Kylie's Reviews > Lone Wolf

Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult
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Nov 28, 2015

it was ok
bookshelves: hated, 2012
Read in March, 2012

Let me start by saying, I love Jodi Picoult's novels. I've read 13 of them, most of which were thoroughly enjoyable (with only a couple of notable exceptions--Songs of the Humpback Whale for one). I'm always excited to see when she's written something new and can't wait for it to come into print. When I've read or listened to interviews she's given, I am always amazed that she writes all of her novels in about 9 months. For the most part, you would never be able to tell they are written so quickly.
However, Lone Wolf was the exception. Not only was this book not enjoyable, it was physically painful to read. It was one of those books that you read 150 pages in, decide you don't really like the book, but feel like you have to finish it just because you've already put so much effort into reading it.
To me, it feels like she just didn't have enough time to really get at the heart of the novel. The characters were underdeveloped, the voices stagnant, and the plot unrealistic. One of my favorite things about reading a novel by Picoult is her use of voice. In this novel however, the voices of each character were so similar as to be indistinguishable from one another. If there weren't names at the beginning of each chapter, I would have said this was a first person omnicient narrator.
Furthermore, the plot was at times contrived and at other times wholly unrealistic. The "surprise" ending was so poorly done that it was truly unbelievable.
The only redeeming quality of the book, for me, was the information about wolves. I found her research to be fascinating and wished more could have been incorporated about them.

I didn't enjoy this book. But I do love other novels by Jodi Picoult and would recommend many of them. Hopefully, the next novel will be better than Lone Wolf.
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Reading Progress

02/14 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-25 of 25) (25 new)

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Brittany I agree with everythingn you said! I skipped her last 2 and picked this up on a whim and was sorely disappointed in all but Luke's parts.


Andrea I totally TOTALLY agree.


Debby Doyle Totally agree. I love Jodi Picoult and have all of her books, but this one is truly disappointing.


Elaine Said perfectly for me except i am still struggling to finish it. Very diappointed.


Tuesday My sentiments exactly. I found this book very hard to keep reading. By the end I was skipping the wolf parts. I wasn't interested in all the "pack" info, which probably took away from my sympathy for the father


Lynn Agree. Most interesting part was Luke's voice. The lawyer was way over the top. I think this happens when authors crank out annual novels.


Angela This was a great review- I completely agree.


Fiona I agree that this wasn't one of her better novels. If you didn't like Songs of the Humpback Whale I'm not surprised you didn't like this one. It really felt like such a similar "formula". To me that was the problem, it felt to formulaic really.


Paula I could have read it better without the parts as well. It was like a story within a story that I could have done without.


message 10: by Jenn (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jenn Great review! I was impressed by her research on wolf behavior. Her books have felt lately like they are taken straight from the headlines. I remember reading about this guy that lived with the wolves and ate like they did in the novel. This isn't the worst book I have read but i was really happy when it was over though. I really love Jodi Picoult but will not recommend this book.


Dione Sage Completely honest and well put review. I am half way through Lone Wolf and already feel the exact same way. I know a lot about wolves and brain trauma now but I can't say I am loving this book at all, like I have so many of her other books. I am surprised that she writes all her books in 9 months. I didn't know that. Thanks for sharing your review


message 12: by Ruth (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ruth Wow I agree too and I never thought I would but I felt like I had to finish it too and it wasn't u until reading your review that I realized i felt this way but reading about the wolves was really interesting an made me do a lot of research myself I wish if had ended differently but unfortunately it didn't.


message 13: by Carli (new) - added it

Carli Malcolm Haha, I can't even get past the first couple of chapters, good on you for getting past that!! Very painful to read, I keep falling asleep. Even in the middle of the day.


message 14: by Gillian (new) - added it

Gillian Dean Agree, completely. I am also struggling to finish it. I have enjoyed all of the previous books I have read. Maybe part of it is the living with wolves. It's a fantasy that I am not buying.


message 15: by Sarah (new) - rated it 1 star

Sarah I couldn't agree more with you!


Rosemean totally agree! I finished the book only because I was hoping it will get better but nope, it did not!


Chris M Very interesting. I kind of thought the similar voices were rather the point. This novel touched on several emotional issues such as child custody, broken/second/blended families, euthanasia, end of life decisions, and organ donation. That's a lot and all are tough issues for anyone and none are simple... enough material in any one issue for a complete novel. I thought the point of this novel was less about any one particular issue and more about how people handle tough choices in general. I cannot speak to any of the medical issues but the wolf pack behavior was very good. There is a camp for disabled people in eastern Iowa whose motto is: "We're more alike than different." and this is what I believe is the point to "Lone Wolf". Each character's perspective of the same events was slightly different and they each judged others harshly about something only to figure out in the end that they were all human and all made mistakes. Furthermore, the world is bigger than just humans or just wolves; just Indians or just animals... all have a role to play in the larger picture. And there is a larger picture.... the very same situation can seem dangerous or safe, simple or hard, good or bad to different people depending on their perspective.


message 18: by Julie (new) - added it

Julie Urnek I have read several Picoult novels and have enjoyed each one. I change what kind of book I read and change authors constantly. After reading the other reviews here, maybe the fact that I read many other authors and styles is the reason I truly enjoyed this novel. It has been over a year since I read a novel by Jodi Picoult and I found in his novel profoundly striking. It addressed some very heartbreaking issues some families deal with every day. I felt the anguish of each character and I really like how she incorporated the wolves into the story and correlated the qualities of a wolf pack to that of a human family.


message 19: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Murphy Nailed it.


message 20: by Judy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy I agree with


message 21: by Judy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy Sorry. I agree with Julie. I am reading my way through all of Picoult's books. I really like the way she manages to use the voice of each character. I am very interested in wolves and was impressed with how she integrated them into her story. I appreciated the ending.


Ashley Nicole I agree with your review entirely!


Abigail Mclean I read this book in 3 days found the facts about wolves extremely intriguing I felt gut wrenched at the twist and loved the ending with barney
One of my favourite books by her


Kimberley Miller This was my first Jodi Picoult book. I picked it up because at the time I was interested in wolves and I've heard good things about Picoult. However I really struggled with the book. I found Kara to be overly childish for a 17 year old. I was left hating the mother, I found her just to flighty especially since the start of the book claimed she was a reporter... It almost seems like she jumps from kids to kids through out the book. I fully understand why the kids all seem to have issues with each other! And don't even get me started with the amount of double relationships in this book! I'm not sure if the USA systems are that different to Canadian ones, but in most systems; child welfare, law, medical field, if you have more than one relationship with a client and you continue that professional relationship you could lose your licence for where your career is.

I just couldn't agree with you more about this book!


Amanda I agree with everything you said!


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