Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday=Book Review Time--my first Picoult

Up for today:  MY SISTER'S KEEPER by Jodi Picoult
 by mamichan

Why I bought it?
6march08 by kaleidoscope08
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.

18 comments:

Celeste said...

Can't count the number of times I've picked up this very book, and for the same reason put it back down again. Still haven't read a Picoult. Also, never answered your question about The Book Thief. Same as you, picked it up around Christmas and then read it the same week as you.(Now cue the Twilight Zone music) It was on the "recommended by employees" shelf at the local Barnes and Noble. Just thought you should also know, I've been watching West Wing and am converted and stand corrected. (Remember I always gave you a hard time about how totally unbelieved Martin Sheen as President would be and how I could never watch the show because of him?) All this leads me to a suggestion/request for a future post or posts all about your favorite movies/tv series. Think it would make for interesting reading. You got taste!

Cindy said...

Thanks for the review. I had never read a Picoult novel either, but finally succumbed to one that didn't look so sad (an old one). Salem Falls. I was intrigued. I've only gotten through the first chapter or two so I was wondering about the cleanness factor as well. So far, however, her writing impresses me.

beth said...

This was my first Piccoult and by far the best. LOVED IT. At first I was very upset with the ending, but then I read the interview/bio in the back, where she talks about her son, I understood and accepted the ending much more.

T. Anne said...

There's an video online of Jodi Picoult as she gives a speech to writers. I believe it was for the 2007 Book Expo America convention. Watch this if you get a chance it is a wonderful chance to hear an author share about her craft.

Thanks for the review!

Celeste said...

I do realize that this is primarily a literary blog but lots of movies these days are based on good books. Also, for those movies/series that have no literary ties at all but are still favorites(Gilmore Girls) maybe you could talk about the script writing. Or, maybe I should just give you a call and we can talk about your favorites. (might just call anyway,it's been awhile)

lotusgirl said...

Celeste, Honey, I love talking about movies and TV not just for the scripts. I'll definitely have to do a post about that stuff. Maybe Friday. I was thinking about recommending a movie I just saw. I loved it. So tune in Friday. I think I will do an entertainment roundup. I'm glad you're enjoying West Wing. I loved that show.

Cindy, yeah, Picoult's got mad writing skills. Keep me posted on how you like Salem Falls.

Beth, I so understood the sons reaction and appreciated Picoult's explanation.

Anne, I bet it would be amazing to get lessons from her. There's a reason why she's so popular.

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

I tried a Jodi Picoult novel a while back (can't remember which one, but not the one you reviewed) and put it down after only a few chapters. Maybe I should try again with another of her books.

lotusgirl said...

Kate, From what Beth said, this one was her favorite, so... Just be prepared to cry, if you read it.

Litgirl01 said...

Wasn't this book made into a movie? :-)

Crimogenic said...

Litgirl, I was thinking the same thing. Because I saw a movie on lifetime the other day with the same name, but it didn't have the premise of the novel... weird.

Anywho, I've not read Piccoult, but she's on my list of to read.

lotusgirl said...

Litgirl, I did see something about that when I was looking for the picture of the cover. I don't know if it's the same as the book I'll have to check into it.

Crimey, Now I really have to go check.

lotusgirl said...

ok. here's the deal. There is a movie based on the book that is coming out June 26, 2009 with Cameron Diaz as the mom.

Lady Glamis said...

Hmmm, everybody raves about this woman. I suppose I should check her out! Thanks for a great review. When I need a good sad read I'll pick it up.

I usually love sad books, but I'm liking lighthearted more lately. Probably because I'm writing something more lighthearted. :)

lotusgirl said...

Glam, I hear you. I'm looking for something happy to read right now. Maybe the best thing for me is to just edit and drop all the reading for a couple weeks.

Kasie West said...

I'm the same as you. I've never read Jodi Picoult for the exact same reason, I didn't want to be sad. Thanks for the review. I'll have to be in the right mood to read it. LOL

lotusgirl said...

Kasie, I know what you mean. I'm trolling for a good happy book right now.

Pen Pen said...

:) Ur cleanness scores crack me up! :) I was raised Southern Baptist, and my aunt had a similar system of rating movies:)
I've never read Piccolt either, but have always felt I should. I'll have to pick up one of her works--she does have so many!

lotusgirl said...

Glad you like those. Hehe! It gives my reviews that little something extra, don't you think? :) I have some family members and friends who like to know that kind of stuff. I figured others would too.