Common Sense Media says

Violent, disturbing read meant for discussion with teens.

Users say

(out of 79 reviews)
age 13+
Review this title!
Adult Written bymoviemadness December 29, 2009

A Deeply Disturbing Spin on Real Tragedy

A child raped and then dismembered by a serial killer in her own backyard. Isn't that a story you would go at great lengths to protect your child from if it were aired on the news? I certainly hope so. The Lovely Bones is a fictional account of the former, and a mediocrely written one at that. Alice Sebold's voyeuristic tale allows us to watch, in horrifying detail, the grief and utter destruction of an American family, as their murdered daughter looks on from above, hoping for justice. Please, parents, this is not a book that anyone shoud read. The desolate nightmare within is too heavy and taxing for any audience, much less anyone in the 12-18 age bracket.
Teen, 13 years old Written byskiergirl202 November 19, 2010
This book is really really good. The book is very detailed in some parts(not the best detail as in concerns). But over all it is a great book.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byvegetarianwrath May 7, 2011

Not for Little Kids

I am 13, and I love this book. I have it on paperback, and I read it whenever I am bored. While I say it is a very entertaining book, it may be disturbing for little kids and even adults. I love it, but you should have a certain attitude when reading this book, like being on your best behavior.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Educational value
Teen, 14 years old Written bylilspikerchick May 9, 2011
I loved this book & the movie! As i scroll through the other comments, I see that many of the kids didnt really like it because it had alot of bad language and etc. But some books you read are going to have bad things in it. The book taught a lesson and kind of tied in with the author's own events she had while she was in college. It relates because YES she was raped by this guy in an alley that a girl was raped before and the girl died there. It tells you that you shouldnt always trust people even if they are your neighbors. MY teacher recommended this book to me and my mom went and bought it for me. She personally didnt have a problem with me reading it OR looking at the movie. I would recommend this book to teens because it does teach you an IMPORTANT lesson and its such a good book.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Teen, 16 years old Written byHoundLover May 22, 2011

Loved it!

10-11 is when you start to learn about sexual interactment. This book definetly has that! I am actually 10, and I read it... Loved it! I'm mature for my age, so I was aloud to read it... But other than that, I LOVED that book! It has a happy-sad mixed ending, and I cried. It showed that, to pass through life as a happy human, you have to let go of death. Anyways, loved it, cherished it!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Parent of a 13 year old Written bycavenoid August 2, 2010

Good for those struggling with loss, rape, death, murder.

This would be a great book for anyone who is struggling with loss, a death in the family, or murder. It gives a calming view of life after death and an honest look at consequences.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educational value
Great messages
Adult Written byCarma October 10, 2011

Let your child decide if they are ready to read it

This is very much one of those books that depends on the maturity level of your child. I think by the age of 12 they are old enough to know whether it is right for them, or if the rape and murder plot line is too much. I read this book when I was 12. I knew that I was ready to read a book with the themes The Lovely Bones has, and I liked it.
Adult Written bypenelopelenaerts April 4, 2014

teaches about family life

This book is a heart-wrenching story about a 14 year old girl, named Susie Salmon, who's veiw from heaven, after being violently raped and mudered, provides a look into a family's struggle for closure, peace, and justice. Susie's position is interesting, as she cannot fully communicate with her family but she yearns to comfort them. She looks upon her friends as well, as they grow and heal from the wound of her death. Alice Seabold's own experience with rape (as she reacls in her book "Lucky") helps create an expertly-wrtitten story. Seabold envelops you in their world;experiencing the families life as though it were a collection of touching moments, some good, some bad, observed through a window into their lives. From friends and lovers, laughing and crying, this moving story changes your entire perspective on how families are so heavily effected by death.
What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 14 years old Written byTeenBookReviews May 14, 2011

Perfect for young adults.

I am 14 years old and I just finished this book. It's a great book even if it has really strong content.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byiamjustinbieber... February 26, 2011

NO KIDS ALOWD

This book was sad, mysteriouse, suspenseful, gross, sickening, and great all at the same time. But jus to warn everyone due to languge and mature themes like sex, rape, and murder........ THIS BOOK IS ONLY FOR TEENS AND OLDER! NO KIDS ALOWD!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Parent of a 14, 14, 17, and 18+ year old Written byMother of 4 Teens July 1, 2010
My 17 year old daughter Lexy, doesn't like to read. This is the first book she's read in two years, if that tells you this is good. But there are some things that scare me. I just don't want my kids turning into disturbed teens.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byk1026am January 7, 2010

the lovely bones

LOVE IT!!!!! it was the best book ever!!!!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written byLiliac v. July 9, 2014

Not for kids

I seen the movie at the age of 8. It was ok. But the book is for more mature for kids.And may sometimes a difficult for teens and more with kids. 13 or 14 and up.
Parent Written byflipflops2012 October 23, 2011

Must-Read Book for Ages 13 & Up

I disagree with the rating Common Sense Media gives the book of it being appropriate for only age 16 & up. Depending on maturity, this book could be appropriate for teenagers 13 & up. This book does discuss graphic situations such as sex, rape, and murder. However, I feel that any mature teenager is perfectly capable of handling these topics as they are discussed in the book. This is a very good book that teenagers and even adults will enjoy. It is a must-read for teenagers, and as a parent, I would personally suggest my own daughter reading this when she is old enough.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Adult Written byCoffeeTable March 2, 2010

Mature Grade 9's and up.

I loved this book except for the end. Alot of peopel i've talked to didn't like the scene where she actually got raped and died, but possibly because i've read so many books like this that i am desensitized that i didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. The pain and loss from the family that you feel are incredible and Susie's constant reminder and search for acceptance in the afterworld to move on are very poetic. I greatly enjoyed this book as do many girls who read it in my library.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 15 years old Written bykvee123 January 21, 2013

Kids Just Dont Understand.

i am suprised that so many young kids are reading this book, i read this book when i was 15, and i thought it was a very uncomfortable topic to be talked about in such great detail. young kids that are reading this book probably didnt understand the whole rape seen, and thats why they think it was a good book.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 17 years old Written byabbacus June 9, 2012

Love it!

I loved this book. I read it when I was 14 (it didn't really bother me, but it would be better for teens older than that). I really loved the little paragraph at the beginning of the book about the snow globe.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byisolabella January 13, 2012

Appropriate for mature audiences, know yourself.q

Over all a really good book but people should know before they read it that the book would be a bit disturbing for kids under 12 or 13 depending on their maturity level. I read the book and though it was really well written but that eeven to me as a 13 year old it was creepy and made me think a lot about rape and murder as in the beginning.
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much violence
Too much sex
Kid, 12 years old December 26, 2011

Parents read the book first then let your children read

I am 12 and i love this book, there is not really age promblems just depends on the childs maturity. Sorry i know im misspelling. I think depending on maturity 9 and up but remember content is also a promblem. Parents i recommend reading the book first then letting your child read it. BUT if your child is sensative to subjects or doesnt even know what rape is then tell them to wait on the book or they can google the defination. This isnt just for teens anyone can read it but you have to understand it to really enjoy it, some teens are just to childish to even handle the book.
Teen, 15 years old Written byabbylyn May 11, 2011
My bestie is reading this book and she loves it. She is 12 and very mature. I think that if you are mature enough you are old enough.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Educational value

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