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The Lovely Bones (2002)

by Alice Sebold

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
32,51490757 (3.7)675
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.
  1. 84
    The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (leahsimone)
  2. 51
    Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (Maiasaura)
  3. 20
    The Little Friend by Donna Tartt (KayCliff)
    KayCliff: Both books display the effects on a family of the murder of a child.
  4. 43
    White Oleander by Janet Fitch (leahsimone)
  5. 21
    The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard (WildMaggie)
  6. 11
    Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (Jen7waters)
  7. 11
    The Book of Fred by Abby Bardi (Bookmarque)
    Bookmarque: Not as sentimental as this. A very good coming of age novel.
  8. 33
    The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom (Headinherbooks_27)
  9. 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
  10. 11
    The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Despite differences in plot -- a teenager's post-murder afterlife in The Lovely Bones, and civilization's slow, steady collapse in the aftermath of disaster in The Age of Miracles -- the thoughtful young heroines of these melancholy, haunting stories are similar to one another.… (more)
  11. 00
    Shade by Neil Jordan (ShelfMonkey)
  12. 11
    Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin (jbarry)
  13. 00
    The September Sisters by Jillian Cantor (meggyweg)
  14. 01
    A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton (TheFlamingoReads)
    TheFlamingoReads: A melancholy story of how people deal with the death of a child.
  15. 23
    Atonement by Ian McEwan (RocknRain)
  16. 01
    La fortuna de Matilda Turpin by Álvaro Pombo (albavirtualy)
  17. 12
    The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue (cataylor)
    cataylor: Story is told by a character from the afterlife
  18. 01
    Where I Want to Be by Adele Griffin (jbarry)
    jbarry: touching arration from heaven
  19. 01
    La mirada del otro by Fernando G Delgado (albavirtualy)
  20. 01
    Lark by Tracey Porter (kaledrina)

(see all 27 recommendations)


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» See also 675 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 881 (next | show all)
I liked the perspective the story took. It was an interesting perspective to have the murder victim narrate her own story. I enjoyed the first half of the book, but the second half of the book seemed to lose its way. I didn't like Susie making contact with Ray Singh at the end of the story. It seemed very out of place. If the author would have contained the story to the murder and the family dynamics around the murder, the story would have been more compelling for me. ( )
  jguidry | May 28, 2021 |
After getting over a little confusion in the beginning and starting to realize that book jumped from past, to present, to future throughout every chapter, I began to love the book. I was horrified by the death of Susie and wanted to keep reading and find out what would happen next to her family and her killer. Alice Sebold uses such beautiful language and such great analogies to explain the feelings that each and every character are going through! I was able to connect so well to each and every character (except maybe the killer). The author also used a great concept for the idea of heaven which I thought was very original. I would highly recommend this book to just about everyone! The idea of family is strong throughout and many different people would have no problem connecting to the characters. ( )
  courty4189 | Mar 24, 2021 |
Absolutely loved this book. It was a bit slow going in some places but absolutely beautiful. And the ending is perfect, wrapping up every line of the book and yet giving you something to think about. ( )
  Nicole_girl | Mar 8, 2021 |
Borrowed from AACC library. Picked for light reading, turned out being more tiefgründig than I thought. Überraschenderweise hat das Buch sogar zum Nachdenken angeregt und war dennoch eine Freude zu lesen. Language wasn't too hard or difficult (hat keine Barriere zum Lesen dargestellt). All in all, I was very pleased with this book and don't regret having taken it off the shelf.
Would recommend to people that are looking for something easy to read language-wise, relatively short and simple. I really appreciate the unique POV (you'll know what I mean if you read the book).
Took me a month to read while just reading it on the side of my college studies, so not fastest pace on my part, but point being, story stays memorable enough that you don't have to rush through it/run a marathon to finish it. ( )
  amberdahlwijk | Jan 21, 2021 |
A great book written from a point of view that is rarely seen. ( )
  Weezer41 | Dec 27, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 881 (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 editionscalculated
Bresnahan, AlyssaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
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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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.

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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.
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Average: (3.7)
0.5 31
1 333
1.5 53
2 796
2.5 174
3 2450
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Hachette Book Group

8 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.

Editions: 0316168815, 0316666343, 0316166685, 1600240682, 0316001821, 0316044407, 0316044938, 160024842X

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