Why I bought it?
I needed a visual as to why. As much as I've read, I'd never read any Jodi Picoult books. I know! Crazy, huh? Just look at all the choices. I thought I'd give one a try and heard a lot of good about this one. I pick her stuff up often in book stores when I'm trolling for a good read, but they all just seem so sad, and in the last little while I've not really been in the mood for sad. I finally caved the last time and bought it.
Synopsis: When Kate is diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of 2, and her brother is not a genetic match for donation, her parents decide to have another child. A child perfectly suited to help defeat the Leukemia. Genetically selected to match. Anna is that child. She has had a life constantly at the mercy of Kate's health needs. Receiving countless shots. Donating blood and bone marrow, etc. Whatever is needed. When she is 13, Anna questions her life role and decides to do something about it.
What I thought? It was a well-told, engrossing story. It straddles the literary commercial line very well. Here's an example:
"I zip [her dress] up and watch her twirl. My mother could be beautiful, if she were parachuted into someone else's life. She has long dark hair and the fine collarbones of a princess, but the corners of her mouth turn down, like she's swallowed bitter news."
I really enjoyed it, but it had some seriously sad moments as you might expect. (I suppose no sadder than The Book Thief really, but they were more omni-present.) I will probably read more of Picoult's books. She's a marvelous author, but I may have to see if I can find a light one next. Anybody know of one? These last few books have been pretty intense.
My Rating: ****1/2
Cleanness Score: 7, this is mostly for the language (a fair amount of f-bombs, although not tons) which could offend those sensitive to that and a few intimate scenes. This is not really geared for your teens, but I suppose there's nothing worse than what they might hear in a typical high school hallway. If you're a very sheltering parent, though, I would hold off until they are in their older teens.