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My Sister's Keeper

by Jodi Picoult

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult X
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2004, 423 pages
    Feb 2005, 448 pages

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There are currently 62 reader reviews for My Sister's Keeper
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Katie (12/21/11)

Excessively long and incredibly predictable
I read this book because people raved about it--I cannot concur. The book was full of flat characters, and the children were not written at all like children, just stupid adults. The 'stunning plot twist' could be guessed from the beginning, the foreshadowing was pathetically obvious, and the chapters were far too repetitive. After reading a few of the mother's chapters, i felt like screaming "I GET IT! SHE HAS CANCER! YOU'RE SAD!"
if you really want to read this book, just read the first twenty and last twenty chapters; you won't miss a thing in the middle.
Power Reviewer
Cloggie Downunder (06/18/11)

A perfect ending twist
My Sister’s Keeper is Jodi Picoult’s 11th novel. It centres around Anna Fitzgerald who has retained lawyer Campbell Alexander to sue her parents for the right to her own body. Anna was conceived to provide (initially) cord blood for her older sister Kate who has leukaemia. As she has grown up and as Kate’s disease has progressed, more and more has been demanded of Anna’s body for her sister. The story of what happens is told in several voices: Anna’s, her mother Sara’s, her brother Jesse’s, her father Brian’s, her lawyer Campbell’s, and her guardian ad litem, Julia’s. this is a provocative novel that does not shy away from the issues: conceiving a child to save another; who has rights over a minor’s body; is it possible to love a child too much; is it possible to love all one’s children equally; teenage pyromania. As always, Picoult handles the court scenes with finesse, and the final twist makes for a perfect ending. A great read!
Stephanie (03/13/11)

Another great title from Picoult
Jodi Picoult is by far my favorite author, and once again with My Sister’s Keeper she does not disappoint. In this story, Picoult deals with the issue of “savior siblings” and what happens when the created sibling no longer wants to be poked, prodded, and used for spare parts. It deals with the emotional stress that comes with being that “savior” as well as the strain on the family when they no longer want the job.
   I love her style of writing that allows the reader to see the story from every angle. We get into the head of the parents who desperately want their children to live long happy lives, the savior child, the dying child, and the healthy sibling that gets left out. It is amazing to see how the scene unfolds when it is taken in so many ways.
   True to Picoult style is an ending that one would never expect. In this heart-wrenching tale it is impossible to find a solution that would make every character happy, but we read on hoping against hope that it happens anyway. This ending is different than the movie ending made from it, but it leaves the reader with more to reflect upon. You will continue to ponder the intricately woven story long after the story is read and put away.
Hellany (02/19/11)

excellent idea, poor execution
What makes books like these particularly painful is that at its heart, it's a fascinating topic. Donor rights, children's medical rights, how long and how much a family should have to sacrifice to keep a family member alive... these are compelling and important issues to discuss.

The problem is that Picoult's writing isn't nearly deft enough to handle the topic gracefully. 'My Sister's Keeper' relentlessly meanders, weaving between pointless POV shifts and unnecessary flashbacks. While the witty dialogue itself is one of the bright spots, the voices of all the characters -- young or old, educated or not -- sound virtually identical. The romance between Campbell and Julia is bland and irrelevant, and the choice to make Sara unsympathetic to the point of being monstrous is baffling, considering that she's carrying most of the emotional clout in a highly moral-driven story.

Most irritating of all is that Picoult makes a pretense of bravely tackling a controversial topic (the moral implications of forcing your child to be a donor, and the question of whether or not the donor should want to sacrifice everything to save a family member) and then ultimately refuses to take a stand either way, using several unforgivable cop-outs to avoid answering her own questions.

As far as keeping the hands of everyone involved blood-free and introducing an interesting topic, Picoult succeeds. As a fellow writer and reviewer, however, I was disappointed in her willingness to string the reader along for an entire book --a book whose greatest strength is the overarching moral dilemma -- and then rob them of any sort of believable or compelling conclusion.
Lesley (12/17/10)

Definitely read it
Overall, I found this book very compelling. The emotional telling truly reels you in, and hearing the story from every characters perspective enhances the complexity of what this family is facing.

The only thing keeping it from being a 5 for me was that I felt the ending was a "tacked on" twist. It was like she decided she needed a twist for ratings, so she put it in, but it didn't feel like the rest of the novel, and it was not believable to me. It just stopped ringing true the second she took it there for me.
Jem (09/26/10)

My sister's keeper.
I liked the book overall but some things about this novel could have been much better.
First of all I found Sara (the mother) to be very annoying. Throughout the whole book she never acknowledges her son Jesse.
She also never does anything besides having Kate attached at the hip.
I understand this in a way but the type of cancer that Kate has is almost ALWAYS fatal. Sara can never come to terms that her daughter may die.
Sara is self-absorbed and extremely selfish.
I know she wants to save her daughters life but my god.. get a hobby!
Also Anna, she is full of discrepancies and confusion.
Usually when a person makes up their mind.. that's how it stays.
I want to shake them BOTH.
It really reminds me of a horror movie where the girl hears a sound outside and goes looking for it's source. Duh.
This book really brings to light peoples deceptive sides and puts families in general in a bad light.
Joslyne (07/21/10)

My Sister's Keeper
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult is a novel about a young girl named Ana Fitzgerald who is caught in the shadow of her older sister Kate. Kate is diagnosed at a young age with an acute form of Leukemia that does not have a definite cure. In an attempt to save their daughter’s life, the Fitzgerald’s contact a geneticist who helps them to create an embryo, genetically designed to be a donor match for Kate. Anna spends the next thirteen years of her life as Kate’s official donor, donating cord blood, platelets, cells, and bone marrow. When Kate’s kidneys begin to fail, Anna is called upon again to donate. In response, Anna seeks out a lawyer and sues her parents for medical emancipation, giving her the right to control the decisions made in regards to her body.

Jodi Picoult’s writing style is easy to follow. The plot is propelled forward as events are narrated by different characters. This allows the reader to build intimate relationships with each character and to delve inside their personal thoughts and feelings. Character development is strong throughout the novel and leaves the reader feeling as if they can predict outcomes and future behaviors. However, Picoult uses this to her advantage by creating plot twists that add suspense and drama to the plot. Picoult does use some crude language that can be offensive to sensitive readers.

The life experiences depicted in this novel are real and written in such a way that one must fully contemplate the affects any decision will have on all parties. Throughout the novel, moral and ethical issues are debated as a family struggles to save one child through the sacrifices of another. The bonds of sisterhood are strained, as give and take is not so easily defined. I really enjoyed reading My Sister’s Keeper. The plot explored real issues that run deeper than making right or wrong decisions. The family unit as a whole is tested, tried, and proven to be strong. I felt as though I could put myself in Anna’s shoes. I explored my own thoughts and feelings about being a genetically conceived donor for my sister; in the end, “I would take her with me, wherever I go.”
Rebecca (02/21/10)

All I can say is wow. One of my all time favorites. This book touched my heart, I couldn't imagine a better perspective she could have chosen. You can honestly feel the tragedy of this book. It is so difficult to believe Jodi Picoult could have lived in a perfectly stable household all her life when she can reach so deep into the lives of those who haven't.

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