This book took me four days to read. Every waking minute during those four days I was obsessed with getting back to the book. When I finally read that last page I was relieved: I could go back onto focusing my daily life again.
But would I recommend you read this book? I’m not sure.
I was drawn in to the plot immediately – I wanted nothing more than to see 14 year old Susie’s killer caught. But it was the style of writing and the unique point of view that kept me so deeply engaged: the narrator is Susie, looking down on the world from heaven. She watches her killer evade the police and she can do nothing about it.
The four days of being totally absorbed in the book (while also trying to work and care for my family) was a stressful time. It felt like every day where I didn’t finish the book I was personally making the main character suffer. I knew I needed to get to the end for it all to be over for Susie…. and that took away the enjoyment of the book.
When I was a kid, I believed that if I watched a movie or read a book about ghosts (Goosebumps, anyone?), that ghosts would know this and would be more likely to visit me that night. The Lovely Bones gave me a similar sense of responsibility… In some bizarre way I felt like Susie would have been much better off in life if I’d never read the book.
So, in summary… The book is very well written. It draws you into the story. Susie’s ‘voice’ throughout the book is spot on. It tells a common story in a unique way. It certainly deserves all the awards.
But ask yourself before reading – do you really want to make Susie tell her story again? And are you willing to take on that responsibility if you do?
In July 2014 I set myself the challenge to finish 100 must-read books before I die. For my ongoing tally click here.Follow @jessieansons