Dear Alice Sebold,
Every time I see the light blue color of your book The Lovely Bones, a chill runs down my spine and all of the memories I had as an eighth grade reader haunt my mind. I say this with respect, but every time I see someone walk by in the hallway with a light blue tinted book on top of textbooks, I can see Susie abandoned in a cornfield, her elbow being found by the Gilbert's dog. I also am reminded of the love story between Susie and Jake. This book opened the world for me. I too was an eighth grader, same age as susie, and since I have grown up in Iowa, I understand what it is like to walk through a cornfield and end up losing yourself in a cornfield, but never the way Susie got lost.
This book was like nothing I had ever read before. I was inspired by one of my friends who read the book in two days and was willing to let me borrow it. After the first nine pages, I was glued to it. I found myself reading more during class than paying attention to the teacher. I found myself staying up late to read instead of completing homework. The intensity was so real, so alive, that I could feel the emotions of Susie and every other character in the book. The way that Jake professed his love to Susie was heartbreaking when he realized it was too late.
The one thing this book made me see clearly was to live every day as if it were your last. Later that year, one of my best friends, Hunter, died at age 14, due to an injury he suffered at a water park. He passed away over the summer close to my birthday. It was a horrible experience, and we have missed him ever since. Sometimes when I think back I cannot remember how we ever got over it; we were so distraught. When the phone call came, I had just returned from camp, and when I heard the words, I felt like I had been hit by the most powerful electrical current. Shockwaves spread through my nerves and then traveled up and down my body, eventually immobilizing me. This horrible news seemed to me as if the world had ended. It seemed unfair that at age 13 that I would have to attend a visitation to see the body of one of my best friends with purple skin and to touch his hand and feel icicles making my own temperature and pulse drop. I dressed for this funeral the way I would have dressed for him. I wanted to honor him. I only had one black outfit and it was a beautiful black velvety dress, I remember the way I had my hair pinned back. It was different but pretty. I have never worn my hair the same again. Nausea began to overpower me, except I was stronger because I knew that Hunter was going to heaven. He received his confirmation that previous year and had always been a strong believer. It was not until the words of his aunt stung like a bee to my heart when she spoke from a paper he had written for his humanities project titled, "My letter to the World." The sentence that rung in my ear and always will was, "Live life to the fullest for you never know when it will end."
This boy was so brave and so smart he reminded me of Susie. I felt like her friends in the background, mourning the death of their friend. I could not help but actually feel what it is like to lose a friend and how to cope with the death. Thankfully, your book explained that these feelings are okay to feel and that the grieving process is easier when you share it with friends. I thank you for writing your book, The Lovely Bones. Your words guided me through to understand my feelings and the loss of my friend, Hunter. Thank you.