Most Overrated Book (8/30 – 30 Day Book Challenge)

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones

So I don’t deny that this is a ‘good’ book, in that it’s well written. It makes an important point too, about what’s called the ‘monster myth’ – you are entirely aware by the end of the book that people who commit atrocities are not necessarily the caricature of evil that we see in news reports. They are people we pass every day – our neighbours, even. The book makes a deep impression, and takes an interesting approach by having Susie Salmon narrate her own death and events following it from heaven.

Why do I call it overrated, in spite of all this?

(The next paragraph contains scatters small spoilers)

Honestly, I found it creepy – the proximity of Harvey for so long, Lindsey’s excursion into his house looking for evidence. While the conclusion to Susie’s narrative is the ‘lovely’ connections that her family grow after her death never seem that lovely to me – her father’s injuries, surgeries, illnesses, her mother’s inability to cling to her family. Her sister does well, but it’s not all by connection to her family…

I admire what The Lovely Bones tries to do… and I can’t deny that it does it. But the the lasting impression I got from this book was less a resounding message of any sort, but more a general hair-on-the-nape-of-my-neck-standing-up creepiness. What confuses me is the adoration some people carry for it. I’m open to being proven wrong on this though…

I could probably re-title this day from ‘most overrated book’ to ‘book I’m most confused about’.


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