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 bySarahH 3 December 1, 2014
I read and enjoyed this book at the age of nine. Parents, no matter what age rating this book gets I think it all comes down to the child in question. If they are younger (9-10) perhaps read it through with them and explain issues covered in the book. Any older and I think they're fit to go.
Adult Written byashgreen September 2, 2012

Beautiful and extremely moving, but parents should read first!

Parents, you should read this book before your child does. This book is both heart-wrenching, inspiring, and horrifying all the same time. It *does* contain themes that are highly adult and not appropriate for teens who are a little less mature. I know all parents want to think that their child is the epitome of maturity, but I would strongly suggest an objective look at your child's mental state before you let them read this book. This book describes, in graphic detail, the rape and murder of a young girl. However, that's just the first bit. The rest of the book is a deeply moving testimony of the undying love of a parent for their child, the struggle that can come from tragedy, and the deep question of "What is heaven like?". 1 in 4 women will be assaulted in her lifetime. This book is a perfect gateway to talk about rape, sexual assault, and personal safety. I read this book at 14 and bawled my eyes out from the sheer beauty of sentiment, and have read it every year since (I'm now 20). In short, amazing story, parents should read it first.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
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
Kid, 12 years old March 23, 2011

Good, but not Great

It was... interesting . I will admit, not terrible, but not fantastic. IT gets boring as u go and has a terrible ending in the book to me... but that's just an oppinion
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written byEmilyB123 August 25, 2010

Iffy...

This book was extremely well written, but as Common Sense says, it is a very heavy read. Your child could get depressed by it and younger kids shouldn't be focused on things like this. However if you choose to buy this book, you will not waist your money. Iffy for teens 14 and up
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written byfridam05 April 28, 2010
I love The Lovely Bones. It's a challenging read but successful. I really enjoyed reading this and I look forward for writers to write more books like it. I would recommend this book for young adults 16 and older because of graffic and sexual scenes.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written byorlyme April 19, 2010

Mature younger readers will be able to handle this

It was a very thought provoking book, and for a mature 13 year old, an acceptable choice.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written byTuesdayEcho February 28, 2010
I havent read it yet but my friends like it
Teen, 14 years old Written bykobukgirl96 February 21, 2010

to discriptive of the murder

i only skimmed through the sample because all my friends read it it creeped me out and was to discriptive it is not about maturity to handle it but if you are comfortable to read it
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Kid, 12 years old February 18, 2010

Doesn't seem appropriate for younger kids, but still sounds really good.

I've never actually read it, except for the part where Susie gets murdered, and it was soooo creepy! It sounds really good, though.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 14 years old Written bybobbeta30 January 22, 2010

Horrid

I never read this book, but my friends told me of it in great detail and now I am disturbed. That is a sick, SICK thing to write about. Just hearing about it will give me nightmares. I don't think ANYONE should read something like this, because they will be haunted by that fear and horror for the rest of their life.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 16 years old Written byswaggalicous September 17, 2016

Whut??

Damn amazing so go away i hate everyone
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Adult Written byclarence August 6, 2015
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 17 years old Written bytorrzimm May 6, 2015

The Lovely Bones

Alice Sebold touches on some sensitive topics such as brutal rape and dismemberment of a young 14 year old girl. This book doesn’t cover up the grief of losing a family member it shows that it takes a long time before you can begin to heal and that it can split a family apart. Teens that read this book need to have a serious attitude with this book as it's not happy at all if they joke around they are missing the whole point of the book. You should be 14 and older but even at 14 its iffy really it depends on you who is reading it. If you can have a mature read and not get sick at some parts then yoy should okay. Remeber that this book isn't about heros and villians and the hero wins. This it real life.
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 15 years old Written byBook-Connoiseur September 17, 2013

Spectacular book, great storyline.

This book is a spectacularly well written and superbly done! Although the book revolves around gruesome killings, which may disturb some teenagers and possibly adults it is still explores many themes which may be necessary for personal growth such as family relationships, the story shows how the death of a 14-year-old girl can affect a family both physically and emotionally. Which gets the reader to understand the importance or trust, selflessness and compassion. I feel that this book may be open for discussion with certain teenagers who may not be ready in terms of maturity for this books contents, but may also teach them many other important aspects for life when they are ready for this kind of story. The story messages are rather vital and not just the plot itself. It also explores life and death in general and how they interact on an everyday basis without the living truly realising this. Which often gets the reader in-between to question death itself, what truly hapens when we die? This I feel is something that will remain a mystery amongst people, which is good as it gets one's creative side working. The story vividly describes Susie Salmons death which could be disturbing to the faint-hearted and the killings of the previous victims and there is some sexual encounters within the book but this should not discourage your teen from enjoying this brilliant and emotionally engaging novel. It is greatly satisfying and will be loved by both younger and older audiences. However parents may want to read the book before allowing your younger children to come into contact with it.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byAshlie Hitz August 14, 2012

Book Review on The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

I thought that this book was just incredible! it was a mixture of suspense, violence, romance, action, and horror. But, i recommend this book to teen girls the age of 14+ because of some of the explicit things in this book, but beside that, this book was a very good read for every teen girl out there. i have watched the movie, and the book just out did it in everything, details, ect. EVERYTHING! I really have enjoyed it!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byMachiney August 1, 2012

Beautiful

People are talking about this book like it is the devil. Honestly, do you expect that when your kids walk out the door they walk straight into a land of Disney and Candyland? No, the real world has flaws. It has problems like rape, drugs, adultery, and murder. And the only way to prepare your kids for these issues they will inevitably have to deal with at some time in their life is to open a discussion with them, and a great way to do that is through a book as intriguing and audience-catching as this one. This book has sex. It has drugs. But guess what? Students at YOUR child's middle school are doing drugs. I hate to break it to you, but it is happening. And while that's not okay, is reading a book that offhandedly mentions drugs twice going to make your kid drop the book and run to the nearest drug dealer? No. This book shows your kid that the world is a scary place, it honestly is, but when they look past all that there is beauty in the world, there is kindness. This book has amazing life lessons, is well-written, and teaches your kids about "stranger danger", so stop bashing on it like it is everything that is wrong with the world.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old March 2, 2012

OK for mature kids

I read this at 12. I didnt think it was innapropriate. The rape scene isn't that graphic. But the sex scene with Susie is a little bit. If you're teen is mature, they can read it. There is a lot of cursing. But its a good book.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written bykookykt19 February 22, 2012

Excellent, with some gruesome details

I really loved this book and suggest that only "mature" kids read this book. There are some pretty gruesome details in this book that may scare some readers. If you can get past the first chapter, you can deal with the rest of the book! Really great writing, Alice Sebold does a great job with vivid descriptions. There is violence and sex, but if you can look past those elements you can really get a sense of the message the author is trying to share with us!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 15 years old Written byCrazyKaulitzWriter January 17, 2012

Surprisingly good read.

I found this to be a very good book, if not a little weird. The writing style is nice, and it was one of those books I just couldn't put down. That aside, there was quite a bit of sexual content, so much that even I was a bit weirded out. That, plus the rape of the main character. . . More than I needed to know. The violence wasn't a problem for me, but that's just. . . me. The message of moving on, even after the horror of murder, really made the book for me, and the writing style is fantastic. Still, coming from a Christian family, it kind of clashed with my views in places. I'm laid back enough though to think that, in the long-run, it was a good read. :)
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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