- Kara Rockwell
This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is a book that takes a tragedy and transforms it: "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 swing sets. 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." (Book Description)
If you liked The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, then you may like these titles and authors:
Blue Diary by Alice Hoffman
Ethan and Jorie Ford's idyllic life is tested when a photo of the man wanted for a murder and rape committed in Maryland 15 years ago is broadcast on TV. A viewer identifies the suspect as Ethan and he is arrested. As his friends raise money for his defense, Jorie seeks information about the victim, Rachel Morris. After reading Rachel's diary, Jorie begins to wonder about Ethan. (from What Do I Read Next?)
The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
In a small Mississippi town, Harriet Cleve Dusfresnes grows up in the shadow of her brother, who-when she was only a baby-was found hanging dead from a black-tupelo tree in their yard. His killer was never identified, nor has his family, in the years since, recovered from the tragedy. For Harriet, who has grown up largely unsupervised, in a world of her own imagination, her brother is a link to a glorious past she has only heard stories about or glimpsed in photograph albums. Fiercely determined, precocious far beyond her twelve years, and steeped in the adventurous literature of Stevenson, Kipling, and Conan Doyle, she resolves, one summer, to solve the murder and exact her revenge.
Harriet's sole ally in this quest, her friend Hely, is devoted to her, but what they soon encounter has nothing to do with child's play: it is dark, adult, and all too menacing. (Catalog Description).
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
During the summer of 1964 in rural South Carolina, a young girl is given a home by three black, beekeeping sisters. As she enters their mesmerizing secret world of bees and honey, she discovers a place where she can find the single thing her heart longs for most. (Catalog Description).
We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates
A family of six disintegrates after a daughter is raped by a high school student. It happens to the wealthy Mulvaneys in upstate New York. The disgrace - there is some question if it is rape - sends the father to drink and financial ruin, the girl leaves home, the others follow. (Catalog description).
Similar books with a suspenseful or thriller twist:
Hide and Seek by James Patterson
Singer/songwriter Maggie Bradford is on trial for the murder of her famous soccer-playing husband Will Shepard. Will is the second husband Maggie is accused of killing. From her prison cell, Maggie tells her harrowing story to the reader. Even Maggie is suprised at the final outcome. (from What do I Read Next?).
The Husband by Dean Koontz
Mitchell Rafferty is an ordinary man, a successful but not rich landscaper with a beloved wife named Holly. His life goes from good to incomprehensibly bad when he gets a call from the stranger who has kidnapped his wife: he must raise two million dollars for her ransom within 60 hours, and must never involve the police. In order to demonstrate his seriousness, the kidnapper murders a stranger before Mitch's eyes, then hangs up. Mitch finds he must somehow raise a large amount of money, while cooperating with the police in the murder investigation, and letting them know of Holly's plight. (from What do I Read Next?).
True Evil by Greg Iles
As FBI Special Agent Alexandra Morse's sister lies dying in the hospital, she whispers that she has been attacked and that her husband is responsible. Alex's investigations lead to a handful of suspicious deaths, all tied to one divorce lawyer. By staking out his office, she identifies the killer's next victim, Dr. Chris Shepard. Together Alex and the doctor try to unravel the multilayered scheme that has been set into motion. (Catalog description).