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The Lovely Bones

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  2,094,984 ratings  ·  41,393 reviews
"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 co
Mass Market Paperback, 372 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Little, Brown and Company (first published July 3rd 2002)
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Gizella Tóth Yes, mostly. I enjoyed the story, I am interested in such things (though I found heaven quite boring:)) but I was deeply disappointed when it turned t…moreYes, mostly. I enjoyed the story, I am interested in such things (though I found heaven quite boring:)) but I was deeply disappointed when it turned to be sex in the 22nd chapter. I do not know what I was waiting for but not this. It didn't fit into the storyline, it was disillusioning and spoiled the whole thing.(less)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,094,984 ratings  ·  41,393 reviews

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Sep 24, 2007 rated it did not like it
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.
Jun 28, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: no one, really
Shelves: bookclub
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lee Klein
Jun 13, 2007 rated it liked it
The greatest first 30 pages ever. The worst rest.

Compare/contrast with The Shimmering Go-Between.
Jan 23, 2008 rated it did not like it
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 28, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: my worst enemy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones is a 2002 novel by American writer Alice Sebold. It is the story of a teenage girl who, after being raped and murdered, watches from her personal Heaven as her family and friends struggle to move on with their lives while she comes to terms with her own death.

On December 6, 1973, 14-year-old Susie Salmon takes her usual shortcut home from her school through a cornfield in Norristown, Pennsylvania. George Harvey, her 36-year-old neighbor, a bachelor
Claire Greene
Apr 14, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
Emily May
Dec 05, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
I read this book after watching the movie because it was the first time I heard about it.

First, I have to say that I liked the movie very much and I've seen it several times. The scenes from In-Between are one of my all-time favourites. And the moment when Susie's father destroys the ships in bottles is just the best; it keeps popping on my Youtube because I just watched so many times. So, if I go a couple of moths without watching it, Youtube is like: "Here, watch it."

Usually, I'm not much of
Dec 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Bill Kerwin
May 28, 2007 rated it it was ok

This is a fine novella which some enterprising 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.
Jun 10, 2007 rated it did not like it
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
May 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
I’m finally free of this book
Jan 23, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
What a disappointment. I had high hopes with this book. Anyway, though the author doesn't owe me anything, I did feel cheated of my hours invested in The Lovely Bones.

Thematically, the book is a mess. The questions we have, both about events in heaven and on earth are left unanswered. I also found myself getting a bit depressed. I usually am like that whenever I read a bad book.

But this time I got depressed because I was reading the Lovely Bones. Death is a pitiless side of our cognition, but th
Julia Ash
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
THE LOVELY BONES by Alice Sebold earned 5 intense stars from me!

My Tease…

Heaven’s Inbetween is for “the watchers,” those souls who aren’t ready to leave behind their connections to Earth. Souls…who have unanswered questions or unfinished business. Who haven’t learned to accept their deaths.

Fourteen-year-old Susie Salmon is a watcher.

Although Susie knows that Mr. Harvey (whose house is in her neighborhood) raped and murdered her, none of the living know. At least Susie’s father and her younger s
Jan 16, 2008 rated it did not like it
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.
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 :) ...more
Jul 17, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2008
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Apr 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 Bones
Jason Koivu
Feb 20, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Fabian {Councillor}
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
S C Tisdale
Sep 29, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: retards
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Charlotte May
I loved The Lovely Bones - it was such an interesting premise.
To see the world after death through the eyes of 14 year old Suzie Salmon. She is raped and killed, before we view her family from above while they suffer their way through the grief and trauma.
It's a tough read, as you would expect, but so worth it.
It covers both the mystery side - who is the one responsible for this, as Suzie isn't the only one to have been harmed at the hands of this cold blooded rapist. But it also covers the sof
Whitney Atkinson
This is the first audiobook I've listened to a while, and now I understand why I stopped listening to them. This book was just alright, and I'll probably forget about it in two days because I was passively listening to it as I cleaned my apartment.

I will admit I kind of only read this because it's so popular and I wanted to see what's behind that popularity, which in itself wasn't a whole lot. I liked the idea of this book and Susie's narration, and where I thought it would be more of a "let's
Richard Derus
Jun 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
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Alice Sebold is the author of three #1 bestselling books, including Lucky, and the novels The Lovely Bones and The Almost Moon. Her work has been translated into more than fifty languages and has appeared in The New York Times and The Guardian, among other publications. She is a member of the National Leadership Council for (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). She lives in California ...more

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