Sunday, January 16, 2011

Review: My Sister's Keeper

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Goodreads description:

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 rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book. Jodi Picoult somehow managed to make every single character relatable - even if their decisions or actions were reprehensible, she made me understand and even agree with each one of them, which I thought would have been impossible, considering how contradictory their opinions were. I found it impossible to decide which characters were right and which were wrong - meaning Jodi Picoult successfully managed to expose all the shades of gray in the issue of "designer babies" and all its emotional consequences - an issue that is almost always seen as black and white.

Most of the things I disliked while reading this book, for example that the reader didn't get to know Kate's opinion on her sister's fight for medical emancipation, were explained later on. The only problem I still have with the novel was the Julia-Campbell storyline. It seemed somewhat corny and I didn't feel like it added too much to the main plot. I understand that the "mystery" around Campbell and his service dog and Julia and Campell's history helped support the author's theme that every person and every issue is complex and cannot be judged one-sidedly, but I still think the author would have been able to get her point across without this storyline.

(This next paragraph contains vague information about the novel's ending, which could be considered spoilers!)
I've heard a lot of people say they were unsatisfied with the ending. However, the unpredictable ending was one of the things I liked best about the novel. The author couldn't have let one side "win" without ruining the novel's moral. No, this solution (if you can call it that) wasn't the most probable or realistic, but it was the perfect way to help the reader make their own decision. I bawled after reading the ending, so the author must have done something right. I especially loved the epilogue describing the aftermath of the death for the family, and I found the last sentence so powerful and moving I can't get it out of my head anymore.

Overall, an emotional and thought-provoking read. I definitely recommend it!


  1. "Jodi Picoult somehow managed to make every single character relatable - even if their decisions or actions were reprehensible" I totally agree. It's amazing how Jodi Picoult can do this!

  2. I loved this one, too. I had to start it twice...I made the mistake of trying to read it while I was pregnant but as soon as they found out Kate was sick, I was just crying the whole time (darn those raging pregnant hormones!). So I put it down and tried again a few years later. So glad I did because the book was amazing. So shocked at the ending!

  3. I read this book in high school and absolutely adored it! I'd love to do a re-read some time in the not so distant future if I can fit it in! Glad you enjoyed it!

    Stopped by from the Comment Exchange Program!

  4. That ending had me in tears but it was the only way to end the book really, it was perfect! I loved this book and Jodi Picoult keeps on proving why she deserves to be one of my favorite authors!


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