Claire’s review of The Lovely Bones > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Stephanee (new)

Stephanee I have to agree with your comments. However, I still think it was a pretty good read just because it made me keep turning the pages. To me, the most annoying part was that in the final chapters, when everyone converges at the landfill, you start to think that maybe, somehow, the killer is actually going to be caught. Or at least that her body will be found, by some miracle. But that doesn't happen. Which left me thinking, what was the whole point of that scene at the landfill anyway?

message 2: by Stephanee (new)

Stephanee By the way, I heard that this book was being made into a movie. Can you imagine? I do not have any idea how they are going to make a movie out of this and actually make it enjoyable to watch.

message 3: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne Claire, how funny that I was coming here to write a similar review. I too skim books more than I read them, and I finished this book and gave it three stars. Then I read the other reviews and couldn't believe that I missed such doozies as "pupils like... ferocious olives." What?? I really need to pay attention more when I'm reading!

message 4: by allyson (new)

allyson I think a lot of your concerns are displaced and that your first reading of the book is more on target. I can see how if you have to skim books and you were looking for a murder mystery - which isn't exactly this book - you wouldn't like it and would get a different impression of the book. But, for one, when Susie and Ray are together it is not really 'teen sex.' Ray is 22 and Susie isn't just 14, she's 14 + 8 very dense years of semi-omniscient experience (through observation from heaven - and we can tell she doesn't just see people, but experiences what they feel and think as well, as Susie is constantly giving very specific descriptions of such things). We know from when Susie arrives in heaven that she is watching Earth precisely to figure out how to "grow up," (to see how other people do it, as Susie puts it), an important part of which for her is precisely the part she was 'robbed' of before she could experience: intimacy, which she sees her sister and her best friend experiencing, and which she yearns to experience as well. Thus she didn't return for sex per se so much as this kind of intimacy, to have someone touch her gently and with love and to touch that person in return, to choose to have this happen, to share and feel the good kind of vulnerable and so forth. And as for Ruth, Ruth wanted to give Susie what she wants, and she also wanted to experience the 'otherworldly realm' after becoming so acquainted with violence and being able to sense that sort of 'something else' to the world (which she can't really share with other people on Earth because they don't believe her or don't really get it). She invited Ray to the landfill, she purposefully switched with Susie (Susie struggles to keep Ruth in Ruth's body but cannot overcome Ruth's strength and realizes Ruth must have been planning such a moment for a long time). I think from the way Sebold lays out the scene, it's safe to say Ruth at least expected Susie -might- be intimate with Ray (that is, have sex or in some way be sexual with him), or expected she would. Ruth is, after all, a very smart and intuitive character. Also, her sexuality is somewhat more complicated than just being a lesbian, and if there were anyone she would be okay with Susie using her body to be intimate with, it would be Ray, with whom she also shared a physical, emotional and intellectual intimacy. Sebold seems to suggest that this experience or almost-experience (since Ruth didn't exactly experience it herself but she is still obviously very implicated and involved) will transform Ruth's and Ray's relationship, bringing them closer in a way they couldn't before (Ruth seems to be iffy about touching people, in a sense, and Ray can now more easily take the next step to believing in things that can't be outright proven or put into text books). So I don't think it's really fair to say this is the story of someone who has to have teen sex in the form of rape in order to get to heaven, and there's certainly much more to get from this story that a closer reading may give you.

message 5: by Nina (new)

Nina Ruth clearly initiated having her body inhabited by Susie, why are you mad?

message 6: by Liz (new)

Liz OMG! I'm in the middle of reading this book and after reading a few of your posts now I don't even want to wast my time finishing it! I too am a SAHM reading as I brush my teeth or make dinner - I'm starting to think that this is so not worth my time! Thanks everyone~

message 7: by Autumncs98 (new)

Autumncs98 What are you TALKING about? Susie came back for her family! And it was a great book! I didn't read much of it, but of what I did read was FANTASTIC!!!

message 8: by P225 (new)

P225 Thank you for articulating everything that I hated about this book! In my own review, I found myself too disgusted to state it all...I will direct others to this review. One of the worst books I have ever read.

message 9: by Michael (new)

Michael Anderson Autumncs98 wrote: "What are you TALKING about? Susie came back for her family! And it was a great book! I didn't read much of it, but of what I did read was FANTASTIC!!!"

What are YOU talking about? Have you actually read the section in question? She doesn't come back for her family.

Christina (SteepedinBooks) I didn't finish the book myself, but now that I have read some of the other reviews, particularly yours and The Dane's, I am truly glad I didn't struggle further with it than I did. What I managed to trudge through left me feeling bored and emotionally detached from the story. From what I've read about the ending, I am sure that feeling of detachment would have quickly escalated to anger and disgust. I am actually relieved that I didn't make it that far.

message 11: by Katie (new)

Katie Winkler I had some problems with the novel, although I did really like the plot device of the violence happening early and the girl watching from above. What I find most interesting is the psychology behind the novel--I knew of Sebold's rape and her memoir of the experience before I read it, so I found the novel a fascinating attempt by Sebold to bring closure to the victims of rape and their families. So often the rapist is never caught and there is no justice, but in her novel Sebold can achieve that justice, even though no one knows about the murderer except for the dead victim.

An interesting side note--Sebold, well after her rape, identified her attacker and saw him punished for his crime.

I can't say I felt the same way about Sebold after I read Almost Moon--a book about matricide I found particularly disturbing--I'm sure she meant it to be disturbing, but once was enough for me. Sebold obviously has not exorcised all her demons.

message 12: by William (new)

William Baker I am not opposed to reading 50 pages of a book and throwing it aside. That's what happened to this one. My time is too valuable to waste on this kind of drivel.

message 13: by Eva (new)

Eva First of all I totally disagree with the whole "omg she raped Ruth" part, it is a bullshit. But that is not the point. What I wanted was to tell you how utterly pathetic your "review" was. If I hate anything, it is the reader who reads the book, likes it, and then find out some negative reviews and goes all "oh it was so bad, I hated it all the time". For heavens sake, don't you see how despicable that is!

message 14: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie @Eva... I don't really see it as despicable. What if I said I didn't like the book, but them read some good reviews and reevaluated the book and decided that I was initially wrong and I think it's a good book? People aren't Gods, they can be wrong and change their minds. I mean I liked Twilight until I finished the last one and now when I go back and think of all of them I'm shocked that I ever liked it. Its very easy to get caught up in the story (especially when it's a leisure read and you're picking it up and putting it down more often than normal) and miss parts that are truly dreadful. (Bella being in a near comatose state for months, for example seemed powerfully sad at first, and now extremely obnoxious now.) Experiences like this CAN happen and I don't think it's "despicable" if it does.

message 15: by Katie (last edited Sep 01, 2012 05:15PM) (new)

Katie Winkler Well-said, Stephanie

message 16: by locrian (new)

locrian Pretty much sums up why I hated this book

message 17: by Paige (new)

Paige Buursma I wasn't a huge fan of the sex scene at the end, but I understood why she did it. It's not cause the "admission to heaven is teen sex." Susie lost her life to an act of violence by a man, so Sebold wanted to give her one last chance to experience gentleness with a man instead. At the time of her death, Susie couldn't stop thinking about kissing, love notes, etc, and I think it was reasonable to conclude the story with some sort of physical reconciliation with a man. (That being said, I would have felt better about it if it hadn't gone so far as actual sex) But really, you can't claim it was someone she didn't know what she had been watching him closely for 8 years, and he had clearly been thinking of her that whole time too.

If you didn't read all these dark things into it when you read it yourself, then maybe that's because it wasn't a natural thing to take from the passage. You don't have to believe every review you read.

message 18: by Mawaddah (new)

Mawaddah Tellawi Hey idiot, there's a button when you're writing your review that says 'Spoilers?'. U should check that out because you just ruined the whole thing for me. That's the point of that button. Idiot.

message 19: by Andres (new)

Andres This is what I exactly think about this book! This novel could have been a realy good one, but they messed it up on mixing a variety of non-sense subjects and themes.

message 20: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Andridge I am so glad I am not the only one who had an issue with using Ruth's body!! I thought that was so terrible (almost as terrible as the writing itself)!

message 21: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Andridge I am so glad I am not the only one who had an issue with using Ruth's body!! I thought that was so terrible (almost as terrible as the writing itself)!

message 22: by Christy (new)

Christy Claire- I must say I have never read this book and don't intend to. I realize that you wrote this eight years ago, and your review I perfect. You explained your busy life, picking this up when you could, for probably a much needed break...were undoubtedly tired when you did get the chance to read. Your review ,however, is not what changed my mind. What made me absolutely not want to read this is also what made me furious. Apparently many of the people who liked this book are also the type of people who feel very comfortable degrading anyone one who disagrees. This comment section was so full of trolls it made me sick! (Trolling, by the way, is not a put-down, it is a word to describe people who attack others online ) they should have been flagged, it's so ridiculous. Let's see--you were called a despicable, pathetic idiot. Wow. That's unreasonably abusive. They have their space to write their reviews. You showed a lot of dignity by not responding. I've seen trolling but this takes the cake. If these are the type of people that like this book, I'm pretty sure it's not for me! Way to hold your head up girl!

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