"My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6 1973. My murderer was a man from our neighbourhood."Watching from her place in heaven, Susie Salmon sees her suburban family devastated by her death, isolated even from one another as they try to cope with their terrible loss alone. Over the years, her friends and siblings grow up, fall in love, do all the things she never had the chance to do herself. But life is not quite finished with Susie yet...
Pre Read Thoughts
I first heard about this book when they advertised the film on television. My mum decided to buy the book and once she'd read it, I stole, I mean borrowed it from her. I tried to read it a while ago but I didn't have the concentration for it but now I'm going to try it again. As I have borrowed this I paid absolutely nothing but my mum paid £7.99 which is the average price for a book of its size and format. The edition I have has the cover that ties in with the movie and I personally prefer it to the other cover. It gives a really creepy vibe of Susie walking towards her death.
Post Read Thoughts
The Lovely Bones is a thought provoking but difficult to read novel. The picture it paints isn't a pretty one and I really had to work hard to stay with the book. I found the pace to be quite slow and the reason of the book didn't become apparent to me until the final pages. Saying that though I enjoyed Alice Sebold's way of writing, some of her descriptions of heaven blew me away.
I felt that there were too many characters that weren't integral to the plot. Ruana and Len are two of those characters, they just stand on the sidelines waiting to be given a role that matters and it never arrives. Even those that did matter like Jack and Lindsey felt too far away for me to truly know what they're feeling, I was always slightly too far away to feel their pain. The only time I truly felt anything was during Susie's murder and I think that's because it's the last true emotion from Susie. As far as the quality of the character's is concerned, writing this book from Susie's POV was a mistake.
Overall The Lovely Bones doesn't live up to the hype for me. While I was reading the book my mum kept popping her head around my bedroom door and asking me if I liked it and every time I said I didn't adore it she looked a little sadder. The point I'm trying to make is that my mum is one of those people who got reaaly excited over this book. I liked the writing but I think it's becoming increasingly obvious that I can't truly love a book where I feel distanced from the characters. I can't believe I'm writing this but I think I prefer the film.
3 stars - I liked the writing but little else. I will say that the premise is interesting and I'd love to see other authors try something similar. I'm not sure I'd recommend this but my mum definitely does.
A Final Note
There's swearing, rape and murder in this one. I've seen people label this as YA but I wouldn't give this to a teenager.
I want to thank my mum for lending me the book and to say that I'll give it back once Mischief has got off it.
A couple of blog developments that I'd like to point out are that I'm now on Twitter: my twitter name is @ShadowsIReview if you're interested in following and that I'm hosting my first ever giveaway!