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The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
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The Lovely Bones (original 2002; edition 2009)

by Alice Sebold

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26,96477437 (3.71)594
Member:3tms
Title:The Lovely Bones
Authors:Alice Sebold
Info:Back Bay Books (2009), Edition: 1 Mti Rep, Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (2002)

  1. 51
    Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (Maiasaura)
  2. 64
    The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (leahsimone)
  3. 32
    Atonement by Ian McEwan (RocknRain)
  4. 10
    The Little Friend by Donna Tartt (KayCliff)
    KayCliff: Both books display the effects on a family of the murder of a child.
  5. 33
    White Oleander by Janet Fitch (leahsimone)
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    Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger (sarah-e)
    sarah-e: Though not as emotionally charged, this deals with independence and death and ghosts.
  7. 11
    The Book of Fred by Abby Bardi (Bookmarque)
    Bookmarque: Not as sentimental as this. A very good coming of age novel.
  8. 00
    Unstolen by Wendy Jean (lucyknows)
    lucyknows: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold may be paired withUnstolen by Wendy Jean. Both novels deal with death and crime and how it affects the families left behind
  9. 00
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    Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin (jbarry)
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    La fortuna de Matilda Turpin by Álvaro Pombo (albavirtualy)
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  16. 01
    A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton (TheFlamingoReads)
    TheFlamingoReads: A melancholy story of how people deal with the death of a child.
  17. 12
    The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue (cataylor)
  18. 01
    Where I Want to Be by Adele Griffin (jbarry)
    jbarry: touching arration from heaven
  19. 23
    The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom (nu-bibliophile)
  20. 02
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(see all 26 recommendations)

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» See also 594 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 753 (next | show all)
A very disappointing read. It started well- I liked the idea of the story being narrated by a dead girl, I enjoyed the dark, bleak nature of the plot. But then the daft ending with Ray ruined it. ( )
  martensgirl | Apr 17, 2015 |
YALSA's Best Books for Young Adults 2002. RGG: Beautifully written, soulful, poignant novel. Surprisingly not macabre or maudlin. A wonderful story. Some moderately sexually explicit passages.
  rgruberhighschool | Apr 10, 2015 |
I just finished reading The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and I am *so* disappointed. Admittedly it's a novel concept for a story--girl gets raped and murdered then watches her family grieve and move on from the vantage point of Heaven--but beyond that it was really unimpressive. The first-person omniscient narration was borderline creepy (I don't want to know what my mother is fantasizing about when I die *shudder*) and at one point there's this weird falling-from-Heaven-into-your-friend's-body-so-you-can-have-sex-with-your-junior-high-crush moment that freaked me out and made absolutely no sense. As a reader you have no connection with or understanding of the dead girl considering she narrates the entire novel and the ending felt as though Sebold ran out of things to write and tried to just wrap everything up in a few paragraphs. Also, there was very little attention given to solving her murder (it was more like an "oh yeah.." moment when it did get mentioned) and knowing who the murderer was from page one often annoys me in a book, ESPECIALLY if the characters never figure it out for themselves....I suppose that could have been a reflection on how the dead girl would have felt. Anyhew, it apparently sold millions of copies and was adapted into (what I've been told) is a terrible movie starring Mark Wahlberg. My opinion: Not worth all of the hype it's been given and not that great of a read."
  LoveOfMuffins4820 | Mar 23, 2015 |
It is interesting to read a story told from the eyes of a child. I liked how Sebold was able to tell a horrific story in such a beautiful way. I've never read another book quite like that. ( )
  Anietzerck | Dec 28, 2014 |
Big disappointment. Could have been a fascinating story but the author did a terrible job. Ended up being pretty boring. ( )
  cmaese | Dec 26, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 753 (next | show all)
Sebold's compelling and sometimes poetic prose style and unsparing vision transform Susie's tragedy into an ultimately rewarding novel.
added by bell7 | editLibrary Journal (Aug 25, 2009)
 
Although some sections tend toward melodrama... other passages are dreamy and lyrical. Most striking is Sebold's mastery of a teenager's voice, from such small details as Susie's Strawberry-Banana Kissing Potion to her completely believable thought processes.
 
An extraordinary, almost-successful debut that treats sensational material with literary grace, narrated from heaven by the victim of a serial killer and pedophile.
added by bell7 | editKirkus Reviews (Aug 1, 2002)
 
Don't start "Lovely Bones" unless you can finish it. The book begins with more horror than you could imagine, but closes with more beauty than you could hope for.
 
Sebold takes an enormous risk in her wonderfully strange début novel: her narrator, Susie Salmon, is dead—murdered at the age of fourteen by a disturbed neighbor—and speaks from the vantage of Heaven. Such is the author's skill that from the first page this premise seems utterly believable... If in the end she reaches too far, the book remains a stunning achievement.
added by Shortride | editThe New Yorker (Jul 15, 2002)
 

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alice Seboldprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bresnahan, AlyssaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
Always, Glen
First words
My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie.
Inside the snow globe on my father's desk, there was a penguin wearing a red-and-white-striped scarf.
Quotations
These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence: the connections—sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at great cost, but often magnificent—that happened after I was gone. And I began to see things in a way that let me hold the world without me in it. The events my death brought were primarily that the bones of a body that would become whole at some unpredictable time in the future. The price of what I came to see as this miraculous lifeless body had been my life.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
The Lovely Bones is a moving exploration of loss and mourning that ultimately puts its faith in the living made even more powerful by a cast of convincing characters.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316168815, Paperback)

On her way home from school on a snowy December day in 1973, 14-year-old Susie Salmon ("like the fish") is lured into a makeshift underground den in a cornfield and brutally raped and murdered, the latest victim of a serial killer--the man she knew as her neighbor, Mr. Harvey.

Alice Sebold's haunting and heartbreaking debut novel, The Lovely Bones, unfolds from heaven, where "life is a perpetual yesterday" and where Susie narrates and keeps watch over her grieving family and friends, as well as her brazen killer and the sad detective working on her case. As Sebold fashions it, everyone has his or her own version of heaven. Susie's resembles the athletic fields and landscape of a suburban high school: a heaven of her "simplest dreams," where "there were no teachers.... We never had to go inside except for art class.... The boys did not pinch our backsides or tell us we smelled; our textbooks were Seventeen and Glamour and Vogue."

The Lovely Bones works as an odd yet affecting coming-of-age story. Susie struggles to accept her death while still clinging to the lost world of the living, following her family's dramas over the years like an episode of My So-Called Afterlife. 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 with Susie riding spiritual shotgun. 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." Though sentimental at times, The Lovely Bones is a moving exploration of loss and mourning that ultimately puts its faith in the living and that is made even more powerful by a cast of convincing characters. Sebold orchestrates a big finish, and though things tend to wrap up a little too well for everyone in the end, one can only imagine (or hope) that heaven is indeed a place filled with such happy endings. --Brad Thomas Parsons

Look Inside the Motion Picture The Lovely Bones (Paramount, 2010)
(Click on each image below to see a larger view)


Saoirse Ronan as Susie Salmon
Saoirse Ronan as Susie Salmon
Mark Wahlberg as Jack Salmon
Saoirse Ronan as Susie Salmon and Director Peter Jackson

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:45 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

This is the tale of family, memory, love, and living told by 14-year-old Susie Salmon, who is already in heaven. Through the voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death and builds out of her family's grief a hopeful and joyful story.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 20 descriptions

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