Daydream Sanctuary Features

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Lovely Bones: Though the Novel Isn't "Lovely", Despite That Word Being Part of the Title

The Lovely Bones
By Alice Sebold
Susie: My name is Susie Salmon. Salmon as in the fish. I'm 14 years old and I'm dead. And this is my story....
FAVORITISM: 2.5 Hearts ---> NEUTRAL(3.5 Hearts to the father though)

This book is quite popular and it even got a movie adaptation. The idea of a girl narrating to us her story after she was killed really intrigued me too. So I thought that this would turn out to be as good as it seems.

Sadly, it was quite a disappointment.

Yes, it had a pretty innovative concept of heaven and what happens to people that die. They can get what they want, but also can't get them at the same time. It has been questionable whether one's literal heaven really does make him/her happy. You see, in this novel, when people die... they can watch their loved ones, but they can't interact with them or help them. All they can do is watch.

It's interesting to see how a young dead teen watch her family grow and move on without her. Honestly, even if the narration is rich with grammatical errors, metaphors that don't make sense, and other writing flaws, I don't give a damn. It's a 14 year old talking anyway, and it wasn't mentioned that she's supposed to be a language expert.

However, what bothers me is how the hell an "observer" (because the dead here can't exactly interact with the living, they just watch) know what the people they're watching are THINKING? She even gets to know the BACKSTORIES of the people who are strangers to her! So souls are also mind readers and time travellers now? I am certain that there was a part wherein she missed witnessing a part of a friend's life because she was with another loved one previously. The most she can do is to go to one place to another in a short span of time, BUT not control time. Ugh, no matter how I look at it, this is just narration convenience because the author couldn't think of any other way to mention the side stories.

Another thing that annoyed me was the climax. It will be spoilery if I'll be specific about it but.... you see, our dead girl still has a lot of things she wants to do in order to make her totally happy. And the top of that list is losing her virginity.

*tries to calm down*

I get it that there are people like that. But oh come on, isn't this supposed to be a family novel? It's about relationships, but more of love between family, right? So what's with the... uuugghh....

I can see that this is a novel about the ordinary people that also get to experience something dark and dangerous (there are people who die, want to f*ck, families break up, etc.). They wear masks and have inner dark sides. There are no pure pure girls and people get delusional. But oh come on, you don't need to make these people that STUPID.

It's interesting that we got a murder case on this novel but how come the police officers in this novel are SO STUPID that they didn't bother to do a VERY SIMPLE investigation after learning about a certain OBVIOUS HINT??? The murder case would've already been solved IF ONLY they did that.

Oh right, the story will end quick if that happens. No time for the author to make the characters go dramatic longer. The novel seems to be more focused on relationships (especially skrewed up ones) rather than other things. The leading girl didn't even prioritize having the killer caught, remember?

Perhaps I got too used to crime novels... where solving the murder case is one of the priorities. I'm not saying that the murder case should be solved in this story no matter what (this novel has actually been quite realistic on that. Lots of cases are never solved in the real world), but to put aside the murder case no thanks to very incompetent officers is just too much.

There's one thing that I love a lot in this novel though: The girl's father (Jack Salmon)

He's such a loving father... so loving that his depression over the loss of his daughter made me cry so badly ;_; He hasn't been a bad father to his other children, neither had he been a bad husband (what his wife did to him was so unfair to him). He's so loving that it's difficult not to love him. A character that touched my heart in this unimpressive novel *tears*

Overall, this is a very nice novel but not exactly as beautiful nor as impressive as it's more known to be. It has a good cast, but I find it difficult to like or to symphatize to most of them (they're begging to be adored and be pitied upon but they... cause me headaches most of the time =_=). The novel's too focused on drama and relationships that its crime, mystery, psychological, and supernatural elements hadn't been tackled much... which is disappointing because the potential's wasted.
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