13 March 2011

Post 351: The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. ISBN: 9780759527737 (eBook).

The interesting thing about having Susie (the murdered girl) as narrator is that she was cut off in the midst of her adolescence. She had just had her first kiss and was looking forward to high school and the possibility of college. Susie becomes engrossed in the life of her family, as well as the first and only boy she kissed.

Many of us remember the importance of our first kiss, and I imagine if I had been killed shortly after receiving it, I might be inclined to pay attention to the person I shared it with. As it is I don't really dwell on it much. To be honest, my first kiss was not as special as it could have been. But maybe there's an upside to that too. I sort of wonder if the emphasis of the first kiss has been, well, overemphasized. Certainly it is a right of passage and an important marker towards adulthood (for some anyway, I was 10 for my first close-lipped and 13 for my first French kiss). But does it need to be a life shattering event?

The truth is, most people are going to have regrets about their first kiss. The chances of it being perfect with the perfect person are really, really slim. We can stack the odds in our favor by ensuring that it's someone we at least like and respect and will hopefully continue to like and respect in the future, but the thing about the first kiss is that it happens when we are young. And our young selves are incredibly stupid and lacking in judgment.

Having said all that, even though my first kiss wasn't all that special, I don't really regret the way it happened. I don't have to dwell over Tommy Nextdoorneighborton for the rest of my life, wishing I could punch his face in or have another kiss like my first. No matter how many good moments I had with past boyfriends, my present and future partner(s) deserve the opportunity to create good moments with me as well. Holding up the "first" as a particularly special moment seems completely arbitrary.

Not that I'll hold it against you if you're particularly fond of your first kiss. But I think it should be special for its own merits and not because of its place in line.

Great review over at Publisher's Weekly. As a note, I mostly liked this except for one spoiler-ish scene which ruined my dispensation of belief.
LibsNote: Library copy checked out via Overdrive Media.

4 comments:

  1. My first kiss was interrupted by a car horn and the judgmental stare of an old woman.

    I like the attitude of making new moments with each partner, though. You're right that too much emphasis is placed on "FIRST!!1!" And I'm not just saying that because I'm biased.

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  2. Hahaha Dan, that old woman is priceless.

    I had my first boyfriend in first grade. We stole kisses during the Pledge of Allegiance. Take that, America!

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  3. Dan, How old were you at the time?

    Dayna, you are so incredibly classy. I like the story of your first kiss. Did you ever get caught?

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  4. Do I have to say? I was only 18.

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