Also by this author: Leaving Time
Published by Simon and Schuster on 2004-04-06
Genres: Fiction, Literary
Buy on Amazon
New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult is widely acclaimed for her keen insights into the hearts and minds of real people. Now she tells the emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness. Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate -- a life and a role that she has never challenged...until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister -- and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves. My Sister's Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life, even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less? Should you follow your own heart, or let others lead you? Once again, in My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Picoult tackles a controversial real-life subject with grace, wisdom, and sensitivity.
I love me some melodrama, absolutely love it. Especially when the melodrama results in gasps, and anger, and tears. My jury is still out on My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. The plot of My Sister’s Keeper had such huge potential. We’ve got a 13 year old girl, Anna, Â who is basically born as spare parts for her sister, Kate, who has leukemia. Well, Anna does not enjoy being harvested, so she initiates a lawsuit to be medically emancipated from her parents so she won’t be obligated to be spare parts anymore.
Oh, and there’s a lot of subplots in My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult, some which added to the story, some which I questioned the purpose. Anna’s lawyer, Campbell has his own subplot where he romances a social worker and has a service dog. While I like dogs, I felt the plot revolving around the dog was a waste of pages, detracting from the main issue. Oh, and for the other subplot, there is Anna’s father Brian and her pain in the ass brother, Jesse. Brian fights fires, Jesse starts them. Yes, requisite eye roll goes here. Again, the character of Jesse could have been developed beyond his acting out, but really, his parts had me bored.
Anna was the only character I really cared about in My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. Some of her narration had me reduced to a blubbering mess, however, this means nothing as I also tear up over jewelry commercials, hallmark commercials, and many other sentimental things. I think Anna’s voice was the most developed, she felt the most real, albeit she felt more adult than the adult characters. Go figure. I felt the other points-of-view included were flat. For example here’s Campbell’s plot line “Hey mister why do you have puppy?” “It’s not a puppy, it’s a service dog” “What’s wrong with you?” “Insert witty one-liner pertaining to a disability here.” It was funny the first two times, but after that just became drawn out.
Anna’s mother was a horrible parent. “She’s all pity me, pity me I hate my other kids, leukemia kid is the only one who matters.” Also, you know how My Sister’s Keeper centers around Anna’s trial? Well, Anna’s mother is a former lawyer so she chooses to represent herself. I may not be a lawyer in real life, but I watch Law & Order, I took a Constitutional Law class, and hah, I can’t believe how horrible of a lawyer she was. Instead of being relevant while questioning witnesses she launches into these irritating stories about her family. And obviously the other lawyer should have objected on the grounds of relevance, but no we get to hear her reminisce with her husband, instead of, yah know, working on the case and using the law/spirit of the law to prove her point.
Jodi Picoult’s writing isn’t too terrible. I think some of it was complete cliched (Brian/Jesse subplot I am looking at you!). But, I finished My Sister’s Keeper in two days and did cry a few times while reading it. Granted, I do feel as though my emotions were manipulated. Speaking of manipulation, let me talk about the ending, by dancing around some spoilers. Okay, the end made me want to chuck My Sister’s Keeper across the room, despite my bawling all the way through it. The book builds up to this one thing, keeps building around Anna’s choice. Then, agh, the end what a huge cop out. Seriously without a doubt the worst ending I have ever read. I know many will disagree with me, which is fine, we don’t need to love/hate the same books. Honestly, though, I thought the ending was just like on a tv show where all this stuff happens to the main character, and you find out it was just a dream, which to me is taking the easy way out. I promptly had to complain to my boyfriend afterward. Yes, yes, it’s super mature to complain about a fictional book, but agh, I just invested so much time and emotions into the characters, and for it to end that way was a huge let down.
I know so many people love Picoult’s books and I can understand. They do make you think. They are fast reads and quite action-packed. However, I’m not sure that I am a fan. I strongly disliked Mercy (another of her books), but didn’t want to give up on her books, so gave My Sister’s Keeper a chance. While I did enjoy My Sister’s Keeper much more than Mercy, it still pissed me off. I’m still not ready to give up on Picoult as a writer, but I just don’t get the mass appeal. This isn’t me being a book snob, I want to like her books, as my sister really enjoys them, so it’d be nice to have that in common with her, but I just can’t make myself love them.