My Sister's Keepers - Jodi Picoult (Review)

Summary: Jodi Picoult 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.

Rating: 2/5

Review: There seems to be two groups of readers with passionate opinions on Jodi Picoult books - those that LOVE her and see no faults in her writing, and those that completely turn their nose up at it and would judge me for even picking this book up. I worry that I may sound like the second group by the end of this review, but believe me I am willing to give anything a try and I actually have a weakness for light reads. Anyone who thinks they’re “above” beach reads, or some erotic supernatural romance can kiss my ass. I can’t help feeling mildly depressed though when I read all of the reviews on Amazon and Shelfari hailing the brilliance of My Sister’s Keeper when I had to read through shitty one-star complaints about Freedom.

Getting right down to it… this book just wasn’t very good. The premise was actually very interesting and what initially drew me into the story (no, I haven’t seen the movie) and I have to give Picoult credit where it’s due. Her strongest talent is creating scenarios with which to base stories, as well as moments within her books that do create an internal struggle in the reader. She presents a very difficult choice and forces you to grapple with it. Okay, good. Unfortunately this is where my praise ends.

While the story between Kate, Anna, and the rest of the family wasn’t absolutely terrible (until the ending, that is) this book really killed me with fuckin Julia and Campbell. First of all… her attempt at creating some sort of Byronic Hero with Campbell as the sexy, jaded lawyer who you just ~luv to hate~ was laughable.
Jodi Picoult continues on the Byronic Tradition with her mysterious, seizure-prone lawyer.
The whole service dog shtick added nothing to the story and it was really obvious the dog was with him for seizures. I’m not entirely sure if we were not supposed to figure that out? I guess we were supposed to feel sorry for him when he revealed that he had only abandoned Julia because he was “protecting” her or some weird shit, but I don’t know. Their characterization and relationship was so badly written I was continuously shocked.

Julia’s character was flat, she did absolutely nothing and WHY on earth she included that she had a cool lesbian twin sister, I have no idea. Which also reminds me that her inclusion of gay/lesbian people in the book randomly was strange… it reeked of middle-aged suburban mom trying to feel cool because she is “accepting” of the gay community and just throws them in her book as if it was nbd!

"I'm not like a regular author, I'm a cool author. I even included some GAY PEOPLE in my book!!!"

Again, Julia had no function. The descriptions of her ~rebellious youth had me cringing. A typical female character that is basically perfect - smart, individualistic, a dark outcast, but ALSO really sexually attractive and funny and nice!!!!! Give me a break.

All of Picoult’s characters sound EXACTLY. THE. SAME. There is no way to differentiate. It’s all the same character. The family was whatever. Completely lifeless and uninteresting. I was willing to deal with their blandness just out of general curiosity for the sake of the moral/ethical arguments being made about Anna as a donor. The concept WAS interesting, but it was ruined by the writing and characterization around it. I know Anna was supposed to be ~mature because of her situation but some of the stuff coming out of her mouth was so unreasonably obtuse I couldn’t suspend my disbelief at all. It happened too often for me to overlook it. The ENDING ughhh. It was such a cop-out and hardly made sense? The “BIG REVEAL” during the case was that Anna was only suing for medical emancipation because Kate wanted pass on peacefully and no longer deal with the pain and suffering that came with the medical procedures. She did not WANT Anna’s kidney, regardless of Anna being dead or alive because she felt that the surgery would not be worth it. So … Anna dies and all of a sudden Kate decides she does want the surgery? We find out the whole book was basically about fighting for Kate’s right to not have to undergo another procedure but .. she does it anyway. And Anna’s dead. Oh cool. AT LEAST SHE MIRACULOUSLY OVERCAME CANCER IN THE END, RIGHT GUYS??? RIGHT??????

Final Thoughts: Don’t bother reading it. I don’t know. Unless you really love Jodi Picoult already, I guess you can give it a try.

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