Recommend to read- 7/10
When we first meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. This was before milk carton photos and public service announcements, she tells us; back in 1973, when Susie mysteriously disappeared, people still believed these things didn't happen.
In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death, and her own adjustment to the strange new place she finds herself. (It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swingset.)
With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief--her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor--and begin the difficult process of healing.
I had very high expectations for this novel. They were mostly met except for the conclusion, but I'll get to that later.
The entire novel was heartbreaking. I felt the pain of every single character and it tore me to pieces. Though the story is taking place through Susie's eyes, we only get to know her though other people and flashbacks. Every character dealt with the loss of Susie in very different ways. Kids of school gossiped, her Dad tried to make sense of it, her sister ignored everyone, and her mom tried to move on without letting it sink in.
The whole concept of the novel was really amazing. To think that there is an "in between" place where you can watch your family and even have a little bit of contact is amazing. Every situation was heightened because we knew the dangers that were coming. We got the emotions of every character one at a time and Susie on top of everything. I have to admit, at times it became a little overwhelming.
One of the most unexpected character for me to feel bad for was Susie's murderer. We got to see some of his past and get to know him as a person instead of just a killer. Of course I hate him still, but I don't see him as a cold hearted person.
I expected the ending to be different. Of course there was no way for it to be entirely happy since Susie was still gone, but at least some emotional issues were resolved. Even as I finished the last page I wished that it was different. I wished that Susie could be alive. I wished for closure. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a bit of suspense and a good cry.