Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wednesday=Book Review Time--An aftermath

Up for today: THE LOVELY BONES by Alice Sebold

the lovely bones by mush2274

Why I bought it? I had heard so many good things about it from friends and online. One day trawling for books I noticed it on the shelf and snagged it. It sat on my TBR pile for a long time before I actually felt I was up for reading it. I wish I'd read it sooner.

Synopsis: Susie Salmon is 14 when she is raped and murdered. (This happens in chapter 1, so I'm not spoiling the suspense.) She narrates from heaven the story of what happens after her death. The impact it has on her family. The investigation into what happened to her. The rumors among the kids at school. The killer's cover-up. And so much more.

What I thought? It was so well written and engrossing that I couldn't put it down. The uniqueness of Sebold's voice is compelling. I have never read anything like it before. The main character is dead by the end of the second sentence. Whatever your personal vision of heaven, you can enjoy Sebold's take on it in this novel--with roommates and counselors, etc. I was surprised at how uplifting it was. There were times of horror and grief as you would expect, but there were also moments of healing and transcendence and more hope than you would think possible. I loved it.

My rating: ***** out of 5

Cleanness Score: 7 out of 10, The first chapter is where most of this score comes from. The rape/murder is honest and horrifying--quite disturbing, but by the end of the first chapter (which is not very long) it is over and the rest of the book has a certain distance from it. There is some language, but not tons. It's not the sort of thing I would recommend to a teen without their parents' permission. It is a book written for adults. A lot of teens have read and loved it though. If you are concerned about letting your teen read it, read the first chapter and see. It doesn't get any worse than that.

19 comments:

Alyssa said...

I've heard so much about this book, but have never actually read it. Maybe I'll go pick it up from the library today :)Sounds like the kind of book I'd enjoy.

lotusgirl said...

A, you would enjoy it. Add it to your summer reading.

Davin Malasarn said...

This is a book I recommend to a lot of people. I really liked it. But, I read a critic's review of this book that rang true for me. Most of the best writing is in the beginning. That first chapter that you mentioned, Lois, is amazing. The end didn't quite work for me, although I enjoyed reading the entire book. I heard Alice read once in Pasadena, CA and she is a very warm person. The interesting thing about this book is that she started writing it a few years before it was published, but she had to stop and write about her own true rape account before she could come back to the novel to finish it.

Solvang Sherrie said...

How funny, this book is in my TBR pile, too! I even have the hard cover (although I think I got it from the used book store). Maybe I'll just float it closer to the top.

Natalie said...

Yeah, sounds interesting, but I don't think I could handle that kind of detail. Thanks for the heads up. I'm a wuss on these things. Too sensitive.

Suzanne Casamento said...

I've heard good things about this book for years and have always passed it by. But your review makes me want to read it now. Thanks!

Litgirl01 said...

I bought this book and started to read it, and I couldn't put it down at first. I stopped reading half way through though. Not sure why...I just lost interest.

Tess said...

I am such a wimp - I could only read this book (after much prodding from friends who loved it) by starting in chapter two. I really did enjoy it, however.

Now, after seeing Davin's comment about the best writing being in chapter one, I'm wondering if I should look at it. Hmm...

Danyelle said...

I've heard lots of good about this book, but the subject matter feels a lot out of my comfort zone. It sounds like an interesting story though. :D

PJ Hoover said...

I can't bring myself to read this. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to.

Shelli said...

i read this along time ago and it is on my list of favs - Lucky is good too!

lotusgirl said...

Davin, that would be so cool to be able to meet her. I would think she'd be very interesting to listen to. I think a lot of us have better writing at the beginning syndrome. We work those first pages to death. We have to remember to keep working them all the way to the end.

Sherrie, float those bones!

Natalie, I can understand.

Suzanne, You're welcome. I hope you enjoy.

Litgirl, hmmm. I wonder what it could have been.

Tess, It is well written, but disturbing as well.

Danyelle and PJ, It is out of a lot of people's comfort zone.

Shelli, I haven't read Lucky. I'll have to pick it up sometime and see.

Lady Glamis said...

Lois, EXCELLENT REVIEW! What I love about your reviews is that they don't drag on forever. You get right to the point, so thank you. I have been wanting to read this book forever. People seem to either love it or hate it. And since you love it, I definitely want to read it. It sounds like something I would really like.

Justus M. Bowman said...

You read a lot. Yep, that's all I have for you.

lotusgirl said...

Glam, Thanks, I think you would like it.

Justus, LOL! Indeed.

giddymomof6 said...

Thanks for the review. You read so much it's inspiring! And you have sucha wide variety of books too! I love this blog! Jenni

lotusgirl said...

Jenni, Thanks! I'm so glad you love my blog. I have wide ranging tastes in books.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

What a coincidence. I just finished it last week. Great writing and visuals. However the end felt a little incomplete to me. I won't say what I EXPECTED to happen, because it might be a spoiler, but I did do a "Wait. What? What about?..." at the end.

Barrie said...

Like you, I couldn't put this book down. Incredible.