Book Review: The Lovely Bones

Denise Venegas, Reporter/Photo Editor

The Lovely Bones is an excellent, tear-jerking novel about a young girl trapped in a state of limbo.  She realizes that she was murdered, however, she can only perceive life in her own personal heaven. The novel brings in important topics that occur in everyday society, such as murder and child abduction.

If you like a bit of mystery with a touch of romance, this is the perfect book for you. It focuses on how the kidnapping and murder of a young girl affects those around her. This novel is special because it is portrayed through the eyes of the victim, Susie Salmon. It isn’t your typical coming of age novel. However, we can perceive innocence, or the lack thereof, through a young girl’s point of view. This shows how death comes in all ages, yet life continues to go on.

Personally, I liked how the author, Alice Sebold, touches on heavy subjects, such as rape and murder, without doing it in a gruesome way. Though Susie’s life and innocence is stripped from her at a young age, she continues to show her family that she is still with them in spirit. I found it interesting how smart this girl is and how she is capable of communicating to her family from heaven in her own way.

Even though Susie cannot physically be with her family, her death greatly impacts their behavior and emotions throughout the novel. My favorite part of the novel would have to be the end because despite the fact that Susie was murdered, she received the resolution she deserved.

I enjoyed the novel a bit more than the film because it is more personal when told through Susie’s eyes, and it depicts emotions with much more detail. This novel taught me that, “nothing is ever certain,” which is what Susie tells the reader about the way life plays out. 

I would rate this novel an 8/10 because of its ability to connect themes like murder and rape to the union of a family and that there’s still hope in the afterlife.