Jenny Maloney's Reviews > Change of Heart

Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
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May 04, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: have-read
Recommended for: fans of tough subjects
Read in April, 2008

I read an article/interview in Advance Magazine about how Picoult was juggling the issue of being 'preachy'--when you handle two subject like the death penalty and religion you're riding a fine line. Unfortunately, I think she crossed that preachy line by more than a smidge in a couple places. Most of the time I did not mind because my views tended to fall into place with the ones represented in the book. However, I know that can't be said for all readers.

***Possible spoiler stuff follows***

In my opinion this book would have benefitted from just one character representing the 'Pro death penalty' side of the argument. Almost all the characters' archs go something like this: "I am for the death penalty (sort of) but now, after meeting this kid, I am against the death penalty." I think Picoult's story would have been more well-rounded (and dodge that 'preachiness' she's so keen to avoid) by putting in a character that begins "I am against the death penalty" and then "I am for the death penalty. Of course, nothing is easier to write than someone else's story....

On the totally up side: It's a quick read. It catches your attention and holds it. It does tackle a difficult subject. And Picoult's writing is just gorgeous to read. There's a line in there about when you give birth to a daughter you've just met the person who will hold you're hand when you die--yup, made me cry.
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