Thursday, November 3, 2016

Book Review: The Lovely Bones

The moment I saw The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold on the table of the library, I knew I needed to read it. Not because it was recently turned into a movie. Not because the cover attracted me. Well, maybe both are slightly true, but the real reason is the story started with death.

Now you’re probably thinking I’m some crazy person with weird tastes and you might be correct, but I’ve always been interested in what authors have to say about afterlife and grief. Like most others, I know people who’ve died and met people who lost a family member, so those thoughts naturally are in my head.

I was glad I knew the book was going to be depressing before I started. Right away, the main character Susie died and went to her heaven. I tried to think of the book as a story of hope, teaching that there is light in the darkness. Soon I realized my thoughts became true as the story went on. If I got too lost in depressing aspects of the book, I never would notice the simple beauty and joy that was snuck in here and there. Those calm moments were what kept me reading.

After Susie comes to her heaven, she learns she can watch the living. She watches her family from her heaven, often annoyed by the limits of her abilities. Her family tries to move on, but at the same time feel guilty of the whole situation. Characters weave into their lives, most staying for the whole book.

I found it beautiful how The Lovely Bones was narrated by Susie. It was clear each sentence was said by her. I didn’t feel like I was Susie, I was Susie. This strengthened the book and kept me reading.

Another thing I liked about the book was how it raised questions about family. It talked about how some people never wanted to make a family but still ended up in one. It delved into the topic of sibling rivalry even though one may be gone. The book also explored how it's still possible to forgive a family member even after they ran away from you.

All these topics reminded me how powerful a family can be and how wonderful it is to be part of one.

Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones was a beautiful story to read and I highly recommend it to those in search of a unique tale.

- Darcy, Teen Volunteer

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