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The Lovely Bones

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  1,590,997 Ratings  ·  35,831 Reviews
On her way home from school on a snowy December day in 1973, 14-year-old Susie Salmon ("like the fish") is lured into a makeshift underground den in a cornfield and brutally raped and murdered, the latest victim of a serial killer--the man she knew as her neighbor, Mr. Harvey.
Paperback, 327 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Random House (first published 2002)
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Larry Marshall It was ok, not really a page turner. I liked the story but it was a bit slow, and all over the place.
Naomi Campbell Did you continue reading? I think you should. I read it and then watched the movie.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sep 24, 2007 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: enemies
The Lovely Bones has got to be the most baffling, poorly written, jaw-droppingly bad book that I have ever set my eyes on. It is truly a black, black tragedy that the words in this book were placed in that particular order, published, and distributed. How could this have ever possibly been popular? Is it for the same reason that the song “My Humps” hit number one? I mean, I don’t technically believe in burning books, but this novel really got me thinking. About burning it.

If it serves any use at
Seth T.
Mar 20, 2013 Seth T. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one, really
Shelves: bookclub
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 13, 2007 Lee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The greatest first 30 pages ever. The worst rest.
Jan 23, 2008 KT rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who subscribe to Readers' Digest without any sense of irony
Haaaaaated it. I am one of those OCD literary nerds who takes on a war bunker mentality with books that I've started and dislike: "I will see this through to the end."
For "The Lovely Bones," I made an exception.
Somewhere, sometime, someone told Sebold she could write. That person should be made to apologize to me, in person, and to all other poor souls who were duped into buying this shlock.
The literary press also needs to break out the cattails for a serious bout of flogging. Lev Grossman of
Sep 21, 2007 Carolynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I worked at Borders for more than a year and I worked the boring ass registers, usually at night whic was always slow. I leaned there with my chin in my hand staring at the shelves actually wishing that I could help customers in their purchases. It's purely insane, but I think that's what happens anytime you place someone in any kind of confinement. The thing is that if I wasn't a register girl, I would have constant actual contact with the books themselves.

All lunacy aside, one book that I sta
♕Miss A♕
“Inside the snow globe on my father's desk, there was a penguin wearing a red-and-white-striped scarf. When I was little my father would pull me into his lap and reach for the snow globe. He would turn it over, letting all the snow collect on the top, then quickly invert it. The two of us watched the snow fall gently around the penguin. The penguin was alone in there, I thought, and I worried for him. When I told my father this, he said, "Don't worry, Susie; he has a nice life. He's trapped in ...more
Lola  Reviewer

The moment I finished The Lovely Bones, I let out a long, slow and heavy breath.

Because that was some damn satisfying ending.

I strongly believe that if you go into this book thinking it will be creepy, scary, mysterious, fast-paced and full of shocking revelations, you will be tempted to put it aside after the first sixty pages.

It’s not only about the pedophilia, rape or murder. It’s not only about catching the killer. And it’s definitely not only about punishing Mr. Harvey for what he did.

Jul 28, 2007 Ted rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my worst enemy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Claire Greene
Apr 14, 2008 Claire Greene rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
This book has single handedly shown me that I spend too much time skimming and not enough time really reading and thinking about the books I have been reading. I have two kids and so I'm busy and I often find myself reading when I am stealing time or tired. But that is not even an excuse for this book. When i read the book I thought it was pretty good. Not great, but not bad. I liked the concept and the fact that the girl was the narrator. I like a murder mystery, so I liked the suspense of wait ...more
Dec 23, 2008 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Passionate, touched-by-life types
Recommended to Amanda by: I've heard OF it, so bought it when I found it on the shelf @ Ed McKay
I can't review this book by thinking about the plot or about theme and diction, for it is only (and truly) a series of snapshots, candid and sore, that piece together the lives of living people. The delicate sweet soul of a father; a grandmother with the heart of an empath; a sister whose youth and adulthood travel arm in arm; a numb and emptied mother; a young girl then grown woman living pierced on the periphery. This book is about the people in my life and yours whose very essence is pinned d ...more
Nov 01, 2014 tee rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people wishing to ponder their views on heaven (and good writing)
Shelves: i-own, bbc-big-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 11, 2007 Steven rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: masochists
This was the book that made me realise the serious flaw in the theory that if lots of people you see on the tube are reading a book, it must be good. I would say with some confidence that this is the worst book I've ever read in my entire life.

The only thing that kept me going to the end was sheer bloody-mindedness; a determination not to be defeated by any book no matter how brain-deflatingly awful it is. That said, the endless cloying sentimentality in this almost made me throw it in the bin o
Emily May
After hearing all the hype about this book, I couldn't wait to read it and discover how amazing it is for myself. I was greatly disappointed.

How has this book become such a worldwide success? It's slow, boring and there is no real connection with any of the characters. I found myself disliking everyone in the book.
The overall idea could have been very good, even though it isn't exactly original, but I just thought the author didn't make the most of this great idea that she had. The best part of
Jul 21, 2008 Patrick rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 28, 2008 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kim by: Michelle, Valerie
Wow. I'm surprised that there was so much animosity towards this book (from the reviews here on Good Reads). Even if I didn't like it, I don't think I'd find so much in it to HATE it. The approach is different, which some might call trite or some call imaginative. I think I just liked Susie. She spoke what was on her mind, the perspective was fresh and the subject wasn't typical. Maybe this was a product of hype? I hadn't heard of it until a few friends recommended it to me last week. It took me ...more
May 29, 2007 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2007
"These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence: the connections – sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at a great cost, but often magnificent – that happened after I was gone."

I hardly ever read books when they are first released. I always seem to be a few years behind, for whatever reason. Sometimes this works to my advantage, as it allows me to avoid a degree of hype that surrounds certain books. I do remember seeing the blue cover of The Lovely Bones on shelves in every bookstore
Nov 04, 2007 Suyana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people you want to let out a good cry
"The Lovely Bones," had me crying from start to finish. This book is extremely emotion packed. But this book was interestingly written because it's from the point of view from a girl who was murdered. The book starts like this: "My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973." Already you want to read it; right? You follow the life that this young girl once had as she tells you about the memories she had, the things she learned, and t ...more
Jason Koivu
Mar 19, 2015 Jason Koivu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Well that wasn't a happy happy good time...

The Lovely Bones is going to be difficult to review without spoilers, so if you haven't read it yet I'm gonna have to go ahead and ask you to leave, m'kay?

Why am I not surprised to learn that Alice Sebold was raped at a young age? Because only someone who'd been through something as horrific as that would write a book like this. I'm not just talking about the subject matter, but rather the tone. Everything about this book is a victim's silent scream. Su
Mandy Crider
Jan 28, 2016 Mandy Crider rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember reading this book and thinking, how great of a film it would be and then they made a movie! Both book and movie are wonderful and the movie did a fantastic job of sticking to Sebold's plot. This book also made me want to cling a little tighter to my daughters as we all fear for our children missing and or being sexually assaulted. Would recommend and keep tissues handy :)
Bill  Kerwin

This is a fine novella which some editor persuaded Sebold to transform into a novel. And the novel is not a good one, featuring unbelievable twists and turns and a super creepy ending (but not super creepy in a good way) reminiscent of the movie "Ghost."

My advice: read the first third and stop. If I had done that, I might have given it four stars.
S C Tisdale
Oct 22, 2007 S C Tisdale rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: retards
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Megs ♥

Let me start this off by saying that I really wanted to like this book. Although the subject of a little girl being brutally raped and murdered is extremely disturbing I thought it would be interesting to read about her in the afterlife as she watched her family try to solve her murder.

There is not much that I can even say without giving things away, but I did not like this book at all. I still had about 50 pages to go before I stopped reading this, and I may go back and finish it, but for now I
Richard Derus
Rating: 2.75* of five

The Publisher Says: The Lovely Bones is the story of a family devastated by a gruesome murder -- a murder recounted by the teenage victim. Upsetting, you say? Remarkably, first-time novelist Alice Sebold takes this difficult material and delivers a compelling and accomplished exploration of a fractured family's need for peace and closure.

The details of the crime are laid out in the first few pages: from her vantage point in heaven, Susie Salmon describes how she was confront
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Cana Rensberger for

THE LOVELY BONES will haunt you. This book tells the story of the most horrific thing a family could ever endure, the murder of a loved one, a child.

The child is 14-year-old Susie Salmon. We see the murder through her eyes, after she is killed. Susie narrates her story from heaven, a place like I'd not before imagined. Her heaven begins as her school playground. Slowly it grows to become more. Susie merely longs for something she misses from earth
May 05, 2008 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alice Sebold
The Lovely Bones
New York: Little Brown & Company, 2002
329 pp. 21.95

Susie Salmon, a young girl murdered at fourteen, sits in her heaven as she watches her family grieve, suffer and fall apart without her. Susie follows the lives of her family and friends as they struggle to cope with the aftermath of her death. In watching her family on Earth, Susie’s journey to understanding the life she was robbed of becomes the central idea in the extraordinary novel “The Lovely B
Jul 05, 2010 Fiona rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Several years have passed since the publication of Alice Sebold's most famous novel, but back when it was released, The Lovely Bones hit the literary world in a perhaps surprising way. Bluntly dealing with the effects of a young girl's rape and murder and her family's reactions, Alice Sebold uses interesting writing techniques to delve into different viewpoints and point out the enormous impact of such a horrifying family disaster.

In case you haven't read this book yet, it is easy to enter it wi
Aj the Ravenous Reader
When I picked this book up from the library quite many years ago even before it was even made into a movie, I had no clue as to what this book will be about. I thought, it may well be about a story of a girl who is all skin and bones but who is very lovely and thus, the title. But again, as many books do to me, it proved me wrong. This book is certainly not a lovely story for what is lovely about a murder story? What is lovely though is the way the heroine (even if she was no longer alive) solve ...more
Mar 26, 2008 Sammy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: b-the-good
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is definitely one of my all time favorite books. I read it from start to finish in one sitting. It seems as though it's one of those love it or hate it books. I read it back before all of the hype so I don't think I was overly influenced by what anyone else thought.

The story begins with fourteen-year-old Suzie Salmon's violent death at the hands of a neighborhood man George Harvey. Suzie narrates her story from her heaven. She watches as her family struggles after her death trying to cope
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Who agrees this is the best book EVER 14 112 Jan 10, 2017 09:21AM  
3A Independent Re...: Mystery (week 3) 1 2 Dec 15, 2016 09:55AM  
Mentor Texts: Mentor Texts 1 2 Dec 11, 2016 05:42PM  
3A Independent Re...: Mystery (week 2) 1 1 Dec 09, 2016 09:40AM  
3A Independent Re...: Mystery 2 5 Dec 04, 2016 08:04PM  
Any meaning behind the unusual name Salmon? 38 373 Nov 16, 2016 05:41PM  
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Alice Sebold is an American writer. She has published three books: Lucky (1999), The Lovely Bones (2002), and The Almost Moon (2007).

More about Alice Sebold...

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