Oct 24, 2007

My Sister's Keeper

by Jodi Picoult

Kate is born with a rare form of leukemia. She needs a perfectly matched blood donor for a procedure. Since none of her family members match, and using an unrelated donor is too risky, her parents conceive a child that has been genetically selected to be her match. When Anna is born, initially they only take her umbilical cord blood for her sister, something she never knows about or misses. But when Anna turns five, she begins more painful procedures to donate platelets, blood, bone marrow etc to her sister. By the time Anna is thirteen, she's questioning if she wants to continue making donations to Kate, and just at the moment when Kate is in critical need that requires an invasive procedure on her sister to save her life, Anna instigates a lawsuit against her parents for the right to make decisions about the use of her own body.

Although this book has to do with genetic engineering and human rights, it's more about choices and decision making. It focuses on two main ideas: "The safety of the rescuer is of higher priority than the safety of the victim. Always." Is it? And "You don't love someone because they're perfect... you love them in spite of the fact that they're not."

I started out really enjoying My Sister's Keeper, but by the time I reached the end, I was getting tired of it. Some aspects of the story were just too contrived and obvious, like the purpose of the dog, and the lawyer meeting up with an old girlfriend he has to work on the case with. Then at the end Picoult throws in an unexpected twist that is supposed to make the story really wrenching but instead just made me mad! I didn't like the way it ended at all.

Rating: 2/5 ........ 423 pages, 2004

Read more reviews at:
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11 comments:

Laura said...

That's what I thought about it when I was flipping through to decide whether to read it. I feel the same way about Jacqueline Mitchard too- enjoyable but contrived.

Jeane said...

How can you tell by flipping through a book if it feels contrived? That skill would save me slogging halfway through many mediocre books.

Dana said...

I did notlike the ending also. Enough is enough!!

Laura said...

Jeane, about my book elimination skills: Mostly by contrived I mean sappy overly-dramatic language, especially dialogue. For every book I pick up, I'll scan a few pages at different points in the book, getting a feel for the writing style. If it bugs, I won't take it home with me. Try it on a few and you may find you quickly get a feel for what you won't enjoy.

Jeane said...

Thanks Laura. I'm going to try that.

Lauren said...

I loved this book hehe :)

Jeane said...

Lauren: well, to each his own! I really liked it until the end. O well.

Bybee said...

Because of this book, I never want to read anything else by the author.

Bybee said...

Laura,
Thanks for the crash course in seeking out crappy contrived novels.

Jeane said...

Bybee, I understand how you feel. I don't think I'm going to read any more Picoult, myself. (Or Anita Shreve).

Becca said...

Jeanne: Thanks for leaving a comment at my blog. I've added a link to your post for My Sister's Keeper. And thanks for adding me to yours!