The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones

Book - 2002
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The critically acclaimed and commercially beloved novel about a young girl's murder in suburban Pennsylvania and her journey for justice from the afterlife.
Once in a generation a novel comes along that taps a vein of universal human experience, resonating with readers of all ages. THE LOVELY BONES is such a book -- a #1 bestseller celebrated at once for its artistry, for its luminous clarity of emotion, and for its astonishing power to lay claim to the hearts of millions of readers around the world.
"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 cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling. Out of unspeakable tragedy and loss, THE LOVELY BONES succeeds, miraculously, in building a tale filled with hope, humor, suspense, even joy.

Publisher: Boston : Little, Brown, 2002
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780316666343
Branch Call Number: SEB
Characteristics: 328 p. ;,22 cm


From the critics

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Jul 13, 2019

Almost all of this book was truly incredible. I was hooked from the catchline on the back of the book that said something like "My name is Susie Salmon, like the fish, and December something was the day I was murdered." I assumed it would be told strictly from the perspective of Susie watching people down on Earth. However it was more than that, there were bits of information about her killer Mr. Harvey (not a spoiler, you learn this in the first chapter) throughout the book, like what made him into a serial killer. Things about Susie's mother and father, Ray & Ruth, Lindsey & Samuel, just all the characters had depth and that was something that I really enjoyed. At one point, later in the book, I started crying at the reconnection of two characters and their quiet moment together, I don't know why but it struck something in me because their relationship fell apart but they were able to come back together for a brief moment to remember their past.

One thing that made this book a four star read was that there was also a lot of extra, not important, information that just dragged this book on and on. I ended up skimming these sections and getting to the parts of the book I was actually interested in. Although this extra detail that I found too much, was what made this book full of meat and shows that it is a mature story. This is one of the few young adult books that I've read that has more depth as a whole, rather than just individual plot points having depth. I'm praising this, but still it is something that made this book less enjoyable because I felt like while there could've been this intense depth, there should've been less in my personal opinion.

The whole time I was reading the book, I kept saying to my mom that "If the ending doesn't have some sort of resolve I'm going to be upset with the entirety of the book" and this still holds true, however I'm somewhere in the middle on what I thought of the ending. It wasn't the exact result I was wanting but it wasn't a complete disappointment. There were parts of it that I enjoyed, including some wrap-up with characters and such but it wasn't the ending that I had been anticipating for the whole book and that's why I'm kind of torn on whether or not this was truly a satisfying ending. I guess part of it was satisfying.. and therefore it counts.. but I'm still just thinking about it like I wanted a little more.

May 08, 2019

The Lovely Bones is a beautifully written book which is full of love, loss, and sadness. It gives a different, innocent perspective from Heaven that brings peace and healing to not only Susie, but to the reader as well in their real life journey of loss.

May 05, 2019

A young girl is raped and murdered by a serial killer. She returns as a ghost to passively observe how her family deals with the tragedy. Isolation and forgiveness are powerful themes in this slow-paced novel. Honestly, though, I enjoyed Sebold's first novel, *Lucky* much more than this more famous one.

Dec 04, 2018

This is a lovely read. Sebold's writing style in this book mimics how the human mind contemplates the things that it treasures and despises in an organic, seamless fashion. Told through the point of view of a teenager, the reader follows her journey from being tragically murdered to voyaging to heaven where she can continue to watch over earth as an omnipresent narrator. This book studies how events affect each other and how people deal with the worst of tragedies. Although this book certainly elicits strong emotions like anger and sadness, the beauty is in its realistic details and complex characters whose lives are connected in different ways. After reading this book, it is clear to me why it has been a best seller for so long.

Sep 04, 2018

An excellent book. It presented the loss of a young girl's life from her point of view in "heaven". It was an entertaining look at how life goes on without you, when you die. Good writing. Kept me interested all the way through. Good author.

Jul 26, 2018

I really did not enjoy this book. I used the preloaded audio version and the reader (the author) was flat and emotionless which made the book very hard to be interested in. I also did not enjoy the length of the book. There were many opportunities for the book to end with a decent wrap up of everything going on in the story. It seemed that the author just liked seeing her own words on paper and did not take into account that the ending could have been well before it was. Over all not a terrible book but definitely not a book i would re-read and probably wouldn't even recommend to others.

ArapahoeTiegan Jul 15, 2018

This book was a bit tough to get through. Susie Salmon is raped and murdered by a man who has a taste for young girls. She follows her family's lives after her death from heaven. There were a lot of heavy topics in this book, as you can probably guess from this short overview. However, I do feel it was respectfully written and done in a beautiful way as Susie watched her family grow and change over the years.

Dec 28, 2017

I thought this was difficult to get into and really enjoy reading the first couple chapters. I'm so glad I kept going. What a great book!

Dec 03, 2017

A gripping and fascinating story of Susie Salmon. An amazing feat for the author to enable her readers to suspend their own sense of reality - and, from Susie's Heaven, to follow the lives of those she left behind. The characters are intensely defined, and it is difficult not to feel connected with them. I truly enjoyed this book from beginning to end.

Aug 15, 2017

I read most of this in public and it was a big mistake. I kept having to hold in my tears several times. The Lovely Bones will reach into your chest and rip out your heart.

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Age Suitability

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Mar 28, 2016

BigBooks000 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Dec 14, 2014

Kayla0625 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

joanna12300 Jul 10, 2014

joanna12300 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

CatzMeows Mar 28, 2014

CatzMeows thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

lilmisnawal Feb 08, 2014

lilmisnawal thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

platypus101 Jul 11, 2013

platypus101 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jun 24, 2013

violet_owl_156 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Dec 01, 2012

White_Wolf_131 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

teal_tiger_lilly Aug 03, 2012

teal_tiger_lilly thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jul 07, 2012

veronicalynne thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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Aug 20, 2015

A young girl gets murdered by a quite unnoticable neighborhood man. she guides her father and sister to find out the truth through the presence of her soul

platypus101 Jul 11, 2013

Susie "like the fish" Salmon. She's been dead since December 6, 1973. She was fourteen years old when she was raped and murdered by her neighbor. Here's how it happened. It's a cold snowy afternoon. After school, Susie takes a shortcut through the cornfield to her suburban Pennsylvania home. Mr. Harvey (who she recognizes but doesn't know) is in the cornfield. He's built an underground shelter, with a door that's covered with earth. He piques Susie's curiosity and lures her into the hole. She quickly learns this is a mistake, and he rapes and then kills her. Right now she's in heaven, which she soon learns is her personal heaven – everybody gets one when they die.

teal_tiger_lilly Aug 03, 2012

a 14 year old girl is killed when she is going to a 36 year old mans house just to see his den ... she is killed and cut with a razor... the family is speechless and tries to find a way to move forward in their life

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 25, 2012

On December 6, 1973, in a suburb of Philadelphia, 14-year-old Susie Salmon takes her usual shortcut home from her school through a cornfield. George Harvey, a 36-year-old single man who lives alone and builds doll houses for a living, persuades her to have a look at an underground den he has recently dug in the field. Once she has entered it, he rapes and murders her with a shaving razor and dismembers her body, putting her remains in a safe that he dumps in a sinkhole. Susie's spirit flees toward her personal heaven.
The Salmon family at first refuses to accept the fact that Susie is dead, until Susie's elbow is found by the neighbor's dog. The police talk to Harvey, finding him strange but seeing no reason to suspect him. Susie's father Jack, on extended leave from work, begins to suspect Harvey, a sentiment his surviving daughter Lindsey comes to share

Dec 29, 2010

It is the story of a teenage girl who, after being raped and murdered, watches from Heaven as her family and friends struggle to move on with their lives while she comes to terms with her own death. The novel received much critical praise and became an instant bestseller.

EPLPicks_Teen Apr 07, 2010

An unusual coming-of-age story in which Susie, the 14-year-old narrator, watches from heaven over her family, her murderer and the police detective working on her case.

Fourteen-year-old Susie looks down from heaven and describes the horrifying events of her murder, while her family struggle to cope with the pain of her death.


Add Notices

Sexual Content: They have.. you know... it.

Coarse Language: Swear words

Dec 29, 2010

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

Dec 29, 2010

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

Dec 29, 2010

Violence: This title contains Violence.


Add a Quote
Aug 20, 2015

"shes in the inbetween..."

platypus101 Jul 11, 2013

Inside the snow globe on my father's desk, there was a penguin wearing a red-and-white-striped scarf. When I was little my father would pull me into his lap and reach for the snow globe. He would turn it over, letting all the snow collect on the top, then quickly invert it. The two of us watched the snow fall gently around the penguin. The penguin was alone in there, I thought, and I worried for him. When I told my father this, he said, "Don't worry, Susie; he has a nice life. He's trapped in a perfect world.

Jul 17, 2012

Our only kiss was like an accident- a beautiful gasoline rainbow

Jul 17, 2012

My name is Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered

Dec 29, 2010

“Had my brother really seen me somehow, or he was he merely a little boy telling beautiful lies?” (p. 95)

“How to commit the perfect murder was an old game in heaven. I always chose the icicle: the weapon melts away.” (p. 125)

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