Friday, June 25, 2010

Justine's Thoughts: My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Here's a review I promised. :)

My Sister’s Keeper
By Jodi Picoult



Book Description (from Goodreads):

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.

A quote:

Where are words, when you need them?

Any thoughts:

Wow, is all I have to say right after I finished it. My Sister’s Keeper is one stunning piece of work that I must read it again. I even found out that the quote “You don’t love someone because they’re perfect. You love them in spite of the fact that they’re not” originated in this novel! Jodi Picoult is brilliant, I say!

One thing that I loved was the constant switching of point of views. Every chapter it is different, and there are several characters who get the chance to speak and voice out their side of the story. It may be confusing and may take some getting used to at first, but it eventually becomes easy adapting to the way they tell it. The purpose is to prepare the reader for the case in the end of the story, which is all too suspenseful that I could not stop reading.

There are two main sides of the story, and at times I find it difficult which one I should side with (I was neutral most of the time). There is one being Sara’s side, the mother who would absolutely do anything for her dying child and the other being Anna’s side, who is Sara’s youngest daughter, the one who filedsthe case for medical emancipation. It is all too big of a web to explain everything, but that is the point of it. Most characters don’t really explain why they’re doing what they’re doing, such as why Anna files the lawsuit and why Campbell Alexander, the lawyer, makes up a variety of excuses for his service dog. It is only near the end when we finally see things clearly.

My Sister’s Keeper is definitely one that would make you think hard. There are times when characters such as Anna and Brian, the father, would insert short, meaningful passages. Brian has a hobby of using his telescope to look at the stars at night and when he would tell stories about stars, gods, or goddesses, I would find myself asking, “Why did Picoult include this passage?” And then I would pause so I could deeply analyze the meaning.

Needless to say, this novel is very knowledgeable. From the detailed medical information, the ethical and moral issues, to the law-related concerns, I was just marvelled. It takes time to absorb all of it, causing one to feel touched because of the subject matter.

The movie, on the other hand, made me bawl. I watched it first (*ahem* this one is an exception to my oath which claims to always read the book first then watch the movie) and watched it again whilst I was in the middle of the novel. There are several differences, the major one being the end, which was completely different from the book. I’m beginning to think that moviemakers want their movies to have pleasant endings, because it is the very opposite from the book, which was just shocking. I still liked the movie, however. Cameron Diaz is one great actress and played the role of Sara really well. The others were quite amazing too. I pictured each of them as their own character while reading the book and they all fit their roles nicely. I would most likely see it again whenever I need my fix of sadness, because it can surely make a person cry enough tears.

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