Book Review: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

328 Pages

Rating: 1/5 stars

“My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. My murderer was a man from our own neighborhood. My mother liked his border flowers, and my father talked to him once about fertilizer.

This is Susie Salmon, speaking to us from heaven. It looks like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets. There are counsellors to help newcomers to adjust, and friends to room with. Everything she wants appears as soon as she thinks of it – except the thing she wants most: to be back with the people she loved on Earth.

From heaven, Susie watches. She sees her happy suburban family implode after her death, as each member tries to come to terms with the terrible loss. Over the years, her friends and siblings grow up, fall in love, do all the things she never had the chance to do herself. But life is not quite finished with Susie yet.”

Lovely Bones(Sorry the picture is a bit rubbish, had to use one I took on Instagram as I gave the book away before getting a decent picture of it, whoops!)

This is my first book review on this blog, and I really wanted it to be a positive one, but the whole point of reviews is to be totally honest and as this was the book I have just finished, I thought I may as well just review it. 

I always try and finish books, even if I am not enjoying them, as sometimes the ending is amazing and redeems the book…. that didn’t happen here for me. I will admit I didn’t see the last slight twist coming, but it wasn’t spectacular enough for me to give the book more than just one star unfortunately. 

I always try and find something positive, even in things I don’t like… so the positive parts of this book for me was that some of the characters were lovely, and there was the odd few pages in the middle which were a bit more gripping than the rest!

But I really didn’t enjoy this book if I am honest, which is a shame as so many of the reviews and people I have asked about it, have said how great it is! I found that only one or two of the characters were even remotely interesting, and the writing style was very confusing in parts! All just seemed a bit jumbled together.

For me I love it when you have to keep reading and don’t want to put the book down, where as this one was the opposite and I was just trying to get it finished in hope something good happened at the end and was then disappointed when nothing really did.

I do know a lot of people do love this book though, and all this review means is that it wasn’t for me, you may love it! 🙂

I was going to give it two stars as I felt bad only giving it one (and it doesn’t happen often), but I was using the rating system on Goodreads as a guideline where 1 star was “I didn’t like it” and 2 stars was that “it was okay”, and for me personally, I didn’t like it, hence it only getting one poor lonely star!

Hope this helps! 

Kammi Signature


  1. Geoff

    August 17, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    The first chapter is very good: a suspenseful and disturbing narrative, with a jarring end. Overall the first part was a moving and challenging experience. The remainder of the novel is not as impressive, but there is an originality to it that was appealing. The First Person Omniscient perspective has been remarked upon in many reviews – and it does make this book a rather unusual experience. That personalized omniscience creates an at-times annoying quirkiness, but also some pretty wonderful moments, particularly in the noting of many tiny details. The sort of details that tell you all about a person, the emotions they are wrestling with, what their life story is all about.

    What I found most interesting about this book was perhaps not as intentional, namely, the very distancing blandness of our sort of-heroine’s voice. If this child had lived, she might have grown up to be Ann Beattie or Margaret Diehl or Joan didion. Her emotional range is not one of many peaks and valleys, it is rather a pleasant flat line. That detachment, that even-handedness, that smoothness… it is a bit strange, a bit creepy. What in the world are they taking up there in heaven, some kind of mega-strength Prozac or valium? The afterlife sounds like my exact cup of tea: a place to idly contemplate the lives of those we lived with – but no anxious worrying, no getting unduly agitated or emotional. How relaxing!

    1. Kammitted

      August 17, 2013 at 7:53 pm

      What an awesome comment! I agree the book was quite unusal, sadly for me that didn’t make it any more enjoyable! Glad you seem to have liked it though!
      Kammi x

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