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Second Glance

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  35,423 Ratings  ·  2,274 Reviews
In a small Vermont town, an old man puts a piece of land up for sale, igniting a firestorm of protest from the local Abenaki Indians, who insist it is an ancient burial ground. To appease them the developer looking to buy the property hires a ghost hunter, Ross Wakeman. Ross is a suicidal drifter desperate to cross paths again with his fiancee, who died in a car crash eigh ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published March 2nd 2004 by Allen & Unwin (first published April 1st 2003)
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Mar 31, 2007 Wormie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Jodi Picoult is a fabulous story teller. She has a gift for sharing compelling stories, and for weaving intricate plot lines and interesting characters into a rich literary tapestry. In Second Glance Ms. Picoult has reached new highs. She introduces us to many different characters and story lines; she intertwines those characters to tell one fascinating fictional story; and she throws in a lesson about American history that is quite disturbing and educational. In Second Glance Picoult writes wit ...more
Mar 29, 2009 Valerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tori
I had trouble getting into this, at first. I found the changing pov choppy. But about halfway through the book I found myself caught up in the story. As usual her work is frightening in how it describes the myriad positive and negative emotions involved in motherhood.
Jennifer Edlund
Apr 13, 2012 Jennifer Edlund rated it it was ok
First of all I just have to say that this may be one of the worst Jodi Picoult books I've ever read--one of the most utterly and completely ridiculous storylines in her line of books so far. First off, the beginning is overwhemingly confusing---so many different characters I coudn't keep my focus. This was a huge flaw. Second, all the history and scientific crap really bored me out of my gord. Would have made this read so much smoother if she cut it down about 75 percent. It also rubbed me the w ...more
Jan 14, 2009 Shannon rated it really liked it
I really like Jodi Picoult, but the problem with reading many books by one author is that you start to recognize certain patterns and be able to predict the outcome of any given situation. I knew very early on what happened to Cecilia's baby, as I'm sure most readers did. I was also pretty sure I knew how Cecilia died because of a riddle I learned in elementary school. When the truth was revealed and I found I was right, I wasn't quite sure how to feel about it. I'm not trying to brag or anythin ...more
May 26, 2010 Arlene rated it it was amazing
I knew as I was sitting in a crowd of over 200 Jodi Picoult fans listening to her recount her field research for this book, it was going to be a novel that would have me looking over my shoulder taking a Second Glance for paranormal presence.

This intricately layered novel does a perfect job of demonstrating Picoult's fantastical writing abilities. She is a master at her craft, and Second Glance has proven once again that Picoult can take on any subject matter, objectively present the facts for
Feb 03, 2009 Deanna rated it did not like it
Recommended to Deanna by: Jennifer Bennett Trefz
Again, another book for me where you have to suspend your belief now and again. But a good story if you are easily amused. The end was the hardest to swallow.

Ross Wakeman has repeatedly puts his life at risk after the love of his life dies. When nothing works, and a job with a paranormal investigator brings him no closer to his former love, he moves in with his sister. As chance would have it, strange phenomena are plaguing the town, and Ross is drawn into an investigation of a piece of land th
Jan 21, 2013 Athira rated it it was amazing
Do you believe in ghosts? or in what we call paranormal activity? I used to watch a show called 'Ghost Hunters'. As the name suggests, in this show they hunt ghosts from attics and old mansions; they kind of showed us the presence of an energy in these places with the help of some devices. I was actually piqued by the idea. I always believed in the unknown energy around us; something like the existence of a sixth sense. But when I picked 'Second Glance' to read I never expected the story to be s ...more
Aug 13, 2010 Marleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an amazing read! Reading this story re-confirms why Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors.
I believe it's one of her finest. Not only do I sincerely enjoy her prose and expressive style, but I also love the fact that every time I read a Jodi Picoult book I learn something new and interesting. In this case she weaves the issues of eugenics and genetics into an original story of a love lost.
There are so many layers to this book, that’s what's so fascinating. The fact that there was a
Dec 30, 2008 Tira rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: someone who REALLY enjoys Jodi Picoult
Shelves: uh-no
This was another one of my attempts at listening to a book on cd while in the car. Unfortunately this one was a flop. I'm used to Jodi Picoult using lots of characters in her stories because I have read two of her other books. However this one just never seemed to gel in anyway. I have to admit that I only made it about 2 chapters into the book before I completely lost interest. The characters did not seem like that needed to have any connection to each other what so ever. I felt like I needed t ...more
This is another fantastic novel from Jodi Picoult. I've read most of her novels and this is one of her best ones. The story was beautifully written and kept me enthralled and captivated the whole way through with its tale of ghosts, murder and family scandal. It wasn't what I was expecting and totally different from her usual books but I loved it. There were so many twists and turns in the novel that I was never sure what was going to happen next. Five stars.
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Not my favorite Picoult novel, but there's some good stuff here. I wasn't familiar with the whole eugenics thing prior to reading this book. Appalling! Based on real events.

I liked this line:

"Men...were like an accessory, like a belt or purse or shoes. You didn't necessarily need one to complete your look. Granted, if you walked around barefoot you got a few odd stares every now and then, but the important parts of you were covered."
Feb 03, 2010 Thomas rated it really liked it
Ross Wakeman became a ghost hunter after he lost his fiancee, Aimee, in a terrible car accident. He has never really believed in the paranormal, but he forces himself to take on the career so that one day he could be reunited with his lost love. He moves in with his motherly older sister Shelby, along with her son Ethan who is suffering from XP (xeroderma pigmentosum), in Comtosook, Vermont. There have been rumors floating around of supernatural activity in Comtosook. Several people believe it i ...more
Sep 01, 2009 Beth rated it liked it
Strange things are happening in Comtosook, Vermont. It's August and temperature is fluctuating wildly, rose petals are falling like snow, and large chunks of land are freezing. We meet Ross, a young man devastated by the death of his fiancé, who has attempted suicide numerous times in hopes of reuniting with her. He takes a job with a company that investigates paranormal activities, hoping to be able to reconnect with her. The company is hired to investigate a controversial building site, which ...more
Jan 18, 2017 E. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this enough to possibly read another of JP's books. I think it could have been cut down by 100 pages. The writing was good, but at times excessively flowery. Also, I'll never understand how people can meet at the top of a page and be absolutely in love by the time you reach the bottom.

Having only discovered the work of Jodi Picoult just over two years ago, this is already the eighth title that I have read. I think it is therefore safe to say that I enjoy her novels.

This one is a ghost story and although I do not disbelieve in them I am somewhat sceptical. Seeing is believing so you never know, maybe one day. I think therefore that my scepticism was the reason that I was long way into the story nearly two hundred pages before I really be
Jan 11, 2011 Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars
As much as Picoult is a storyteller...she is also very good at writing history. She was able to intertwine so many important subjects into this book- that I had to remind myself that I was really only reading one novel and not twelve short stories.

AHHH...This book was so good with so many twists and turns. There are so many characters in this book that I had a difficult time keeping up--but eventually they all intertwine for a purpose.

It was eerie, scandalish, poetic, exaggerated, and right on
Jan 10, 2009 Elena rated it really liked it
I grabbed this novel because I am a Picoult fan, and while I heard mixed reviews from others, I found I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. There is twisting, winding plot- there is a ghost story, love stories of different kinds of love, an exposure of a dark secret in American History, and since it is a Picoult novel it touches on a sensitive topic- this time stem cell research. The dark secret has to do with something called Eugenics, developing perfect people and the sterilizing of those deemed le ...more
May 10, 2008 Hirondelle rated it did not like it
I used to read a lot of mystery novels, specially those which are plot dependent, when I was a kid so maybe that caused me to treat any given dates and little details as CLUES on which the mystery can turn, to always try to guess what could possibly happen. And I tend to do the math instinctively of ages and dates. Its hard to stop that terrierlike reading mode. This book did not survive the terrier attack, way the plot turns just does not work with the dates and ages given. Maybe it was a bug i ...more
Dec 19, 2012 MC rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-reading
If you're going to write a book from the perspective of a dozen different characters, then you better do it right.

Unfortunately, Picoult doesn't do it right. Not even close. I only got as far as Chapter 3 or so and couldn't stomach the obviously dated speech and unconvincing behaviors of the characters. No self-respecting teenage boy would use the phrase "As if" or still use a Game Boy. And how can Ross just abandon his camera equipment most likely worth thousands of dollars and blithely refer t
Sahina Bibi
Oct 23, 2015 Sahina Bibi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
If you dig into my archive, you’ll find only two measly Jodi Picoult reviews, one of which is amongst my favourite books ever, Keeping Faith, (review for which is here) and Change of Heart, (which can be found here). In truth though, I’ve read over 7 of her books, which includes the likes of Nineteen Minutes, Salem Falls, The Pact, My Sister’s Keeper, Handle With Care, Perfect Match and The Tenth Circle.

It’s no secret how much I love her books, her style, her content, though I know there are ma
Jan 03, 2017 Zoe rated it it was ok
I was so torn with this. I am an enormous Jodi Picoult fan - she is the reason I have such a love for books, so I wanted to love this like I love all of her books. Sadly, I just didn't. The first flaw for me was the huge amount of characters introduced so early on - and add to the fact that they are all in some way linked, I just couldn't keep up. And then, the storyline. This was such a wonderful concept which was once again just lost on me. Far fetched, complicated, over the top and way too in ...more
Hannah Wallace
Jun 27, 2016 Hannah Wallace rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on Abookthiefandawordshaker
A Jodi Picoult novel isn’t truly a Jodi Picoult books without complex characters and Second Glance was chock-full of them. While Ross is the main character, we also have plenty of side characters who are just as important. ross has lots of issues due to the fact that his wife Aimee died in a car accident, and ever since then he was felt kind of empty. he doesn’t want to live and throughout this story as he meets these different characters, living be
Aug 12, 2016 Arista rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy mystery, suspense, paranormal activity, complex story lines
Recommended to Arista by: Momma
Second Glance is a fascinating, complex and, at times, difficult to follow story. It spans generations and follows the lives of an eclectic mix of individuals. It's the kind of story that makes you question your beliefs and educates you on history without even appearing to do so.

Learning about the history of eugenics in Vermont was mind-blowing. I, personally, had not previously heard anything about this period in history. It is a fictional account of that generation, however, I can easily see w
Sep 14, 2015 Alex rated it it was amazing
Another wonderful book by Picoult. Different from her usual fare in that it departed from strictly nonfiction topics (based on what you believe). As someone who believes the ones we love never really leave us, I fell in love with this book from the description, and I hung on every word. It was a beautiful, tragic journey through the exquisite pain of loss and the desperate need we have to connect with those long after they're gone.
Evelyn Rivera
Jul 13, 2012 Evelyn Rivera rated it it was amazing
Jodi Picoult,never seems to fail me. It's the frist novel that I read about paranormal activities and ghost hunters and it was great. The way she incorporated some of the history of Vermont in the novel was brilliant. The information about the Vermont eugenics project of the 1920's and 30's that dealt with the sterilazation law that pass in vermont and Hitler's plan was no different. It was a very intererting part of American history that I never new about it.
Nov 02, 2015 Nicole rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
More like 4.5, and only because it took me almost 80 pages to get really engaged. But once I did, this book ended up blowing away my expectations, and honestly Picoult's writing does that a lot for me. Beautifully crafted, with stunning details and characters that jump off the page, grab a cup of coffee, and plop down on the couch next to you to tell their stories. I could not love Second Glance more.
Gemma Reece
Nov 04, 2011 Gemma Reece rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could give it 6 stars I would - brilliant, it is hard to say much about it without giving anything away but it is a gripping story of family history, ghostly suggestions and modern life with several intertwined plots and fab characters. I love Jodi Picoult books and this one is right up there with the others I have loved.
Dec 31, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews, 2015
Ghosts + eugenics + oppressive white males + native people reclaiming their land = clearly the foundation of a compelling mystery/excellent vacation read. Minus one star because there were (unnecessarily) a zillion characters and some really painful writing at times. Ooft. JP is a creative storyteller, but not an A+ writer.
Feb 16, 2014 Amanda rated it it was amazing
When I wasn't reading this book, I was wishing I was reading it because I really wanted to know what was going to happen. I did see some of the plot twists early on, but there were still some surprises. I think Jodi Picoult is brilliant. Her ability to craft her intricate stories astounds me.
Debbie "DJ"
Dec 12, 2012 Debbie "DJ" rated it it was ok
I'm a huge Picoult fan, but this one was disappointing. It had all the right elements but just didn't come together for me. It was far to long and with too much plot.
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hard going or what ?? 20 113 Jul 24, 2014 12:06PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Second Glance by Jodi Picoult/March 5 16 17 Mar 09, 2014 08:57PM  
Ask Jodi Picoult ...: Paranormal element 2 99 Feb 22, 2013 02:55PM  
I want to borrow this book! 1 27 Oct 23, 2008 11:23AM  
  • Novels by Jodi Picoult
  • Her Mother's Shadow (Kiss River #3)
  • If You Believe
  • Alexandra, Gone
  • The Breakdown Lane
  • Skylight Confessions
  • Resistance
  • Charley's Web
  • Family Tree
  • Happiness Sold Separately
  • The Buffalo Soldier
Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-three novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Leaving Time, The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Between the Lines, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister’s Keeper. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

Her new novel, SMALL GREAT THINGS, is available in hardcover, ebook, and aud
More about Jodi Picoult...

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