My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

My Sister's Keeper: A Novel

This is the third Picoult’s book that I read. Like usual, it’s easy quick reading, dealing with difficult issues. In this title, we get to know Fitzgerald family, who has a son, a sick daughter, and Anna, the last daughter who was born for the purpose to be a genetic match for her sister. When she’s thirteen, she sued her parents for medical emancipation (means she has the last word for any medical decisions involving her body).

Great idea, but I’m not sure if the author has written it well. The book switch point of views around several characters, sometimes I forgot whose thoughts I was reading. At the end I don’t feel any empathy for any of them. Somehow the author wanted to make all the characters goody-goody, they became extremely boring. Basically everybody is good, everybody has good reasons why they’re “bad”, everybody hurts inside, everybody deserves to do “crazy” things because of all the pain they bury inside. Everybody from the mom, dad, brother, sick sister, suing sister, lawyer, guardian ad litem. Yawn.

From the first chapter, I could guess how it would end. Either Kate (the sick sister) dies before the trial ends, or Anna wins the trial and gives her kidney to Kate anyway. Although it ended with a bit of twist, the rest of the other stuff was predictable. [spoiler]I almost gagged when Anna says in court that she did it for Kate, because that’s what Kate wants. Great. Another miss goody-two-shoes.[/spoiler]

I don’t know why I keep reading Picoult’s book. Her formula is getting old for me. I hate how she often ends a paragraph with a made-up dramatic moment. It’s sooo soap-opera like. I like how she always picks up interesting contentious issues (which is the reason why I read her books), but she could’ve written them better!

Rating: 2.5 out of 5
terrible » poor » mediocre » okay » good » very good » excellent » superb
Again, interesting subject matter. Could’ve been written a lot better. Characters are boring and some unbelievable. Picoult managed to make a truly great idea into a mediocre book.

First line

In my first memory, I am three years old and I am trying to kill my sister.

Last line

I take her with me, wherever I go.

Quote

“Kids don’t stay where they’re supposed to. You turn around and find her not in the bedroom but hiding in a closet; you turn around and see she’s not three but thirteen. Parenting is really just a matter of tracking, of hoping your kids do not get so far ahead you can no longer see their next moves.” ~ Brian, p147

The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult

I wanted to read Jodi Picoult’s book for some time, but just never got the chance to. This is her first book that I read, and it’s good enough to make me wanting more of her work.

I just picked up this book out of the shelves in Border Singapore (I like the cover), then sat down reading it for hours. When it got too dark to continue, I decided I might as well buy the book because I’ve gone through about 1/3 of it.

The Tenth Circle is a story about an average family of husband, wife, and a daughter, living in a small city. Husband is a comic author, stay-at-home dad, with difficult past. Wife is career oriented woman, fell into extramarital affair. Daughter is a stereotype troubled teenager, busy living in her own world. One day, she came home, raped by her ex-boyfriend, a guy who is so loved by everybody in the city. That’s where the story begins.

Like what people say, I think Jodi is really articulate in extracting human behaviours. Like most of her books, the stories are usually based on extensive research of real life cases, brewed together with imagination and story telling skill. Which makes them rather interesting in some ways than pure fiction.

The book is also a good insight into the latest of teenage trends and behaviours, of which some are quite unbelievable for me. There is a game called Rainbow where a bunch of girls with different bright color lipstick under a table with a bunch of guys sitting all around it. The guy who gets the most colorful penis wins. I mean, seriously, this kind of thing really happens? In your average high school? In a small city? Whatever happens in big city then? Whatever happens to the world? Scary.

~Finished on 10 August 2006

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The Pact by Jodi Picoult

Chris Harte and Emily Gold have been together since they were born. The parents are best friends and neighbors. They’re inseparable, like two sides of a coin, like brother and sister, then, as lovers. The girl is dead on the first page.

It’s suicide pact gone wrong. Or is it? ;) The guy is alive and therefore charged with murder because he’s the only at the scene of the “crime”.

This is the second book from Jodi Picoult that I read. It’s extremely difficult to find her books in the library. They’re always out! I enjoyed this book, if I can say enjoy. A lot of times I felt bad. I hated Emily. I totally didn’t understand her personality. She’s suicidal, I think that’s just probably the fact. You either are suicidal or aren’t. Obviously I’m not, that’s why I couldn’t get it. When you’re not suicidal, no matter how bad things are you would just find a way to survive, it’s instinctive. Anyhow it’s quite an insight to teenage suicide issue.

There were points in the book where I found myself really getting it, the words, the love, the pain. Especially Chris, he’s almost alive and his words made me all teary. But at some other points I found some things not quite believable.

I hated Emily. What a selfish b*tch. I can’t get my compassion for her. I think suicide is totally a selfish act. I can’t help feeling the lost though, as if I’m one of the characters in the book, like Chris or the parents, losing someone very important. Even at the very end, I still can’t believe Em has really gone and is not coming back.

Well, a good story is one that still lingers, even after you finish the book, movie, or game. As if the characters are really alive, and you think sometimes about how they’re doing. That’s what happened to me. I was still thinking about them a few days after I finished the book. The author is successful in bringing the characters to life in this case.

~Finished on 21 March 2007

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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