Lovely Bones: a lovely letdown

(Warning this post contains some spoilers)

I was once a voracious reader; I devoured whatever books I could find and enjoyed every single one of them.

In recent years, this habit has fallen to the wayside; in an attempt to rediscover my bookworm ways, I picked up The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.

I was sorely, sorely disappointed.

Having seen the movie first, I felt like I could pick up on nuances of the story and details not included while enjoying the sad story of Susie’s short life and long death.

However, the entire book was a jumbled mess, lacking direction and a coherent storyline, all the while inundating readers with grisly descriptions of death and graphic descriptions of her remaining loved ones lives.

While the story’s goal was to make the audience feel for Susie after her murder by a neighborhood man, I was left feeling a little annoyed by Susie, unfortunately.

Sebold portrayed her as whiny, vengeful and more.

And while all of those traits are fully understandable for someone having just been murdered, Susie’s grip on life and viewing of the world below, from her version of heaven, doesn’t allow her family to move on.

While I was left bored and a touch confused for most of the story, it was really the last few chapters that seemed the most questionable to me.

The book lacked a strong resolution or conclusion, ending with Susie saying, “I was here for a moment, and then I was gone. I wish you all, a long, and happy life.”

At least finally she was done, but not a single storyline was wrapped up, and I, along with other readers I’m sure, were left unsympathetic to Susie and her family and a little bitter about the utter waste of time spent on this novel.

I appreciate the vision of Alice Sebold and The Lovely Bones but the execution was greatly lacking; the story was puzzling, the writing style wordy but somehow missing something, the characters not even hard to like but hard to listen to, and the book overall, a flop.