Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
This is a story about Susie Salmon, a 14 year old girl who one day takes a short cut home only to be lured into a secret place (built by a neighbor), raped and then murdered. This is what we learn in the beginning. The rest of the novel shows us what happens after her death -- in her "life" and those of hers around here.
Susie is stuck in what is coined as the "inbetween", coined justly due to the fact that it is in between earth and heaven. Some of the novel tells us what happens to Susie while in the inbetween. She describes the world in which she now lives, the people she meets, how she is able to get whatever she could ever want. The other part is informing us what happens to her friends and to her family after her passing. She even keeps us updated on the life of her killer.
This was an amazingly touching and moving story. When I first started it, I found myself not wanting to put it down. But (without discussing specific events) I lost interest. I found myself forcing my way through some of the chapters. Some of the things were just too...odd to be believed. Some of the things were just too much to read.
Overall, though, I found the story to be interesting, just too long. Too much padding almost yet not enough information at the exact same time.
I did go see the movie directed by Peter Jackson. And I must say I did not find it enjoyable. He made quite a few changes -- understandably -- but I found it not making sense. And a lot of the relationships that developed that were such a big deal in the novel were either nonexistent or barely touched upon. And honestly, the parts about the building relationships were what I found so interesting.