Susie Salmon had heard that when someone was about to be murdered, their last words were either “please” or “don’t” or a combination of the two. Those were the only two words she could think of when her life was about to end by the hands of her neighbor, George.
Susie was in the ninth grade. She has a loving family, with a sister, Lindsey, a few years younger than her and a 4-year-old baby brother, Buckley. She watches up in heaven as her family and friends try to figure out who murdered her. In “The Lovely Bones”, you watch the lives of the living unfold through Susie’s eyes.
Susie follows Lindsey around, who doesn’t want to talk about or show any emotion about her sister’s death. She cries in private and puts on a brave face for everyone. Her mom on the other hand, is nothing but emotional. Her dad watches her day and night as she just goes through the motions of everyday life. He is heartbroken that he can’t do anything for his family. He and his wife have been through rough patches in their marriage, but one of them was always the strong one. This time, neither of them can be strong. Buckley barely understands that his sister is dead. Susie watches as Buckley tries to understand where his sister is and why she isn’t around anymore.
Susie also watches a classmate, Ruth, who she had very little contact with before she died. She accidentally touches Ruth on her way to heaven and Ruth becomes obsessed with Susie and her murder. When Susie touches Ruth, nobody knew about her murder. A few days later, it was discovered that she had been murdered, Ruth knew it was Susie that touched her. He life becomes consumed with Susie and finding out who killed her.
One day, when Susie’s father helps George with a project, he got a feeling. He knew this was the man who murdered Susie. He has no proof but he felt it as an instinct. He has no doubt in his mind he had murdered her and was going to figure out how to prove it.
Throughout the book, Susie watches her family anxiously as they try to move on from such a tragedy and try to figure out who murdered their sweet daughter. The book was heartbreaking at times, when Susie couldn’t be there for her family or when she watches them all struggle with everything. Especially when her father has the feeling he knew who murdered her, Susie wanted to just scream and show him where her body was.
The book was very well written and kept me on edge the entire time. Everyone deals with death in a different way and this book explained very well how different people feel and how they deal with it.
When I watched the movie, it brought the book to life. The best word I could think of to describe it would be magical, almost like a fairy tale. It’s the same story with the basics covered but the way it was made almost keeps you in a trance. It was a beautifully made movie. It was sad watching everything come to life and physically seeing the emotions everyone was going through. The events are jumbled a little in the movie compared to the book but it was done in a perfect way, that added that little touch of magic and emotion to the movie.
I recommend reading the book first and then watching the movie. If you watch the movie first, the book may not seem as exciting because it’s not able to bring that magical aspect like the movie did. The book is a quick read and the movie has some great actors that will keep you wanting more.