Monday, 18 July 2011

Review: The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Pages: 328, paperback

ISBN: 9780330457729


General/literary fiction

Source: bought

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.

(Taken from Goodreads)
This is without a doubt the worst book I have ever read. Each sentence left me in pain, it was impossible to keep reading. I literally had to read the book a paragraph at a time, with long breaks in between readings. It was that bad.

What bugged me the most was that the story was too flower-y, too purple. There were so many metaphors used that simply did not make sense, such as “Her pupils dilated, pulsing in and out like small, ferocious olives.” Now, have no idea what ferocious olives look like, nor do I understand how her pupils could have pulsated without her having some sort of medical issue. Surely that isn't right. And this novel is filled with phrases like that.
I can understand it that people like it because it's somewhat artsy. Some aspects of Sebold's writing was interesting, but mainly, the failed metaphors just made me cringe.

Another thing that annoyed me was how the author would mention one idea in paragraph one, then in paragraph two through to seven, talk about something only slightly relevant to the first paragraph, then go back to whatever the hell she was talking about in the first paragraph. It was hard to keep up with everything, it was all over the place and quite messy, to be honest.

Finally, what I hated the most was the storyline. I hate it. HATE HATE HATE. Major spoilers here, so don't read on if you want to be surprised:

Susie posesses the body of her lesbian friend so that she could have a night of wild passion with a boy that she kissed eight years ago, when she was still alive. Instead of doing something productive, like you know, maybe telling him where her body was, which would help heaps with the case and ease her family's pain and suffering. It seemed like a very horrible resolution, to have a girl who was raped and killed use her friend to have sex with a guy she had a single kiss with. I don't know, I see that as rape towards the lesbian friend.
It really makes no sense. AND, it's just plain offensive, I think.
And the entire novel is filled with plotholes that just don't make any sense. Like, when her father realises that Mr Harvey killed Susie. He just has a hunch. No evidence, nothing. Just a hunch. And from that, he is so certain. Just ARGHHHH. I hate it.

I literally wanted to burn this book. Reading through it was the most painful experience ever. I mean, I hate being so harsh towards books, but this was just horrible. A shame, too, since I was so looking forward to it.

Cover: 2
Plot: 0
Characters: 2
Writing: 0 (If I could give negative ratings, I would)
Level of Interest: 1

Total Rating: 1/5

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I remember not liking the possession part and being disappointed this book too. I still haven't seen the film.