Book Review: Committing, The Lovely Bones

How many of you can say you are friends with a published author? I feel pretty cool about it...I call Ben my friend because 1. he came to my wedding, B. he sends the typical "who's your hot friend" FB message on the reg and 3. he sent me a signed copy of his new book!

His one request was that I review it after I finished and how could I deny that? My book reviews are not even on the same planet as the reviews he does over on his blog, but I will do my very, very best for you, Ben.

Committing, By Benjamin Wood

Have you ever known the author of a book? This was my first time, and it changed the way I read it. I kept thinking of what Ben would mean by this certain character and/or trying to draw connections in a way I usually don't with books. I know Ben likes girls who wear sundresses so I wasn't surprised when the hottie of the story seemed to frequent a dress. Honestly a few chapters in I thought, is Ben depressed? Is this a cry for help? It's crazy because a book with a depressed character has never brought that thought into my mind about the author before.

As for the story itself it had a few twists I wasn't expecting and even though I wasn't really surprised by the ending, I did put the book down and thought Whaaa?? (which is always a good thing). There were a few parts of the booked I skimmed through. I found the dialog between the group of friends boring and a bit over my head so I just skipped over it. Ben is an incredible writer and it shines through with this book. Sometimes I felt like the description he used to set the scene was a bit much, and I found myself wanting to just "get to the point" of that chapter/section. I couldn't decide how I felt about the main character and I liked that I cared enough to notice. I was invested in that character which made the reading more fun.

All in all, it's a short, easy read (took me about a day to finish) and you should get it and read it. The end.

The Lovely Bones, Alice Seabold

This book came out in 12 years ago so excuse me for just getting around to reading it. (no, I haven't seen the movie). The title sounded familiar when I was browsing the shelves and it was on sale soo....naturally I had to get it!

I didn't like it. I hated Alice's depiction of Heaven. The story is about a young girl who gets murdered and narrates the rest from "her heaven". "her heaven" is depressing. She is pretty much alone and even though she can get whatever she imagines, she spends her time watching her family live on Earth. It's a very depressing way to think about what happens to you after you die. I also found a bit of a disconnect within the book. The first third is about her getting killed and her family dealing with it and the killer getting away with it, then the next third is all about her family and various stages of their life as they all grow up and she watches from heaven. Then the last third she possesses a body for a quick second so she can have sex (what?) and then everything gets tied up in a neat little bow.

I thought the author did a good job at depicting the grief of parents who violently lost a daughter. It was heartbreaking to see how the dad handled it, and it was interesting to see how her siblings dealt with it too.

I guess my biggest issue was this whole heaven situation, and I just couldn't get past that part. How depressing (I use that word because I really can't think of a better word to describe it) to think that when you die you won't be surrounded by people you love and who love you and you will just have to sit there on a bench and watch life be lived without you. thanks but no thanks!

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