When we first meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. This was before milk carton photos and public service announcements, she tells us; back in 1973, when Susie mysteriously disappeared, people still believed these things didn't happen. In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death and her own adjustment to the strange new place she finds herself. It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets. With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief, her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor and begin the difficult process of healing. In the hands of a brilliant novelist, this story of seemingly unbearable tragedy is transformed into a suspenseful and touching story about family, memory, love, heaven, and living.
I'm pretty we've all heard of this story (and if not, how you doin? Welcome to Earth), but the real question is "Can you believe the hype?"
If the Lovely Bones is anything, its creepy. We already know Susie's fate as she retells it from Heaven, where Susie is for the majority of the story. The story goes over the years following her death, while Susie watches her family grieve, struggle, and eventually move on.
This story forces you to question yourself. Is there a Heaven? What would I do if I was dead/murdered and watching my family? Would I do everything to make sure they never forgot me or urge them to move on? Even though Susie is trapped in her age of fourteen, she has no choice but to grow up and move on from her family, her unsolved murder, and the life she left behind.
The story is heartbreakingly touching. Susie's predicament is almost unbearable, yet the author teaches us to deal. With life lessons instilled in its pages, The Lovely Bones is a sweet story challenging our selfishness and giving us a view we often don't look at. This perspective provides for a unique story that'll pull your heart strings.
While I wish I could say there was never a dull moment, I'd be lying. The Lovely Bones is a great story, but there are some parts that are a little humdrum. And sometimes the overuse of metaphors can get a tad confusing. Me being a sci-fi and action lover found it a bit difficult to get through.
While The Lovely Bones isn't for everyone, those who click with its style will surely love its tale.