Lovely Bones

Lovely Bones

4.1 4239
by Alice Sebold

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ISBN-10: 0316044938

ISBN-13: 2900316044935

Pub. Date: 09/30/2009

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Once in a generation a novel comes along that taps a vein of universal human experience, resonating with readers of all ages. THE LOVELY BONES is such a book — a #1 bestseller celebrated at once for its artistry, for its luminous clarity of emotion, and for its astonishing power to lay claim to the hearts of millions of readers around the world.


Once in a generation a novel comes along that taps a vein of universal human experience, resonating with readers of all ages. THE LOVELY BONES is such a book — a #1 bestseller celebrated at once for its artistry, for its luminous clarity of emotion, and for its astonishing power to lay claim to the hearts of millions of readers around the world.

"My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973."

So begins the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on earth continue without her — her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling. Out of unspeakable tragedy and loss, THE LOVELY BONES succeeds, miraculously, in building a tale filled with hope, humor, suspense, even joy.

The major motion picture version of THE LOVELY BONES, directed by Peter Jackson and starring Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, and Saoirse Ronan is scheduled for release on December 11, 2009.

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Little, Brown and Company
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Movie Tie-In

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The Lovely Bones 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4238 reviews.
Corey_P More than 1 year ago
When I first picked up The Lovely Bones I had a feeling it was a book I was going to like, there was so much hype about it and it seemed like it was becoming a modern day classic. As I began to read it more and more, not only did I like it, but I began to be so attached to the story and especially the characters, which the author ,Alice Sebold, writes about in great detail. The story is about a 13 year old girl named Susie Salmon who has a normal, but nice life. Her life is soon put to an end though once she is murdered by one of her neighbors. She than goes off to heaven and looks down on her murderer and on her coping family. Alice Sebold has made an imaginative story which has a wonderfully set up plot that features suspense, romance, some mystery, tragedy, and hope. The Lovely Bones is a book that I think everybody of all ages and gender should read.
saffie90 More than 1 year ago
I'm 13 years old but read at a very high reading level. This book, to me, was absolutely amazing. I will never forget it. The plot was amazing, the story line great. The emotion Alice Sebold puts into the book is literal, yet touching. A girl murdered tells the story of her life, then watches her family grow, have problems, and become better people from heaven. She watches the murderer of herself cover up his path. She watches her sister grow up. It's all very heartbreaking, yet very amazing. Truly a must-read.
sand7s More than 1 year ago
Very good book. I decided to read this book last year and I was not disappointed. It was better than the movie
LCH47 More than 1 year ago
THE LOVELY BONES was given to me to read. It would not have been my choice of reading material but somehow this gruesome, horrible thing that happened to Susie, the narrator speaking from HEAVEN, turned out to be one of the most heartwarming books I've ever read! WELL WORTH YOUR TIME! Other books that left me with a warm heart are THE SHACK, EXPLOSION IN PARIS, THE GUERNSEY LITERARY and POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I decided to pick up this book randomly when having the desire for a new read, a fresh one. A lot of my friends have read it and told me it was great, and its got a lot of hype (and is now apparently a movie) so I decided, why not? The story itself is interesting.. it kept me reading. Sadly there isn't really a climax because, in a way, there isn't really an ending... at least not a satisfying one. I thought the concept of the story was original (kind of) that the story was being told by a dead 14 year-old from her heaven. The events that take place keep you reading.. until a certain point. The book kind of comes to a stop and then slowly takes you to the end... and then a couple weird things happen, at which point before finishing the book you realize nothing is REALLY going to happen. But that wasn't really the thing that disappointed me. It was the fact that I felt I already knew the message and the "ending" of this story before I even read it. The "realistic" ending and perspective of this terrible situation, which didn't seem very satisfying to me. Though the message, I would say, is nice and can offer someone something to take away from it, that wasn't the case for me. I feel that this book would be an eye opener for someone much younger than me. At the age of 20, I have read too many novels, seen to many movies, and have gone through enough pain in my life to take away any valuable or inspiring message from this book. It's message was nice, like I said, but didn't do much for me and left me disappointed. Plus Alice's writing style kind of jumped around and could become confusing for some. So, overall, I would recommend this book to a 14-18 year old with good reading skills and is mature enough to read some slightly graphic material. Anyone older than that I don't think will get anything out of it or be moved by its message. The book is good, but just wasn't inspiring to me.
Coxiesclub More than 1 year ago
Although I have read this book some time ago, it left me and still leaves me not sad but very thoughtful of life, love, and wondering so many things at once that I was just plain a good way. I immediately had to recommend this to my friends. It is hard to describe. A very surprising read for me. It is probably one of the best books I have ever read, and this is not usually my normal genre of reading.
Maria_of_amor More than 1 year ago
At first this book is very unsettling. Having young children myself the heinous murder of a child-I am not giving anything away here- affected me deeply. The story reaffirms the fragile nature of life and the enormous consequences a loss of life has on family and friends. What started as a tragic tale transformed into one of love and redemption sweetly told by the victim, Susie Salmon. The book was not perfect.There were a couple of sequences near the end that seemed unnecessary or too contrived-I would be giving too much away here to expound. I gave it 5 stars because the book was unusual, thought provoking and it captured my interest from beginning to end. Read it. And love your children.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is hands down the best book I have ever read. Sebold thrills us with a depressing book of a little girl named Susie who is raped and murdered. She pulls on our emotions by separating the girl from her family by placing her in heaven only to contact them through the family¿s sad memories. The book harnesses our curiosity through the pursuit that slowly fades to find the twisted murder Mr. Harvey, a neighbor. It is prominent throughout the story that Sebold wants us to understand the steps of grieving. She shows how grieving families are ripped apart because they handle the death in their own individual ways. The mother and father grow farther apart as the father locks himself away in his own thoughts and memories. The mother longs for comfort and the necessity to extinguish her feeling of cold loneliness by convening feelings for the detective on the case. Her brother slowly grows into a boy plagued by anger for his mother upon her abandonment of her family. Her sister shuts herself off from her family and the world in a deep mourning for Susie. Though, she slowly comes to terms when she gains a steady loving boyfriend. Susie grows jealous from heaven enduring the fact that she can¿t solidify her feelings for a boy like her sister on earth. She is harnessed by the feelings she has for a boy named Ray who on earth she was becoming close to. He is deeply sorrowed and flashes back to their memories made in the short time after their first kiss. He becomes great friends with an outcast girl, Ruth who admired Susie and can feel and become in touch with spirits. Over the eight years in which the novel takes place Susie brings us deeply in touch with the members of her family and each of their steps in grieving. She is connected to earth because she cannot understand her own death. This is mainly in part of comprehending what is happening to those she loves but being unable to let go herself. Susie refers to the penguin snow globe in a way that we start to believe she is getting at a perfect world. I feel she is trying to open our eyes to search for perfection in the novel among the overwhelming grief. Sebold fascinates us with perfection by making us search in depth for it throughout the rest of the book, a perfection almost that could be thought to be exemplified in the Climax and end of the story.(to be seen upon reading the book) I am also deeply fascinated with the interlude in the book called Snapshots. Sebold captures our curiosity of the rolls and rolls of undeveloped pictures under Susie¿s bed. I feel she wants us to believe that the pictures are the memories of people¿s lives on earth that Susie has left behind. She wants us to better understand the choices people made from the pictures. The book can be described as a Supernatural thriller mostly in the part I will leave you hanging on. As Ruth and Ray become older and Susie longs for Ray because of her want to make love with him an extraordinary happening unfolds. While Ray and Ruth visit home they go to the sinkhole where Susie¿s body unfound sits in a safe at the bottom. After years of running Mr. Harvey is back in town and passes by the area only to connect eyes with Ruth while passing by. Susie feels an overwhelming tug to earth as Ruth blacks out on the ground connecting with heaven. Some supernatural occurrences take place leaving Susie with an inconceivable path towards acceptance and settlement.
HappyHappyPenguin More than 1 year ago
Hey, you teenagers and young adults! You should definitely read this book because of the attracting plot, realistic characters/situations, and realistic themes. If any of you have watched the movie, read a summary, or heard anything from those who have read this book, you might know that this book starts off with a graphically described rape and murder. Once I read the first chapter, my heart became attached to the next chapters, just to see how heaven is like and how the dead attach to the living, especially the murderer. The intricate details, themes, and individual stories of each character are absolutely amazing. Everything was so realistic that I had a hard time accepting the fact that this book is fiction. Even though some people may not believe in heaven, this book may change their minds. The Lovely Bones is strong and captivating in so many ways that I consider this as one of my favorite books of all time. The themes are family issues, friendship, haunting, love, and a little dab of suspense. Even though I didn't experience many family problems prior to reading this book, I do admit that that has changed. Because the book is told in first-person narration, I got to experience first-hand how Susie Salmon feels about the tragic splits within her family. Friendship also gets a spotlight. Susie Salmon dies when she is only 14 years old, but from heaven, she watches everyone grow older, from her murderer, to her friends/first love, to her siblings. In the book, the reader gets to see eight continuous years after Susie's death, which is enough time for her younger sister and friends, Ray and Ruth, to graduate from college. After reading this book, I thought, "WOW". Get this book the next time you go shopping!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The end of this book is very disappointing and feels a little rushed meanwhile was very slow throughout. It is supposed to make you value life/those around you, but leaves you hanging. You don't get closure with her murder and neither does her family.
Lesly Carazas More than 1 year ago
Saw the movie really liked it but the book is so much more .....
Mike Conard More than 1 year ago
I LOVE this book. I couldent put it down.It is a quick read its better than the movie,and i loved the movie too.If you want a good book to read than this is it!!!!!!!
Lauren Brink More than 1 year ago
Excellent book. Quick read since I couldn't put it down.
MissyI More than 1 year ago
I truely loved this book! It was a sad story, the entire time you can feel the families pain of losing their daughter and never get justice. What makes this book different is that it is told by the main character has she views her on her family in heaven. The entire time you wonder if the killer is ever brought to justice and it upsetting that he does not. Easy read, I could not put the book down!!!
LOLisselle2015 More than 1 year ago
The Lovely Bones is a must read for all high school students and young adults. It truly deserved to be named the number one bestseller of 2002 because Alice Sebold, the author, developed the characters realistically, used an interesting point of view, and created a captivating plot that even attracted me, a non-reader. This novel was a touching story about a fourteen-year-old girl named Susie Salmon who was raped and murdered on her way home from school. It was partly a detective story and partly a family drama with morals that could teach young adults a little something about life. I found it so unique that Susie, herself, narrated her story from up in heaven as she watched her family cope with her death and her killer and neighbor, Mr. Harvey, use lies to get away with her murder. I mean, in what other book would a dead person be telling their story from heaven? Each of the characters were developed realistically. I got to know all of them in depth because I could relate to them so easily. Susie was raped and murdered by her neighbor, and so this book also taught me about that you can't trust everyone. Alice Sebold's poetic writing style truly enhanced the story. She used metaphors, like that in the prologue, where Susie talked about the penguin in her father's snowglobe and how it, now like her, was trapped in a perfect world. Throughout the story, Susie watched her family, her friends, her loved ones, and her killer as their lovely bones grew up and lived life without her. I have to warn you, though, that there are some inappropriate scenes in the story that may not appeal to all readers. Without any hesitation would I recommend this book to young adults and mature audiences. The way that Sebold described each of the characters realistically and set you up in a front row seat with Susie truly enhanced the story. This novel is amazing and it touched my heart and if you read it, it will not disappoint you.
Droseh More than 1 year ago
I loved this book because it showed a perfect ammount of mystery and love and fantasy!
AlainaBrown More than 1 year ago
This book is wonderful! It's so heart wrenching and touching. This book is truly life changing. I would read any other book by this author. I recommend this book to anyone with a heart. You'll love the characters and to see how the grow and change. It truly is a lovely book. Read it!
heatherprice19 More than 1 year ago
The Lovely Bones is about a girl named Susie, who one day is murdered walking home from school. Her family is devastated by the sudden death of Susie. As the family tries to cope with their loss, Susie tries to lead her father to her killer. After months without a lead, Susie watches from heaven as her family begins to fall apart. Her sister Lindsey tries to stay strong with all the rumors at school and being known as the dead girl's sister. In the end, Lindsey realizes the truth behind Susie's murder. Be careful who you trust, because sometimes the killer could be right in front of you. I personally enjoyed reading this book. If you like reading mysterious books then this book is for you. At times this book can be really upsetting and sad. In some parts of the book it can be a little slow, but it picks back up pretty quick. Read and help Susie's family go on the search to find Susie's killer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is a great read. I didn't read it continually but when I wasnt reading it, I was thinking of it. I did skip a few lines because although she writes in great detail, but some of the elements could be omitted from the book and it would affect the book at all. Basically, there were certain elements or storylines to the book that i left weren't needed and just made certsin chapters boring snd easy to skip. But I loved the book and especially the ending, her last words of the book brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes. The ending was beautiful and sweet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heart warming book. So touching! I suggest this book to anyone.
Adollpuppet More than 1 year ago
I loved the story! Honestly it is a work of art.
sassybrat1999 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lexi08 More than 1 year ago
Her name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. Brutally murdered at the age of fourteen by a grim man who goes by the name of George Harvey, Susie was gone. The Salmon family has to learn to cope with the loss of their eldest daughter as she solemnly watches over them from her ¿heaven¿. Susie is forced to watch her family suffer while only attempting to find her murderer. Yearning for their beloved Susie, the family goes to drastic measures to let go. However, the dead, innocent young lady can¿t do anything about the happenings except simply; watch. This novel is a guaranteed tear-jerker beginning from just the first chapter. Constantly putting you in the character¿s position, The Lovely Bones hits close to home. Emotions of the situations and characters overpower you; sucking you into this read. However, this book didn¿t exactly have an identifiable climax. I can somewhat understand the excitement¿s absence considering the novel was supposed to be slow and depressing, but having a climax would have improved this book¿s quality by far. Specific portions of the novel were slow and seemed partially useless. Also, some parts were worded oddly causing them to be confusing. Personally, I think the years skipped around way to fast and unnoticeably. I thought Lindsey was still thirteen years old until the very end of the book. Expressing these important details more clearly would have helped me and I¿m sure others understand the plot of Lovely Bones a lot more efficiently. Most importantly, it would show the progression of the family¿s coping over time, which I feel is one of the most important themes in the book. However, what struck me the most was the conclusion. It was very confusing and the very last paragraphs didn¿t blend or relate well with the endings sentences. Considering the book was about a murder, you would expect the ending to be somewhat suspenseful. The ending truly left me and several others due to confusion. Overall, The Lovely Bones is a great novel for a mature adolescent or adult to experience if seeking a heartwarming, but perfectly devastating story of a desperate family and their passed daughter.
nic0l3 More than 1 year ago
The Lovely Bones book is a brilliant story about a teenage girl, Susie Salmon, who had lost her life to a mid-aged man(Mr.George Harvey). Alice Sebold's perspective of the story is told in first person, and Susie explains how heaven and the Earth are simply different. It must be challenging for Susie's family and friends that are left behind while she is in heaven. After her parents hired a detective, Len, the case seemed to have no other evidence to keep the case going. While the police stopped searching the town, Susie's father became skeptical about this whole murder. He began searching the cornfield which was across the street from the Salmon's house. This was where Susie had been buried by Mr. Harvey. Sebold uses a wide variety of imagery, from the scene to where Susie is killed, to where her father is being beaten. Mr. Harvey has an interesting childhood, because he and his mother would travel and live in their truck. It must have been a hard life, because he didn't have the comfort of a house like you or I. Sebold wants us to feel some sympathy for this man, and maybe this shows who he is today. I find it very interesting to see where people come from and how they mature and blossom into the people we all know today. Furthermore the story hit's a low, and we all hope that this murder with be revealed and who committed it. But then it starts to pick up when some stranger in the darkness hits Mr. Salmon with his bat, when he was upon the ground where underneath him his daughter lay. Hole I read this part it was like dramatic irony because you wanted to tell Susie's father that she was underneath him, but you couldn't. The highest most exciting part of this book for me would probably be when Susie's sister, Lindsey, broke into Mr. Harvey's house, she was suspicious of this man along with her father. Mrs. Salmon became annoyed by bringing up Susie's name, and who could have killed her. This question will haunt this family until.. You read the book and find out for yourself! Trust me it's a little graphic in the beginning but once you get set in the mood and everything, it's terrific. Happy reading!