The Lovely Bones
by Alice Sebold
A sweet and charming fantasy, told by a murdered New Jersey girl who looks down from her heaven and watches her family crumble. A sweet and familiar story, right down to the odd, extraneous classmate who takes an unusual interest in the girl's murder and who grows up to live in a tiny New York apartment, writes constantly in notebooks, and has a strange facility for words. (At a critical moment, she exclaims, "Whoa, pony!"; do people really say this in New Jersey? Anywhere?) Hello, author. Clean writing, nicely imagined, this is a fine little book.