Customer Reviews for

My Sister's Keeper

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

32 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

An Intriguing Read

I have not read an intriguing and interesting book in a while. So, I was in search of ¿one of those books that you can hardly put down¿. As I skimmed through a list of various best-selling novels, I came across My Sister¿s Keeper by Jodi Picoult, which was recommended ...
I have not read an intriguing and interesting book in a while. So, I was in search of ¿one of those books that you can hardly put down¿. As I skimmed through a list of various best-selling novels, I came across My Sister¿s Keeper by Jodi Picoult, which was recommended to me. Immediately I picked up the book and began to read. Sure enough, this book was nearly impossible for me to stop reading. After reading this book, I gleaned that Picoult is a fascinating writer, and this was definitely no banal story. If you are in search of a brilliantly written novel with a very interesting story line, then I would definitely recommend My Sister¿s Keeper by Jodi Picoult.
My Sister¿s Keeper is the story of a thirteen-year-old girl, Anna Fitzgerald, who was conceived as a bone marrow match for her older sister, Kate, who has leukemia. Anna has been a donor for Kate her entire life, and this story revolves around her sudden opposition and dilemmas regarding this situation. The reader is immediately enthralled to the plot the moment Anna makes an astonishing decision in one of the beginning chapters, which the rest of the story revolves around. My Sister¿s Keeper is also the story of family life and revolves around the family¿s struggle to maintain their love and support for each other. It describes how no family is perfect, and forces you to love the Fitzgerald family and feel their pain through their many hardships. It was very difficult for me to put the book down and stop reading because I was so anxious to discover the ending result of this predicament that takes place throughout the entire novel. I was shocked by the unwonted resolution, however was very satisfied. I believe this is an ideal ending because the reader cannot even predict how the story will conclude, and it is a summation to all of the present conflicts. Picoult does an excellent job at writing this end result.
The author of My Sister¿s Keeper, Jodi Picoult has a very unique and compelling writing style that gets readers hooked to her books instantaneously. Her use of description is extremely skillful, and I felt as if I were present in the plot of the story. A component of her writing that I liked was her use of numerous flashbacks. I enjoyed reading them when they appeared because it helps the reader to understand the current situation or feeling she is writing about. They were often very interesting to read, and they gave me great insight to future events in the book. Another characteristic that I am pleased by is the fact that each chapter in the novel is told by a different significant character. I value this because it is interesting to see each person¿s perspective and feelings on a certain event or circumstance. By doing this, Picoult also creates a sense of unbiased feeling. It restricts the reader from having an unfair opinion about a specific character, and allows them to create their own opinions about each character.
If you enjoy reading novels about everyday life and the complications that arise in it, then I would recommend My Sister¿s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult. Especially if you enjoy an intriguing storyline that is exceptionally well written, be sure to pick up a copy of this book. Picoult is an exceptionally fascinating writer, and after reading this masmasterpiece I will be sure to read one her other novels in the near future. It is a book of emotion, attachment, and suffering that keeps the reader interested for the entire story.

posted by 452157 on November 26, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Second Picoult novel with implausible ending

I read this book after reading and enjoying Perfect Match. The subject matter and presentation of the story line in this book was more interesting. There are several overlaps though: mother is lawyer who thinks she's unbeatable, mother neglects everyone but sick or dama...
I read this book after reading and enjoying Perfect Match. The subject matter and presentation of the story line in this book was more interesting. There are several overlaps though: mother is lawyer who thinks she's unbeatable, mother neglects everyone but sick or damaged child, blue collar husband who is emotional anchor, drawn out legal battle, etc. I guess what bothers me most is as a reader I appreciate good characterization so I don't want to be duped at the end by a surprise, implausible ending which occurred in both books.

posted by Anonymous on July 22, 2004

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    Dispointed because the story had potential

    The book had some good qualities, but it was harmed by two things.
    First, the relationship between Julia and Cambell took away from the focus of the story. The story's focus was supposed to be on Anna,Kate, and the ethical issues of family, love ,choice, and humanity, not the past relationship issues of Julia and Cambell.
    Second, the twist ending really made the entire story pointless. It underminded all the discoveries about love and the worth of Anna as a person. I am also bothered about how everybody just gave up at the end. Nobody gave up on Kate, which was why she lived so many years, but this tragedy occurs and everybody immediatly gives up.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2004

    A must for dramatic soap opera lovers

    Yes, the book grabbed me, and yes I did cry at the end, but c'mon, how farfetched?????? You have to ask your self what kind of parents would make Jesse and Anna so unimportant that they have no idea what they are doing or how they feel. The mother was cold hearted to the extreme, but I guess she got what she wanted in the neatly wrapped up little conclusion. If you watch Lifetime this one is for you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2013

    I can't with this book. To be quite honest with you all, I reall

    I can't with this book. To be quite honest with you all, I really started to hate it. From the first few chapters I knew that this wasn't going to be a good read for me.  Jodi Picoult is a fantastic writer and story-teller, don't get me wrong, and the plot was good, but one thing turned me off.: the mother.  I truly despised Sara Fitzgerald.  She CLEARLY played favorites with her children and severely neglected her others.  You can tell just by looking at Jesse and the way he turned out.  There were several times throughout the book when I just could not BELIEVE that a mother would say that to a child (meaning the things Sara said to Anna).  Yes, Kate was dying, but she had been for years.  The whole book was basically about how Sara didn't care about what Anna felt or what she wanted to do about the kidney transplant.  She seemed confused and appalled every time Anna even HINTED that she didn't want to be Kate's little guinea pig anymore.  And that's another thing.  To me, the fact that she was conceived just for the benefit of their other child put me off.  It kinda disgusted me; Anna was being used from day 1. So yes, there's really nothing wrong with the writing, but the way Sara acted made the whole book just awful to read. Not to mention the end.  Oh, my God, THE END! Are you kidding me? After all that, Anna is the one who dies??? And to me, if felt like no one really cared as much - if it had been Kate, oh yes, that would have been a huge deal.  But when Brian and Sara learned that Anna was dead, and the doctor hinted that they might be able to use her kidney now, she was like, "Oh, yeah, Anna's dead, but now we have a kidney after all!! Let's go check on Kate and make sure she's okay!" That made me furious, that they just gave up on her after they'd fought for Kate for so long. Overall, I really couldn't stand reading this book, and I probably won't be reading it again.  I liked Jesse, I liked Brian, and Julia and Campbell and Judge, but Sara absolutely ruined it for me. I felt like she couldn't care less about how Anna felt while being used her whole life for the benefit of her sister and the detriment to herself.  This book was heartbreaking and way different from the movie, but definitely not in a good way.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2013

    I thought this was a beautifully written book ruined by a terrib

    I thought this was a beautifully written book ruined by a terrible, terrible ending. I"m sure everyone out there who gave this thing 5 stars is saying to themselves "She just can't handle as sad ending.", but that's not it at all. My problem is that the ending was an easy way out for the author: under the circumstances as she wrote them, there was no question as to the right road to take. But the entire heart of the book was the question she sidestepped: how do you make the choice when there is no obvious right answer.

    I'm disappointed: if she had had the courage to take a stand one way or the other, she could have made an important statement. Instead, she went for the cheap emotional ambush. Not cool, Ms. Picoult. Not cool at all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2013

    I like the story line not sure about the writing

    I think the readers of the book are too consumed by the story line and less of the actual writing. The story line was very interesting, it is the first book that majorly narrows down on 'designer babys'. However, I am dissapointed with the poor quality of the writing. This book needed major editing that was sadly neglected before the book was published. Go ahead and read it, I'm sure you'll like it but like I said the poor quality of the writing is pretty dissapointing. I'm not saying that there is bad grammer or anything but the words don't flow right, there are better books. Also the main focus seems to be the cancer and Annas freedom almost as if those topics are the main charectars. I was dissapointed with the lack of charectar development and the relationships between the charectars.

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  • Posted September 8, 2012

    ok to get people thinking about medical ethics

    But the ending was a total literary cop-out!

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  • Posted August 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Ok.

    The book itself was alright, but I felt very disappointed with the ending. It was a complete cop out. This was my first experience with a Jodi Picoult book, and likely my last.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2011

    GOOD START, AWFUL ENDING!

    I have to say I was caught up in this story from the beginning, although I thought Sara was a jerk. I still wanted to see what happened in the end. I thought the Campbell-Julia love-hate relationship was distracting from the story. You knew how it was going to end from the beginning, and that storyline was to Harlequin-Romance for my taste. Also, I have to say when Campbell's secret was revealed, I didn't care that much, as he was kind of an annoying character.
    Also, Brian's astronomy talk was boring, I actually skipped the parts where he started rambling about stars. Through all that, I still wanted to get to the ending, even though I thought I knew what Kate's fate would be, as sad as it was. Or so I thought. Instead, the author slaps you with a totally unexpected and unnecessary twist. This is one time when I have to say I enjoyed the movie better then the book. Wonder why the ending on the movie was different? Maybe because the producers knew the book ending was awful too.

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  • Posted January 8, 2011

    Supremely Recommended ---- You must read this novel if only to enjoy the ending!

    This novel reminds me why the contrast between novels and the movies that come from them is so bleak and stark, but also why reading a book before seeing the movie that bears it's name does not necessarily ruin that anticipatory glow. All that said, I also say that the author has given her readers a fresh perspective on what could have been very tired subject matter. She also has written characters who have some very human, therefore unpleasant, characteristics, and has made them extremely sympathetic for all their un-empathetic traits, thus putting together a true winner!

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  • Posted May 25, 2010

    Canned

    I gave this book my all & made myself finish it even though I was done after the 1st 200 pages. I only wanted to keep on past page 300, and still I'm irritated how two characters were too "Good Cop / Bad Cop", where the "Bad Cop" was so predictable about how they felt I wanted to yell: "Enough already!" & stop reading. I kept on, expecting a turn at the end, where there was a "surprise" but not for the better.

    The chapters were too stunted, each had a "moral"-like ending that felt too canned and cheesy, the only time the originality of each "chapter" could be praised was in the last 10 pages. This ranks VERY far below the last book I read by this author...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Grab a seat and let a very opinionated person share her, well, opinions!

    The idea of the story is quite intriguing. Girl has sister with cancer, wants to determine for herself if she is willing to donate her blood, cells, and organs, so she sues her mom and dad for medical emancipation. But, I found the pace to be dreadfully slow and quite lacking in the twists and turns department. I kept flipping to the back of my 500 page paper back copy, crunching numbers to see how many pages I had left to endure. But, I couldn't just chuck this book and munch on some better mind candy, because I felt obligated to finish it and find out how the cards ended up laying.

    So, I soldiered on, eyeing the page numbers as I went, only to be VERY, VERY unhappy with the ending. It almost made me wish I had launched that book across the room, if not for the fact that it really rose a tearful, but very ANGRY, reaction out of me. If the ending was to spell out one wise lesson, it would be the old cliched "Life is never fair."

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  • Posted October 17, 2009

    Predictable

    To me this book felt frivilous. It did not have a lot of substance. Maybe it was written with very young women as a target audience, but I don't think I would have cared for it even if I were 15.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    DId not like it at all!

    I read alot of books and differnt styles, I did not like this at all. It was hard to follow and the ending was HORRIBLE!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2009

    I felt Manipulated....

    To be completely fair I do believe this book had a lot to offer. The characters were well developed, and the ever changing perspectives of which it is written deemed interesting. However this book (for me at least) broke a cardinal rule! The question which it proposed is never answered. Also the ending is so much of a surprise that your relationship with the characters is tarnished. Truthfully the entire ending seemed like a cop out to actually answering the question over the morality of the situation. I'm not demanding that all should always end well, I just don't think the ending was the best it could have been.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2008

    Disappointing

    This was the first book I have read by Picoult, and I picked it out because it sounded different from all her other love stories she writes. I was disappointed with the book because of the lack of excitement. I wanted to get to know Anna 'one of the sister's' and her struggles, but since the book basically took place in one week I felt that nothing happened. I liked the ending 'because something finally happened'. This is the first book I have read that I think the movie will be better than the book. However, this is only my OPINION, and many other people seemed to have enjoyed it-so see for yourself!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2007

    A book without vision

    Jodi Picoult tackles a highly controversial topic with a great deal of emotion. Family dynamics, as well as highly individualized characters, run a life and death gambit in high octane stress levels. Her characters are at best believable, if not somewhat exaggerated for the sake of the stimulation that is apparantly lacking in her own convictions. Jodi Picoult ends her novel as if she suddenly ran out of time and ideas and resorted to the more amateurish convenience of trickery, and sensationalism. The book lacks any true vision.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2007

    Doesn't live up to the hype

    After reading all of the glowing reviews for this book, I have to say I was VERY disappointed by it. Until a major plot twist is revealed, the book is downright unbearable. Therefore, if you are anything like me, you will spend the first 300 pages of the book hating the characters and wondering if it's worth your time to finish the story. The ending does redeem the book, but only slightly. Further, some of the subplots (such as the relationship between Campbell & Julia, Jesse's delinquent behavior, etc) are dull, and it seems as though they were only woven into the story to take up space. The book could have been great if half of it was removed, and the remaining chapters (particularly Anna's) were more developed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2006

    Great Writing, Terrible Ending

    This was my first Jodi Picoult book and I really enjoyed the premise and the first 9/10th's of the book. But the changes that occured after the courtroom exhange were too pat and unbeliveable. And the reader wasn't given any credit for being able to think or imagine about what would happen in the end. It totally ruined the book for me - I felt totally cheated.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2006

    Melodrama, melodrama, melodrama

    I had the hardest time reading My Sister's Keeper. I read the first half of the book with full attention, but then I started to get distracted by all the unecessary clichés, metaphors, and anecdotes. EVERY little thing was described as if it held significant symbolism (I remember Sara looking at an Oreo cookie falling out of it's vending machine, describing it as a 'suicide plunge'). Not to mention, it seemed like every passage ended with a cliffhanger, or with an attempt to fish for emotion and pity. Furthermore, I felt as if the characters bore no real distinctions between them: they all used too many 'metaphorical' sayings, lame anecdotes, and they appeared to have the same vocabulary for some reason. I'm sorry to Jodi Picoult lovers, but this book disappointed me entirely. I gave it two stars because, despite the obnoxious attempts at writing, the storyline was well thought out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2006

    Trying Way Too Hard (But To No Avail)

    I'm 18 years old, a future English major and an avid reader and writer, and while this (and the review in general) may sound a bit pretentious, I felt like this book was way below my intellectual threshold. It was based on an interesting idea, but frankly I found it monotonous and badly written. It took me months to shlep through this repetitive wasteland of forced emotion (and this is coming from someone who read Catch-22 in a matter of days). (Hey, I warned you this was going to be pretentious.) About halfway through I just stopped reading it altogether, but finally after a few months picked it up again solely because I was determined to finish the damn thing. And I did. And you know what? Of course cancer is sad, of course a mother's anguish is painful, of course it is intriguing to think about the controversial feelings of the lifesaver who wants to live her own life, but I feel that I am quite capable of coming to these conclusions on my own, without having them shoved down my throat with an overly-elaborate rubber Gerber spoon. The book was full of forced metaphors, tiresome cliches, blaringly obvious symbolism (particularly the neverending symbolic references to fire and stars made conveniently by the firefighter father with a telescope on his firehouse roof), and unsuccessful attempts at being oh-so-poignant on practically every other page. Sure, the ending was an interesting twist, but in my humble (...) opinion Picoult did not have the necessary literary dexterity to pull it off. And while I am not a dispassionate stone person, and did perhaps feel a twinge of the ironic sentiment I was so enthusiastically encouraged to feel, after finishing this book I felt more inclined to leap up and shout 'FINALLY!'. Finally Jodi Picoult has stopped babbling about fires and constellations, finally I am rid of the earnest attempts at provoking curiousity about the true reason for the presence of the lawyer's dog (did anyone else not care even a little bit?), finally I am done reading the neverending story, finally I can move on and read something by someone who actually knows how to write. The End.

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