Book Reviews ~ON INDEFINITE HIATUS~

~NOTICE 25/10/13~ So I haven't updated this in a while, and I'd just like to say that my opinions on some of these books have changed slightly, and also that I don't know if I'll still update this. Thanks for the support, though <3
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Looking for a good read? You, my dearest people, have made it to my collection of book reviews!
As someone who wants to be a writer, I read to get new material (this does not mean that I copy the ideas of other authors, simply that I get new vocabulary to put in my own writing, and, if I like or dislike something that I read, I mentally analyse why so that I know what to feature or not feature in my own work).
I also read because...well...I love reading!
So, every 'chapter' in this movella is a separate review. I'll try to put new ones up whenever I finish a book that I think needs to be talked about.
Please comment and, if what I've written in my reviews has persuaded you to read one of the books, please go for it and tell me what you thought.
Enjoy

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2. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

I can't really think of what to write for an introduction, so I'll just get straight into this review...I'm almost finished reading The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, but I'm enjoying it so much that I just HAVE to write a review for it right now, before I explode with the need to cry out about how fantastic it is.

Just a quick tip for anyone who intends on reading this...I hate age ratings on films, let alone books, but I feel the need to point out that this is a book aimed at adults. There is some fairly graphic sex and there are a few disturbing scenes involved, but it's hardly deserving of an 18 rating, so don't be too put off. I just needed to mention that before anyone goes to read it unaware and is scarred for life ;)

That aside, we'll start with The Plot. This bit is harder to write than in other reviews, because...well, in a way, there isn't much of a plot. The book is told from the point of view of fourteen-year old Susie Salmon as she watches her family, friends and neighbours from up in her heaven, having been raped and murdered in a cornfield close to her home. Set in the 70s and 80s, the story follows not only Susie but the people she meets in heaven, her family and peers as they try to cope with her disappearance, and her murderer, who remains sickeningly unfounded in his many crimes throughout a significant amount of the book.

Now for The Characters. I really don't know where to start...the whole thing is so very rich with strong, layered, brilliantly developed characters that I can hardly comprehend the way that Alice Sebold can get into the minds of so many different people without throwing the reader right out of the story, but she manages it perfectly. There's Susie herself, locked in 'her own perfect world' but still unhappy as she longs for the people she has left behind on Earth, there's Susie's sister Lindsey, a strong, intelligent girl with a determination to find out what happened in the cornfield, Jack, Susie's father, who is very much positive that his suspicions towards the odd George Harvey are not unfounded (and they are not: Mr. Harvey is in fact the sadistic, eerily twisted man who murdered Susie), Abigail, Susie's mother, who tries to find distraction from her grief in Len Fenerman, the detective who she has a brief affair with, and Buckley, Susie's little brother, who often sees Susie at various points and seems to understand more than anyone else that his sister has not truly left them unobserved on Earth.

It doesn't stop at Susie's family: there is also Ray Singh, the boy who she shared her first and last kiss with on earth, and Ruth Connors, the misfit, other-worldly girl who frequently senses a presence when Susie watches over her, or 'breaks through' down on earth, and Samuel, Lindsey's caring and architecture-loving boyfriend. There's also Holly, the girl who Susie makes friends with up in her heaven, and Franny, her counsellor up in heaven. Through all of these people and more who are affected by Susie's death, we learn more about every single character than we could possibly learn from simple observation in a film (not that I don't love the adaptation, too, but the book gives attachment to the characters far stronger than anything else could).

I think the more touching thing is the way Susie watches the characters grow. They age throughout the book, never forgetting Susie but slowly moving on with their lives in varied and different ways.

And, finally, The Writing Style. Alice's writing style is absolutely exceptional. I honestly can't say anything that can do it justice...if I ever, at any point in my life, found that I could write so perfectly (this will never happen), I would be the happiest person on earth. I can't say anything more about it, but it is undoubtedly the best thing about the book.

Therefore, overall, The Lovely Bones gets a fabulous five stars from me!

*****

Check back for more reviews, and thanks for reading: be sure to comment (and favourite, fan or like if you enjoyed it).

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