If it serves any use at all, it might be a perfect guide on how not to write a book. I’ve literally just finished this book and I feel like this is just going to turn into one big rant so hang tight and enjoy the ride:
The Lovely Bones has some of the worst sentence-level writing that I have ever encountered. From bad description to horrible grammar to utterly confusing metaphors, Sebold just about covered all the bases. A tell-tale way to spot a weak writer? They can’t stop weirdly describing people’s eyes. Don’t believe me? Try this: “Her eyes were like flint and flower petals.” Or this one: “The tears came like a small relentless army approaching the front lines of her eyes. She asked for coffee and toast in a restaurant and buttered it with her tears.” C’mon! What the heck does that even mean?
There’s no plot whatsoever, at least one that I can’t follow. Sebold’s book is this: it’s a really long situation. A girl dies and watches her family from heaven. Okay. That’s nice, but what do the characters want? What drives the story forward? Absolutely nothing! The characters get older and keep bumping into each other. Things change- as things often do- but there is no forward movement and certainly no building of suspense.
Her characters never have interesting or complex thoughts. B-O-R-I-N-G. Not even the serial killer or the mother whose daughter was murdered. It seems that Sebold’s characters do one of two things:
- they laugh (which means they are happy)
- Or cry (to butter their toast, somehow).
As you might guess, there is a lot of laughing and crying in this book. This has got to be the most baffling, poorly written, I-really-didn’t-want-to-finish books that I have had the misfortune of reading. I mean, it was terrible. TERRIBLE! Not just the writing and the shit plot twists, but everything that happened to this poor girl. How could this have ever been popular? Is it for the same reason that “Minions” is technically one of the highest grossing films of all time. I mean, I don’t technically believe in burning books, but this novel really got me thinking.
About burning it.