Monday, 28 February 2011

Not such Lovely Bones

Have you ever had that feeling when reading a book that you've missed something? I don't mean like half the book missing (which I have experienced) but that the plot isn't quite what you expected it to be. 
Now I'm the type that loves a good read, 
         I love to get lost in a book,
         I love to be entranced by the story so much so that I can't wait to find out what happens, but that I also want to treasure each moment and wish for the book to never end.
         I love being excited for an author to release a new book and without out even reading the blurb, buy the book and bury myself within it's words.                                                                          
         I love buying a new book upon someone else's recommendation and being so grateful, having found a new love. 


But what I don't like is the feeling of being lost, the feeling of something missing, the feeling that I've missed something that everyone else has got. Now some of you may be offended by what I write next and rightly so, for a book that has had such great reviews, become a best seller, and even been made into a movie, these word may come as a surprise. But I just didn't like Lovely Bones. 


I didn't go into this book expecting much at all. I hadn't heard much about the books success, or about the movie. All I really knew was that there was a movie. I read the blurb on the back and though it was an interesting concept for a story, not something I would usually opt for, but as I had been looking into reading something other than an easy read, I though it was the perfect option. I bough this and 'The time traveler's wife' on a  2 for £7 offer in Sainsbury's. I love these offers, and I always take advantage of them. I'm not to sure whether this is a good thing? Out of the two I picked up Lovely Bones first as I had heard fantastic reviews about 'The Time Traveler's Wife' and knew I would find a new love within it's pages. 


I read the book within a week, and yes the story has stuck with me. The story was good, and as a book to look back on and pull sections out to think about, it's great. But... and it's a big but.... to me the story was slow. It got off to a great start, and within the first few pages the scene had been set,  you know that the main character had died an unfortunate death, you also know how she died, and by the hands of whom. All of this you also find out on the back of the book, so I'm not actually spoiling the story for anyone. From here on out I thought that I had hit gold, I thought that I would be recommending this book to everyone I met, but I thought too soon. 


As I got half way through the book I got to the point where I was getting into a huff as the story didn't seem to be going anywhere, but I persisted as a great hit has to come from somewhere and if so many people recommend it then I just must be missing something. In the end I ended up completing the book that evening as I couldn't put it down as I needed to find out if anything happened. Now don't get me wrong a story was told, the characters faced a lot, and to some I'm talking complete bull... but to me this book felt like a chore. In fact I don't think that before now I have ever refereed to finishing a book as completing, like completing an assignment, but that's just how if felt. Overall I don't think it was my cup of tea. 


I don't want to write too much relating to my reasonings behind my dislike, as like I've mentioned above I'm not completely sure why I dislike it so much, I just feel like I'm missing something major. I also don't want to put anyone off reading this book who may end up loving it, and if by writing my real thoughts it would mean that they would never read it, and consequently never find out how much they could love it, then that would be awful. 


But for the few people out there that don't mind spoilers... (these people that I'm yet to meet) a few points in this book did confuse me.


The way in which Susie died was traumatic to say the least. She was raped and murdered by a neighbough. Now I'm not quite sure of her actual age at death (it may be stated in the book, but I guess I also missed that) but I saw her at roughly 13. In her idea of heaven or at least a stepping stone toward heaven, she never actually aged. She never actually grew up. To me to be able to grow up and to mature you need to experience life, have life experiences, something which she could not do, as her life had been cut short. She did on the other hand watch her family, friends, and significant friend grow, age, and mature. This to me only makes my imagination picture her as a watcher. So why when she gets the opportunity to switch places with Ruth does she end up sleeping with her crush? She was raped just before she died, didn't age but needed to have sex before she could move on. I just don't get it. I did watch the movie, on a recommendation, and the producer did seem to grasp this part slightly better, and instead of feeling the need for her to sleep with him, she needed to have her first kiss before she could move on. (I know I have not mentioned his actually name.. mainly because I've forgotten it.) 


In relation to the recommendation for the film, I didn't rate that very highly at all. It was all too far fetched for me. The images created by the book, to me saw her heaven as pretty similar to earth, minus her family. I had created these pictures of this place where she easily adapted herself, she knew she was no longer alive, but at the same time it was real enough to create a smoother transition. A place where everything she wanted she could imagine and it would appear, not making her truly happy but not terrified constantly. The movie on the other hand created this strange place where she just seemed scared or confused most of the time. I was recommended the movie by someone who had not read the book, but who suggested it after I told them how the book didn't live up to my expectations. They thought the movie was fantastic... to me the book was better. If I hadn't read the book and felt the need to constantly compare the two I would have switched the movie off half way through. All least with the book you found out she had died pretty soon... with the movie 50 minutes had passed and finally I found out she had died. 


I'm sorry for this lengthy post I just needed to get that off my chest.