My Sister's Keeper

My Sister's Keeper

4.6 1346
by Jodi Picoult

ISBN-10: 0743454537

ISBN-13: 9780743454537

Pub. Date: 02/01/2005

Publisher: Washington Square Press

New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult is widely acclaimed for her keen insights into the hearts and minds of real people. Now she tells the emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness.

Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless

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New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult is widely acclaimed for her keen insights into the hearts and minds of real people. Now she tells the emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness.

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.

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Washington Square Press
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Includes Readers Club Guide
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5.31(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.12(d)

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My Sister's Keeper 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1346 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like well length books that will keep you intrigued until the end and is completely awesome, this is your type of book. If you watched the movie YOU WILL ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE BOOK! READ READ READ!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anna Fitzgerald is the thirteen year old protagonist of My Sister¿s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult. She was brought into this world for one reason and one reason only. She was conceived to save her older sister Kate, who at age two was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia. With the help of advanced medical science, Sara and Brian Fitzgerald, Kate¿s parents, had the opportunity to conceive a baby who was an exact donor match for Kate. So began Anna Fitzgerald¿s life of self sacrifice.
From the time she was born, Anna has been helping her sister Kate. Immediately after birth, her blood was drawn to donate to Kate. There was not time to waste; Kate¿s life was at stake. In the years that followed Anna donated lymphocytes three times, then a bone marrow, and then blood stem cells. She became disheartened with her role in life. Although Kate was her best friend, Anna wanted her parents to love her for who she was. Not because she was saving her sister. When Anna¿s parents tell her she has to donate a kidney to keep Kate alive, she breaks down. She has spent as much time in the hospital as Kate and just wants to be free of obligation. To that end, Anna seeks out the services of a highly driven attorney, Campbell Alexander. His job is to help Anna get medical emancipation from her parents.
Along with the medical drama, Picoult infuses humor, romance, family troubles and intriguing subplots throughout the novel. This book is tear-jerking, uplifting, emotional, heart-wrenching and an extremely powerful story about the Fitzgerald family. The author clearly illustrates how this family is united by their love for each other, but divided on where the boundaries of family obligations should be. This confession leads to Anna and her father Brian moving out to stay at the fire station where Brian works. They leave their depart home, leaving behind Sara, the overpowering mother, Kate, the dying sister, and Jesse, the helpless older brother.
Jodi Picoult has an incredible capability of captivating her readers as they struggle to find answers to the moral questions she presents. She presents both sides of the conflict with such compassion and sympathy that your beliefs may change. The authors writing style is creative, as each chapter is narrated by a different character. The reader gets to know each character and understand their point of view in the ongoing struggle.
When finished with the novel you will realize there are no easy or even right answers. One person can not be judged for what they believe is moral or ethical, or even tenable. Picoult has done an outstanding job of presenting the issue in this novel. She takes this conflicting topic and handles it with an infinite amount of insight to each characters needs. My Sister¿s Keeper examines what it means to be good parents, a good sister and a good person. The novel engages the reader from the first page until the very last. It is a heart-wrenching novel with an unexpected plot twist at the book¿s conclusion. This book is an absolute must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written story. Very touching.
SierraS_SAUTNER More than 1 year ago
My Sister's Keeper is a powerful novel about a strong willed thirteen year old filing a lawsuit against her own family. The independent teen, Anna Fitzgerald, has decided to seek legal help when she decides that she no longer wants to be the life support of her sick sister Kate. Providing blood transfusions, injections, and countless surgeries, she decides that she no longer wants to be known only in relation to Kate. Now thirteen, Anna puts her foot down and fights for the right to medical emancipation. Aware the brutal consequences of this act, Anna battles with her mother with her decisions and with finding herself individually along the way. In and out of court, Anna has to deal with the guilt and expectations of her family to save her sisters life. This novel is filled with humor, romance, and tear jerking words when Kate meets a boy with Cancer and falls in love. Throughout a few chapters, Kate is doing well when suddenly the unexpected happens and her dear friend dies from his disease. This goes to show how the author (Jodi Picoult) can really use the element of surprise, and really throw you for a loop; this is one of the books many strengths, you never know what is going to happen next! The book is written from a perspective that I have never read from before. Jodi writes from all the main character's perspectives, to give you the best idea of all that is going on. The writing is not always proper, and I personally found that this made it more interesting when Picoult occasionally used the slang and slander of a common teenager. My Sister's Keeper is the story of a struggling family, which teaches the wonderful lesson of being thankful for all that you have in your life. I personally will take away from this book, that I should always be gracious for health of my family." You can stay up all night and still not count the ways to lose people you love." This is a great book, I strongly would suggest it!
crossword69 More than 1 year ago
Still Picoult's best book ever, and she's provided a multitude of excellent reads. If you have a sister, this will make an effect. Ask her to read it too.
SaumyaCHMS14 More than 1 year ago
This book is a keeper! I loved My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult and think it deserves five stars. Thirteen-year-old Anna Fitzgerald is her leukemic sister Kate’s blood and possible-kidney donor.  She is faced with a decision that could leave many people unhappy. Should she donate one of her genetically-matched kidneys to Kate when she doesn’t want to?  Sara, Anna’s mother, does everything she can to keep Kate alive, even at the expense of her other children. The author uses multiple perspectives to bring Sara’s motivations to light. Campbell can make you laugh, while you sympathize for the neglected Jesse. Ms. Picoult also displayed a deep understanding of leukemia treatment and legal processions. I was pleased with the decision Judge DeSalvo made in Anna’s case.  The figurative language is like chocolate chip cookies. Brian and Anna use the most metaphors and symbolisms.  The end is shocking, but satisfactory enough to bring closure to the Fitzgerald household. All in all, I recommend this five-star worthy book to you. SaumyaCHMS14
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was assigned for school and I can't even tell you how long I had it floating around in the bottom of my backpack until it was a week before the report was due and I knew I had to start reading it, begrudgingly. I was shocked by how much I loved this book. Ordinarily I tend to stay away from stories about family hardships and sickness and all that, but My Sister's Keeper presents the story in such a unique and refreshing way, with so many great characters and side stories, it was so unlike anything else I've read, and I'm now looking for more from Jodi Picoult.
1Katherine1 More than 1 year ago
My Sister's Keeper is one of those stories you are worried will tear your apart, but you just have to read on, and have to see what happens. The messages in this book are strong, impacting, and important. It's a story that touches so many important moral topics, and revolves around a disease many today are unfortunately too familiar with - Cancer. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to feel what family love and sacrifice is all about. And you have ever underestimated the strength of a child, this book with surely put things in perspective for you. It will tug at every single last string in your heart...
jess2410 More than 1 year ago
This book has definitely been the most well written book by Judi Picoult. This novel brilliantly explored loss, love, the bond between sister's, and an entire family. While reading the novel you learn the story and the emotions of each character. This novel is told from the first person point of view in each chapter you read. The chapters are narrated by a different main character. Jodi Picoult made it obvious by not only telling you who's perspective the chapter was from, but each character had their own specialized font to make it clear which character she was writing about. The change in perspective in this novel made it more understandable instead of confusing. Each character had their on problems and feelings. In this novel the main character 13 years old Ana makes a decision that changes everything for herself and her family especially her sister Kate .The only reason Ana was ever born was to keep her sister, Kate alive. Kate was diagnosed with a severe and rare form of leukemia roughly 3 years before Anna was made. Although there is no doubt that her parents love both of their daughters, Anna decides to sue her parents against rights of her own body. Her whole life Anna has had no choice but to donate parts of her own body to her sister. Even though most of the time she does these donations both with love and hope that they will keep her older sister from leaving her, but as she is older she is confused if that's really what she wants. As you start reading the book the beginning draws you in to learn about the characters. At the end of the book you get to the moment that you finally understand what the book has been all about. The end makes you feel surprised and you understand the author's intensity. While I was reading this novel I cried almost threw the whole story! The story was so brilliant that you never want to stop reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My Sister's Keeper is most definitely going to be in my top favorite books. Honestly. This book is heartbreaking and tear-jerking, but it's so deep and emotional. This is a must read, at all expense. It will not disappoint. And hell-o, the ending was absolutely surprising, yet alone completely shocking and upsetting.
JRews More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book because my friend told me I had to. Everyone I talked to said it was horribly sad. I however, didn't find it sad until the very last chapter, and even then it was happy. I expected this book to be over dramatic and very phony,but I ended up seeing this book as very real. Recently, my family went through a traumatic time, and this book really gives the honest thoughts of someone going through a hard time. This book is extremely touching, and honestly, can leave a person speechless. Props to Jodi Picoult.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
On my bookshelf there are books that I can read again, and again, and the rest are just books I've read. Although a very good story, My Sister's Keeper is probably a book I'll never read again. The story was great, heartwarming in some areas, heartbreaking in others. Funny, with a good love story intertwined. A small degree of mystery regarding the service dog, and Anna's motives. But there are two things that turned me off about this book. First was the writing: Ok Ms. Picoult, we get it. You did your homework. But listing every single medication this girl is taking, including their doses, as well as every technical term for most procedures and diagnosis's got really old after a while. I am an avid reader, and I couldn't even pronounce half those words. I did like how she wrote the story from all the different characters perspectives, but she sidetracks a lot within their stories, i.e. going from a conversation with someone, skipping to an irrelevant conversation with a man named Seven, back to the original conversation, same thing with Brain going on and on about his astrology, just dragged the story, which I felt dragged to begin with, on and on even further. The second, which is actually what led me to write my first book review, was the ending: I would probably have overlooked my qualms with her writing if the ending wasn't what it was. All thru the book you are already dealing with one child that is going to die, having to deal with another so abruptly was a little too much. That all being said, again, it was a very good story.
Delia_Hopkins More than 1 year ago
"My Sister's Keeper" is an unconventional book about the love between two sisters and the border between helping out and outright exploitation. Anna, the main character, has to live with both the knowledge that she was conceived for the sole purpose of saving her sister's life and with the constant pain that goes along with doing so. Anna's older sister, Kate, is a victim of leukemia and requires constant donations from her beloved sibling. Their parents take it for granted that Anna is willing to undergo frequent operations in order to save her sister. However, as Anna grows up, she starts exploring new horizons and learns how to defend her inalienable rights. I grew up with 2 sisters to look up to who I would most undoubtedly die for. Therefore, as I travelled through the compelling pages of Jodi Picoult's masterpiece, I felt such a strong connection to the story's characters that it was incredibly hard to put the book down. The captivating twists and turns this outstanding author provides, along with her unique writing style, are ingenious. Additionally, the way every chapter is written from a different character's point of view and at a different point in time, only help the reader better understand and relate to the story. With every turn of the page, the story only becomes more interesting making it impossible to stop reading. I turned out reading the entire book in only 3 school nights, which is a personal record. Furthermore, I found myself crying through the last few chapters of the book, struggling to clear my eyes and keep them dry enough to continue reading. This only comes to prove the extent to which the author put her heart and soul into writing this novel. Every word conveys such real feelings and emotions provoking feelings of sympathy toward all of the characters in the story. "My Sister's Keeper" is like nothing I have read before, and it has managed to become my favorite book.
The_Iceman More than 1 year ago
Kate Fitzgerald is barely beyond infancy when she is diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), a rare and particularly robust and aggressive form of leukemia. The prognosis is bleak indeed and recovery is rarer than the cancer itself. When Kate's parents are faced with the urgent necessity to find a blood donor that is not just a match, but a perfect match, they set out to create a genetically matched sibling who will provide a perfectly matched, life-saving, blood-filled umbilicus upon her birth. The second daughter, whose blood saves Kate's life within seconds of her birth, is named Anna.

But APL is a most persistent disease and when it re-occurs after a remission, a particular treatment is never successful a second time. Successive bulwarks of defense against the cancer's onslaught must, of necessity, involve progressively more aggressive medicine. As a result, the demands that are made of Anna to act as a donor become progressively more invasive, more time-consuming and more demanding as she grows older until, at the tender age of 13, she is faced with the requirement to provide a kidney for her sister whose organs are failing under APL's unremitting attack.

Long frustrated with the fact that nobody has ever listened to her or consulted her with respect to the medical decisions that are centered around Kate, Anna approaches Campbell Alexander, a litigation attorney, and sues her parents for "medical emancipation", the right to make her own medical decisions and take command of her own body. Anna's mother, a former attorney, decides to represent her husband and herself at the trial.

"My Sister's Keeper" is no different than any of Picoult's other novels in that it addresses issues in a non-judgmental fashion from a wide variety of perspectives without attempting to take sides or present pat answers that simply don't exist. "My Sister's Keeper" touches on genetic engineering; the insane demands made upon a parent's time and energy in dealing with children's illnesses; the extent to which children may act out for better or for worse in a demand for a parent's love and attention; the difficulty of determining whether a 13 year old minor is capable of making adult decisions about the medical disposition of her own body; the existence of boundaries to the demands a parent may make of a child; the differences between moral, ethical and legal rights.

As I turned the pages faster and faster, getting closer to the end of the book and the closing of the trial, I realized that Picoult had very few pages left in which she could effectively wind up her story and resolve the issues which as yet remained entirely open. With a raised eyebrow, I wondered how she was going to achieve a writing feat I thought quite impossible with so few pages left in the story. But, manage it she did. A beautifully engineered surprise ending that will just about break your heart wraps up every thread in the story but leaves the novel's ability to provoke a reader's thought on the issues she raises completely intact.

You can definitely count me a stand-up wildly clapping Jodi Picoult fan. Highly recommended.

Paul Weiss
BellaSS More than 1 year ago
This book was very well written. It is told in the veiws of all of the characters so all of the feelings are laid out so you can truely understand the pain and untold feelings that the characters go through. The circumstance was very touching and at the same time extremely scary and the ending is a complete surprise that sums up the whole thing.
ELAnderson More than 1 year ago
oh i just loved this book. so good. i cryed. and i dont usually cry reading a book. i hope they keep to the book when making the movie.
BrunetteWithABook 6 months ago
I had never heard of the book before the movie came out. In all honesty I never wanted to see the movie because it sounded sad. I ended up seeing the movie and I was content with it. It wasn’t until last spring one of my sorority sisters told me I should read the book. I gave in – it did take me about four months to finish it because life gets in the way. My Sister’s Keeper was written by Jodi Picoult and published by Atria in 2004. I am a firm believer in the idea that the book is always better. With this book it is true. The movie follows the book closely with each character telling their part of the story – both past and present – just like the book. The book follows Anna Fitzgerald, test tube baby turned donor child for her older sister Kate who is dying from a rare form of leukemia. Kate is constantly having complications from the disease, in which Anna gets poked and prodded to help her sister stay alive. When Kate starts going into liver failure, her parents tell Anna that she is going to have to donate one of her kidneys to her sister. By this point Anna has had enough time having operations that could make her sick or possibly lead to death – and she’s only thirteen years old. Anna takes it into her own hands and gets a lawyer, Campbell Alexander, to file a medical emancipation from her parents – she wanted to help her sister, but she wanted to be able to make that decision, not her parents. Picoult has a way with characters – you feel connected to every character regardless of their part in the story. By the time it came down to the hearing for medical emancipation, I wanted everyone to win and live happily ever after, but of course that’s not how authors think or write. The endings in the book and movie are different. The ending was not what I expected. I was on the edge of my seat for most of the book and the ending had me catching my breath. I couldn’t believe that it happened. I would recommend the book to anyone. The movie is good, but the book was better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't particularly like writing book reviews, but I liked this book so well, I looked back to see why people did not like it. But for me, it was a great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In the story My Sister’s Keeper there is a girl, Kate who has cancer.  Her parents, Sara and Brian decided to have another child so she could be a perfect match because Jesse, Kate’s older brother is not a perfect match.  Sara and Brian have the new child, Anna, be made in a lab so she is for sure a perfect match.  Throughout Anna’s life she gives Kate all sorts of things from her body, but at one point Anna gets tired of her parents making her do this, and they want her to give Kate a kidney.  Anna files a lawsuit on her parents for the right to her body.  The trial takes a while and Anna and Brian moves out while it is going on.  At the trial Anna confesses that she filed this because Kate told her to.  She told her that she wants to die.  After a few more days the trial is over and Anna won.  Campbell, Anna’s lawyer, and Anna stay at the courthouse after to sign papers.  Brian, who is a firefighter, receives an emergency call that he needs to go to.  When he gets there he finds out that it is a car accident.  As he is trying to get the people out of the vehicle he realizes that Anna is in the car with Campbell.  At the hospital Campbell is fine but Anna isn’t.  After a few days they decide to let Anna go, and she dies.  Campbell then decides to give the kidney to Kate.  The story was both exciting and believable.  The story sounded like it could have been a true story.  I got pretty involved in the story, and I didn’t want to stop reading.  All the characters in the story were very realistic.  Jodi Picoult did a good job giving the characters personalities.  I could picture all of the characters, and the story took place in New Hampshire in 2004.  All of the scientific content in this book was very realistic.  Like I said, it seemed like it could have been a true story, but I wouldn’t really want to learn more based on what I learned from the book.  I thought that the book was very good, one of the best books I’ve read.  There were many parts of the book that I wouldn’t be able to just stop reading at, because I would just need to read more to find out what happens.  I would definitely recommend the book.  I think that any girl age 14 and older would enjoy this book.  I would rate this 5 stars out of 5.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ariesgrl More than 1 year ago
Anna knows she was born to save her sister’s life, but after thirteen years she is ready to make her own medical decisions.  Her sister has had almost-terminal cancer for as long as she can remember and her family revolves around the diagnosis. As Anna seeks legal representation, the routine of her family is tossed upside down and her sister’s prognosis hangs in the balance. From the very first sentence, Jodi Picoult has weaved a powerful tale, centered around every parent’s worst nightmare. With one child sick, this family tries to do everything they can to keep her alive, as most adults can relate too. However, the author’s ability to switch points-of-view between the various characters, illustrates this situation from each heartbreaking side. Readers will appreciate the different fonts that are used to emphasize each character’s personality, as well as the memories that help develop the plot. The commanding, gripping and controversial ending will leave readers debating long-after they have read the book. Notes: This review was written for the bookstore, My Sister's Books. This review was originally posted on the Ariesgrl Book Reviews website.
GloryV More than 1 year ago
I think this book is a really inspiring book. When I was little, I used to read the book and watch the movie with my sister.  The reasons why I like this book is because one of the characters have a disease, or have cancer.  I like books that have characters like that because it makes the book more interesting and there's more emotion to the book and you feel a lot of things you usually don't feel when reading a book or watching a movie.  There are some parts where it's disturbing, but mainly, the book is about family and loved ones.  You treat them well, and you get treated well too.  The thing is, the mom wants her other daughter to give away body parts, kidneys, or other stuff from her body to give to her sister to keep her alive.  Her daughter sues her mother, so her mother cannot use her to help her sister.  She loves her sister very much, but she can't handle her mom just using her for the past about 11 years of her life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book! Jodi Picoult does it again. I had watched the movie before I read the book, so I did not think I would enjoy the book as much. I find the book to be way better than the movie, with parts of the book that are completely different from the movie. A must-read, even if you have already seen the movie!