Hunger Games and then watching the film, I thought it would be a useful exercise as a writer to take a film that I’d seen and read the book. Even though it has been a few years since I saw the Peter Jackson directed film, enough of what happens was still fresh in my mind.

Susie Salmon is an interesting character and her very interesting story unfolds with the bombshell on the opening page. The plot takes twists and turns as you would expect from the storyline.

The Lovely Bones is written in first person and all from the main protagonist’s point of view as she experiences her heaven and the struggles of her family back on earth. I found the second half of the novel read like a long epilogue at times. Well written, but had that sort of feel to it.

Having seen the film, reading the book was no less enjoyable. In a way, knowing what happened in the end was a good thing and with this story structured the way it is anyway, you know where it is going.

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book (and watching the film for that matter) and recommend it.

Eclectic Reading Challenge 2012 image

This is the TENTH book review I’ve written for the Eclectic Reading Challenge 2012. Only TWO to go. Romance and Historical.

About Pete Denton

I'm a writer working my way through the redrafts of a British crime novel. I also write short stories, flash fiction and some screen writing. Check out my blog for more.
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25 Responses to Recommended book: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

  1. Great review Pete. I actually avoided watching the film as I thought it had no appeal. I’ll have to re-think that now.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, David. It was one of those films that I didn’t intend watching. It was simply a film that was on after something I wanted to watch had finished and I kept watching. I like it when a film’s like that, sort of sneaks up on you and keeps you involved.

  2. EllaDee says:

    Excellent review. I also enjoyed this book, and Alice Sebold’s novels in general. I haven’t seen it, but will add it to my QuickFlicks queue.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thank you 🙂

      It’s one of those books I wondered about when it came out. When it was a 99p bargain on Amazon I just couldn’t resist. Glad it bought it.

      If you watch the film I hope you enjoy it. And, have plenty of popcorn 🙂

  3. billgncs says:

    because movies are so visual, and books force one to create the image in the mind, I usually find the movies beautiful but lacking the depth I found in the book. Thus, I almost always prefer the book.

    • Pete Denton says:

      You know, I’m starting to feel the same way. I’ve often not read a book thinking instead to watch the film, but the adaptations can take something away from the feel of the book.

      When I did my Creative Writing studies and we did adaptations we were encouraged to change at least two things from the story we adapted. Many films do the same so the book is the only way to enjoy the writer’s version of the story in many ways.

      Director’s cut – NO
      Writer’s cut – YES


  4. I saw the film and thought it was very good, although I can’t really bear stories that involve youngsters dying! For that reason I probably wouldn’t read the book.

  5. 4amWriter says:

    I usually read books before watching the film. I’ll even wait to see the film until I have read the book first. However, this one I couldn’t summon up the courage to read. I really didn’t think I could endure 300+ pages of that kind of terror. So, I chose to watch the film. It was so traumatic though, that I won’t ever read the book.

    Good review, though. 🙂

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks 🙂

      The terror parts are not too bad. At least I didn’t think so. It’s more a journey of her family as they struggle to move on with their lives. I can understand not wanting to read after seeing the film though.

  6. Linda Govik says:

    Never mind the movie (I never watch movies…) – this sounds like a book for me! Think I will pick it up, once I’m finished with my current read. Thanks for the tip 🙂

  7. I used to always read the book if I hadn’t done so before seeing a film. I quit doing that, though. There’s just too much to do to do things twice.

  8. Kourtney Heintz says:

    This is one of my favorite stories because it really seems to mix and meld genres. Her prose are so beautiful and the story was so heartbreaking. I loved every second of it. 🙂 I haven’t seen the movie yet.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, Kourtney. I did enjoy reading the book and the film was good too.

      • Kourtney Heintz says:

        I found the genre categorizing very interesting on this book too. It usually sits with general fiction, but it has a very supernatural element of a spirit narrating the story. It deals with things beyond the ordinary, but doesn’t seem to fall nicely into any one genre.

  9. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out says:

    A great review, I really enjoyed this book though I must admit I couldn’t stand the movie!

    Thanks for sharing your review

    Shelleyrae @ Book’d out

  10. Pingback: Review: The Lovely Bones (2009) « M-EDIA

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