If you read Seventeen or YM, then you probably heard of the novel, The Lovely Bones. When it first came out, magazines and talk shows raved about it, and when the school library got it, I grabbed at the chance to read it.
The novel is narrated by 14-year-old Susie Salmon, who is already in heaven. Susie recounts the event of her murder and rape by a neighboring man. At the time of her death, the 1970s, people did not believe that those sort of things happened. In the weeks following her death, Susie watches as people she knew or met, deal with her death.
Her family holds on to the hope that she might not be dead, but still somewhere, out there, alive. But as the months pass without any clues to what really happened, her family starts to drift away in some relations and connect in others.
Her father goes mad over grief and over his inability to prove guilty the man he suspects is the killer. Meanwhile, her mother drifts father and farther from her family and has a case of infidelity. Thus, her parents' marriage starts to fall apart. Her sister tries to cope with the death of Susie, while her little brother tries to understand what it means to be 'gone'.
She also describes the surroundings of heaven, where it is different for everyone. Her heaven is like school, but she only attends the classes she wants. There are counselors to help the newcomers adjust and cope with their own death. And yet, the one thing Susie wants the most is to be with her family back on earth.
This novel shifts between the afterlife, the past, and present day earth quite smoothly. The novel can't really be classified under one genre, because...