The Lovely Bones [An opinion of the book]

*Written by Funn Lim

"I myself find it an ok read but not earth
shattering good that I can't put down the book."

MOTE
This opinion was previously posted at http://point2e-
reviews.blogspot.com/2010/03/my-lovely-bones-bookeng.html

MAJOR SPOILERS!

LANGUAGE
English

PUBLISHED IN
2002

AUTHOR
Alice Sebold

REVIEW
I read the book The Lovely Bones in anticipation of the movie by Peter
Jackson and I found myself skipping the later parts more often than I
thought I would. Put it this way, it is not as terrible as Twilight
but it isn't as good as Jeffrey Archer or Stephen King sort of books.
In fact it is quite an effort for a first timer but I just couldn't
understand...

1. if you're 14, raped, brutally murdered,chopped to pieces and
obviously dead, wouldn't you want to find God and just ask "Why me
Man? Why?". The book never even point to that, maybe avoiding the
trappings of religious overtures BUT heaven is a very religious
concept. How can this girl be so cool with her death?

2. She may not be able to do anything much to those who are alive but
she has never tried to see if she can haunt her killer, not once. I
would definitely try to scare him, and even if I can't I would make up
a fuss why I can't.

3. She doesn't seem to hate her killer enough. She seems...zen like
about her death.

4. The book did describe one of the most difficult scene, the luring
of the girl,rape and the aftermath. The rape a bit but nothing
tasteless like for publicity sort of way. BUT the book missed the
opportunity to describe how she felt at dying time. Her rape was given
a few paragraphs but her moment of death, one sentence. After that she
was in Heaven but very little to describe how she felt in her dying
moment, her adjusting to the death. The book did say she can go to
heaven proper sort of thing if she were to accept her death and let
the living live their lives which she couldn't until the end but the
problem is she didn't seem to be the sort who can't let go. Her role
is more as an observer and I hope the movie will make her an active
participant.

5. Her father who was convinced the killer is her killer suddenly
stopped being convinced and a decade or so passed and the killer dies
but not from the act of revenge by his father. Such a devastating
death and not one para to describe perhaps the father's rage. And I
mean RAGE, not anger. I am disappointed after a while everybody seems
to let her death go whilst the grief lingers. No no no! Anger comes
first, anger fuels grief!

6. Her mother has an affair with the detective but the book justified
it as a meaningless sort of sex, like letting go sort of sex. The
mother walked out of the family and children for a decade or so and
the book justified it as well coping with the protaganist's death. The
only one to show any backbone and anger to the mother's abandonment
was the young son. The protaganist decided not to judge her
mother as she observed the mother's actions. I find this hard to
believe. Why is it when a child dies the father deals with grief with
thoughts of murder but the mother goes on to have sex and leaves the
family? And the anger is just touch and go. There's an happy ending
for the mother. I find the mother irresponsible, living in her own la-
la land and very annoying.

7. The police did not even investigate. I mean the killer killed I
think more than 5 girls or so. The detective was too busy having sex
with the mother. When he found out there may be connections to other
murders, nothing much was done to track him down. I mean useless
detective.

8. The heroine fell to earth and entered another body after a decade
or so observing her family, friends and first love and what did she
do? She rushed to have sex with her one time first puppy love. Only
later she remembered to call her brother but that was too late. She
had to go. So...not going after your killer, not seeking your beloved
daddy to give him one last hug, not see your sister and say good bye
but sex.

9. This book also talks about her friends and I find them irrelevant
and boring because one girl wasn't even her best friend. A whole large
part was about her younger sister but that was a fluke. It was more on
her younger sister's love life and when she did do something for the
dead like stalking the killer, it ended abruptly. She didn't even seek
the killer out later on. It ws like suddenly she just let go.

10. The killer saw the younger sister stalking him and what did he do?
Nothing. Very anti climax.

11. The killer's end, so no justice. So did she move the icicle or
what? More like just pure luck he lived for many years and just die
falling down. I want a violent end and I want justice. It was like
none. And this is a child rapist and killer mind you.

12. If you find the killer's story more interesting than the
protaganist, surely the author has failed. And indeed, I find the
killer more interesting. I find the heroine bland, her family bland,
her story in the after life bland, and not very descriptive.

13. And the final ending, whilst reaching the end where the
protaganist herself was able to let go of her family and move on as
her family so easily did, I find it again bland. What is acutely
missing is confusion, anger or rather maybe the author didn't describe
it well.

14. One part I was moved and touched was a one paragraph of her dog,
dead of old age finding her in her version of Heaven, where only those
who has in common or truly seek can find each other and obviously the
dog was seeking her. Other than that, bland.

15. The worst part was her falling down to earth and her mind was sex.

16. The entire book, like how a female author would write is all about
feelings, how I feel, how they feel, how he feels. With all the
feelings, I still feel the book empty in soul. It is like missing
something and after thinking about it I realise I may have set the
standard too high as this was her first effort. But penmanship is so
important and I find the book badly paced. After like halfway through
it was like suddenly the author ran out of things to say and so just
went on to reach the target of a novel or number of pictures.

VERDICT
Most fantastic debut? Nope. Great story? Nope. If I remember correctly
there was a similar sort of storyline in Christopher Pike's Remember
Me [http://www.amazon.com/Remember-Me-reissue-Christopher-
Pike/dp/0743428013], which was a shorter and more exciting book, more
of a thriller than a philosophical one which this present book tries
to be. Interesting read? Yes, until halfway. Will the movie be better?
It seems the movie cut out several pivotal scenes.

My point is read and judge for yourself. I myself find it an ok read
but not earth shattering good that I can't put down the book. That
honour goes to the recent book I read, Jeffrey Archer's Prisoner Of
Birth [http://www.amazon.com/Prisoner-Birth-Jeffrey-
Archer/dp/0312944098/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268886099&sr=1-
1]. Now that is one hell of a book and definitely a page turner but in
the true Archer way, his ending as in the last chapter always kinda
suck but every page before the last page was indeed a page turner!

Not this present book though.

INTERESTING STUFF
The entire story here [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lovely_Bones].
MAJOR SPOILERS!



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