Let me say first that I really enjoy Jodi Picoult. I think she's a great writer but I really have only read most of her later work. This was one of the earliest books of hers that I have tackled and needless to say, I was disappointed. If you want to read something good by her go for "The Tenth Circle" or "My Sister's Keeper."
This book is dry and uninteresting. The characters are vapid and unrealistic.