Back in my high school days, I was relentlessly involved in the journalism program, newspaper and yearbook was my life. I loved writing satirical articles, book reviews, doing layout, and I felt like I was in control with a grease pencil in my hand. One particularly drizzly February afternoon while I was a sophomore, I was reading The Lovely Bones for the book review that week. It wasn’t particularly fantastic, but it was an interesting story, I had to give the author that much.
I finished with school and one of my neighbors gave me a ride home. I stepped out of the car into the cold moist air that was so unlike the Utah I knew. I remember the stark blue cover of the book looking particularly striking against the yellow grass that was covered in snow only hours before. I walked up to my house and noticed the light coming out the window from my brother’s room. He had a mobile of a self-portrait hanging in the middle of his room. I could see that swaying back and forth.
I’ve already told the story about finding my brother’s body, although I have always left out the detail that I was holding that book. The Lovely Bones. There was the only person that helped me feel grounded into my family, now just laying on the ground in the fetal position, a pile of lovely bones. I wonder if he was happy as he injected the heroin, or if he was scared like the little girl in the book.
I couldn’t finish reading the book. I wanted desperately to prove to myself that I conquer the feelings of loss and just finish that damned book. But a year later the book was still on my nightstand, mocking me. Needless to say I never wrote the review. Defeated, I gave the book back.
When I moved back to Provo, I was at Barnes and Noble with Stephalumpagus. Meandering through their bargain buys section I spotted it again: somehow the reduced price of five dollars and ninety-seven cents made it look weak.
The Lovely Bones now lies underneath my bed, please don’t tell it that I’m still scared to read. I don’t want that book to have any more power of my life.