Book Review: My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Title: My Sister’s Keeper
Author: Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Washington Square Press (Imprint of Simon & Schuster)
Date Published: January 1st, 2004
Rating: 3 stars
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.
Sarah’s Book Review of My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
My Sister’s Keeper is a sad story about a girl who is keeping her sister alive. Her sister has a rare type of cancer that makes treatment extremely difficult and she has had this cancer since she was just a baby. Anna, the main character, was essentially born as an afterthought by her parents in order to create the perfect doner for her sister Kate. It’s a story that will make you question what is right and wrong with every turn of the page.
I actually had trouble getting through this book. Not because it’s bad, but because it’s one of those books that you really have to read in the right mood. I picked it up because it was my Random Reads pick for March, and so I needed to read it within this month. But it was a tough one to read when I just wasn’t in the mood for something sad.
However, it was still an incredible story. I liked how it was told from several different viewpoints by everyone involved in the story from Anna to her lawyer, to the members of her family. It made it easier to understand where everyone was coming from and how Anna’s case affected them each personally. I particularly enjoyed the point of views of Campbell and Julia because while both of them are certainly in the middle of the whole thing too, they had their own story going on which was a bit of a reprieve from the downright tragic happenings of the main family.
Where the book really disappointed me was the ending. I didn’t expect it to be a happy-go-lucky, run through fields of flowers ending. I went into it fully understanding that it would probably be a sad one. But the ending just came out of left field and it felt like it was done for pure shock-factor. I don’t feel like it was necessary at all and that alone brought my rating down for this entire book. Not because I’m mad, but because it felt calculated and uncalled for.
Overall, this is a good book though, and if you’re in the mood for something sad and involving a lot of drama and grief of sorts, then you will probably enjoy it. But be sure to read it when you’re in that mood, because you probably won’t enjoy it otherwise.