Customer Reviews for

The Secret Life of Bees

Average Rating 4.5
( 1342 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(818)

4 Star

(320)

3 Star

(134)

2 Star

(37)

1 Star

(33)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

18 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

Very Good!!

I'm only eleven years old and loved the book. I got it at the library after seeing the trailer to the movie. It is a very humbling book. I don't think that kids under 13 should read it though. It has lots of cursing and is extremly descriptive in parts it shouldn't be. ...
I'm only eleven years old and loved the book. I got it at the library after seeing the trailer to the movie. It is a very humbling book. I don't think that kids under 13 should read it though. It has lots of cursing and is extremly descriptive in parts it shouldn't be. It was an awsome book though. Please read it you will love it!!!

P.S. The books i recomended are even better!!!

posted by Sarah_661 on October 18, 2008

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

The Secret Life of Bees earns a "C"

Though Ms. Kidd's writing is beautifully evocative,"Bees" needed much tighter editing in the last half of the book. For a teenage girl who had a self admittted fault of talking too much,the plot line of Lily waiting so long to ask August about her mother just did not ri...
Though Ms. Kidd's writing is beautifully evocative,"Bees" needed much tighter editing in the last half of the book. For a teenage girl who had a self admittted fault of talking too much,the plot line of Lily waiting so long to ask August about her mother just did not ring true.

posted by Anonymous on November 25, 2002

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 review with 2 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 2
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2002

    The Secret Life of Bees earns a "C"

    Though Ms. Kidd's writing is beautifully evocative,"Bees" needed much tighter editing in the last half of the book. For a teenage girl who had a self admittted fault of talking too much,the plot line of Lily waiting so long to ask August about her mother just did not ring true.

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2003

    Good story until the end

    I read the great reader reviews and bought this book with great expectations. I really let myself get taken away with the young girl's story - in fact, couldn't put the book down. I was so disappointed in the ending. It was simply too cut and dry for my taste and unbelievable, especially after the rest of the story was told in such rich and mostly believable detail. I'm sorry to say, the ending simply ruined the book for me.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2002

    a read, but definitely not the best

    Someone recommended this book to me and just raved about it. Maybe, my expectations were to high. I felt that this book was just O.K. I started the book and couldn't put it down for the first couple of chapters, but I soon lost interest and almost didn't finish it. This may not be my type of read.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2005

    Quite disappointing

    I picked up this book, thinking it would be a great read since it was in the bestsellers section... but I found it quite boring and slow-moving. I forced myself to finish the book, hoping it would get better as the story progressed, but it left me disappointed.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2005

    Really disapointing

    This book started out good but really failed to hold my attention. I felt like I spent way too many hours reading about uneventful things and when something finally did happen, it was a disapointing turn in the story. Not for me.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    BORING AND BIZARRE Was good in the beginning but soon it just go

    BORING AND BIZARRE Was good in the beginning but soon it just got really weird and boring. Nothing exciting ever happens and she describes her fat friend Rosaline's naked body in a pool and how she watched sweat drip from her fat boobs and something about how she wants to lick milk from them or something (nothing against fat people, just thought it was really gross) and she then later talks about other awkward puberty and sexual problems...was not expecting that at all.....i usually always finish books but this one was torture to read so I had to stop about 3/4 of the way through when i realized it wasn't getting any better. WAY over rated. I'm so confused as to how it got such good ratings.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 18, 2012

    Quick read

    This was a quick read and definitely not worth more than $10! The story was OK, but nothing great. The characters were very one dimensional. The book doesn't inspire me to see the movie.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    So/So

    This book was recommended to me by my mother-in-law. We must have some really different taste. I know people liked it but I just wasn't one of them. Just really slow paced for me. Characters I liked but not my cup of tea.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2008

    Big disappointment

    After reading the critics reviews and the readers reviews, I was excited about reading this book. Then I started reading it. I guess I read a different version from everyone else because this was not a good book. In fact, it was down right boring. It was the same stuff over and over again. And unrealistic. I don't know how much research Sue Monk Kidd put into African-American lives in the 1960s, particularly in the South, but she didn't do a very good job. Black women with a cult-like religion--maybe in Louisiana. Most Southern black people back then were deeply rooted into being Baptist or Church of God in Christ. And Lily's relationship with Zach--yeah right! As dark as she describes his skin as being, and he's riding around in South Carolina with a white girl in his truck and no one notices or is bothered! Are you kidding me!? Especially, with the racial unrest that Lily says was going on in the town. Yet, there they go a black boy and a white girl riding into town. Anyway, I would have rather the story been written in a narrative voice. The other characters could have been a lot stronger this way. And I would like to have known how June just all of a sudden came to accept her? This book was a big disappointment. I rushed through it so I could move on to something better. I hope.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2008

    i was so dissapointed

    i chose to read this book after hearing how 'amazing it was from friends and previous girls who read it from my school. It was on my summer reading list and i decided to read it because it was recommended. I am so upset i chose this book instead of a classic like a catcher in the rye. i thought this book would be heartfelt and warm and enjoyable but i found it to actually be drawn out, depressing, unrealistic, harsh, and downright boring. I didnt enjoy this book in any way. I am so sorry i chose to read this i am almost done and i cant wait until its over. HUGE dissappointment.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2008

    Avoid This Book at All Costs

    This book was, for lack of a better word, bad. It was well written in parts, but the story line was terrible and somewhat exaggerated. It also seemed like the book was trying to convince readers to worship the Black Mary and that the whole chain breaking even actually occurred. I have been shocked by the remarks of my piers concerning their spiritual growth and this book. The Daughters of Mary are a made up religion from this book, the Back Mary did not really break those chains, 'this novel is a work of fiction,' and there was inaccurate information provided concerning the human Mary. How do you learn about religion from that? I find this book insulting, pointless, and boring. Sorry Sue!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2005

    Pricey disappointing read

    Seeing that this book was one of the bestsellers at the book store, I thought that I was in for a great read. I found the book to be slow and a bit boring. The story of a white girl being raised by African American women during that period and in the south was completely unrealistic. Not only was this book not a page turner, it was dull.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2004

    There's no secret to this one

    After starting of on a high note and well afloat, I never thought a story could sink faster than a submarine with a sieve door. I was left with the feeling that the author had no where else to go. And please, spare me the ho-hum ending.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2003

    Very Disappointed

    The story itself is good, and the writing is good. However, the 'poor-me' ideas get very exhausting. I found myself waiting for something to happen--my mind wandering. I could not wait to finish it and move on to something more interesting.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2003

    Dragged on... and on

    I was looking forward to reading this book. I had heard good things about it. It's pretty obvious that the first chapter of this book was origanlly a short story by the author, because it seems to be the most well constructed chapter of the book. By chapter 2, I feel like Kidd is just trying to make the original story last a couple hundred pages. The characters just didn't really interest me. Lily just didn't seem realistic. She analyzed the past and seemed fully knowedgable of all her psycological problems and their origin. It's been about a month since I read this, but as far as I remember, Lily doesn't really DO much. Sure she runs away and follows clues, but most of the time she mopes about her past. And this is tiring. If you're looking for an easy day reading then pick this up, but if you're looking for something captivating then move on through. This is a mystery novel without any revelations. It's just not smart enough to have the amount of heart that its going for. It trys, but falls short.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2003

    Sluggishly paced

    I don't understand all of the favorable reviews for this book. The only reason I picked it up was because it was a best seller, and the plot sounded interesting. The novel starts out strong, and then limps along when two of the central characters relocate. The plot seems to meander in a grating way to the reader and draws to an unclimactic close. If you like to read books with substance, this one's not for you. Don't believe the hype.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2012

    Owesome

    I have read this well actualy i never have but ive seen the movie it was amazing i have the movie its came on life time and any where i can remember but never read the book but do tell if

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 8, 2010

    This book is OK, not the masterpiece everyone says it is (In my opinion)

    I read this book a few months ago so the details escape me, but I really didn't think this book was all that great. It has few redeeming qualities- the thinly described historical aspects as one and the geographical descriptions of South Carolina (appreciated by a native) I didn't fall in love with the main character, Lily. I felt her secret was dragged on for so long in order to create more pages in the book, which is unrealistic at best. Her internal and emotional descriptions by the author did not reflect Lily's physical actions; I thought this book employed a childish writing style. The author made an attempt to tie in the Civil Rights era in this book, but it was thin and from a distant observer's point of view, considering the many characters that were apparently affected. Overall, this book would suit someone who is looking for a typical "feel good" and "predictable ending" read. I was looking for a novel with a little more historical value tied in and a more realistic main character.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2008

    Mostly Forgettable

    I must admit that I wasn't too enthused about the story-line even before I started reading this book. I do enjoy a good story, however, but this story was not very entertaining or enjoyable. I couldn't wait for it to be over. The character of May Boatwright was the most interesting and the portion of the story-line that told about the bees were the best parts of the story for me.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2004

    Not so interesting

    You could tell that this was the first novel by this author and I kept waiting for it to be over. However, it did make me appricate my mother more.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 review with 2 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 2