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The Lovely Bones

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  2,224,604 ratings  ·  43,918 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. ...more
Paperback, 327 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Random House (first published July 3rd 2002)
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Vanessa Devries
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Anna This is another book from the list "100 Books You Should Read Before You Die." Many of those are "slow-starters". I felt it with this one too, but rem…moreThis is another book from the list "100 Books You Should Read Before You Die." Many of those are "slow-starters". I felt it with this one too, but remembered there must be something great about it to be on that list. So I kept reading and I am very glad. Touches on family relationships, the way different people grieve, and how life goes on.

Do read it, you won't be sorry.(less)

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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  2,224,604 ratings  ·  43,918 reviews


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Sarah
Sep 24, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Seth T.
Jun 28, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
KT
Jan 23, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Carolynn
Sep 21, 2007 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
...more
Ted
Jul 28, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
...more
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
...more
Claire Greene
Apr 14, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lisa of Troy
Out of my entire reading list for 2022, more people commented about The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold than all of the other books combined!

The Lovely Bones begins with the tragic death of a fourteen-year-old girl, Susie Salmon (like the fish). From there, we follow Susie’s family and friends as well as Susie’s murderer.

The Lovely Bones starts off very strong, and the impulse to read more is almost overwhelming. However, the book is downhill from there.

Writing a book that begins with a death is
...more
MischaS_
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
...more
Amanda
Dec 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
I’m finally free of this book
Bill Kerwin

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.
...more
Julia Ash
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
...more
Steven
Jun 10, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Luffy
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kay
3.5⭐

The Lovely Bones is a story told by fourteen-year-old Susie Salmon who was killed while on her way home. She walks through a cornfield on a freezing December of 1973 when her neighbor Mr. Harvey convinced her to check out the underground room he has built. Readers get a glimpse of Susie's heaven and follow her while she watches her family and friends.

I felt it was very interesting to start with the death of the MC. I was hooked at the beginning of the book. It's my mistake to think this is a
...more
Jessica
May 29, 2007 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
...more
Suyana
Oct 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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
Kim
Jan 23, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
tee
Jan 16, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own, bbc-big-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nilufer Ozmekik
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has the one of the harshest, cruelest, darkest opening, has written its name to the literature history!

After being witnessed sweet 14 years old girl: Susie Salmon’s rape and massacre by her creepy, doll maker, 36 years old neighbor, you want to throw up, scream, pump your fist into something, scream more, wish to do something stop the visual images imprinted on your mind!

It is one of the effective thing you want to forget forever but you know it will never fade away!

As the girl’s m
...more
Patrick
Jul 17, 2008 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.
Mandy
Apr 20, 2015 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 :) ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Cana Rensberger for TeensReadToo.com

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
...more
S C Tisdale
Sep 29, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jason Koivu
Feb 20, 2012 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
...more
jv poore
Mar 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My feelings about The Lovely Bones are mixed. While I was reading it, I found it compelling and remarkably emotional; however, upon completion, I felt somewhat disappointed. It seemed that the wrap-up was too pat in some areas, and totally missing in others. Additionally, there were certain areas that were touched on, when I would have enjoyed more details. Overall, the storyline was original and intriguing. A good read, provided you don't mind crying sporadically throughout the entire book....u ...more
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
...more
Ashley
Apr 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alice Sebold
The Lovely Bones
New York: Little Brown & Company, 2002
329 pp. 21.95
0-316-66634-3


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
...more
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4,577 followers
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 RAINN.org (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). She lives in California ...more

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