Rita's Reviews > My Sister's Keeper

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
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's review
Nov 15, 2008

did not like it
bookshelves: hated
Read in November, 2008

Spoiler Alert. This review contains spoilers.

I hated this book so much. I only kept reading it because I had to find out why Campbell, the lawyer, had a service dog, since he kept that such a secret.

I hated the clichés (Julia chose just that moment to crash through the door… Anna chose that precise moment to speak up… Rita chose this moment to gag on bad writing…).

I hated the overwrought melodrama. Everything was just so saturated with heavy-handed tear-jerking prose that the book was soggy and just about dripping. About halfway through the book, I started skimming it, looking for dialogue relevant to the plot. Brian’s metaphors about fire and Sara’s reminiscing about the kids’ childhoods and Campbell’s backflashes about Julia and Julia being pathetic in every possible way and Anna’s cluelessness just got so very dull. If I was ever to find out why Campbell had that dog, then I needed to get through the material faster. Putting the book down to groan out loud every few paragraphs was taking too long.

The characters were two-dimensional and irritating. They really were just like paper dolls, given name tags, dressed up in stereotypes and given lines to say (and melodramatic thoughts to spill out). It was like, This is the mom and she’s a big martyr who puts her children first all the time… she’s a GOOD mother, she just got blinded by trying to be too good, so she seems kind of bad now. But we’ll be on her side in the end because of her deep insight. Waggle mom paper doll and have her blah, blah, blah and then Over here is the Big Bad Lawyer doll… ooooh, he’s a ruthless go-getter with a hazy past, but he’ll have some secrets to pull out at the end so we’ll realize he’s a decent, stand up guy after all. Waggle lawyer paper doll and have him blah blah blah, and so on.

The plot was all right through all of that until the big Law and Order courtroom twist at the end. That was just a convenient trick to get out of actually trying to find a solution for such a dilemma. She worked it up to such a point that there was no way out that would sit well with an audience, there was no good way to wrap it up, so she pulled a rabbit out of a hat. Then she went a step further and did something that I guess some might find bold, but it just made me shout a stream of obscenities and then made me thankful that I had just skimmed the second half of the book and didn’t really invest in it at all. Otherwise, I would have been furious with such an ending.

This is the second Jodi Picoult book I’ve tried to read. I didn’t like the other one either (Vanishing Acts), so I guess I won’t be reading anything else by this author.

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Reading Progress

11/03 page 5
1.18% "I already hate the parents."
06/26 marked as: read

Comments <span class="mediumText">(showing 1-11)</span>

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message 11: by Krissy (new)

Krissy I liked the book but hated the ending. I have seen a lot of comments, EVEN FROM PARENTS who have EXPEREINCED what Sarah and Brian went through criticising it for being over dramatic and unrealistic. However, I don't think the point was to be realistic, but to get people to think of the moral issue in the book. I felt it was unrealistic in many ways. One, that Campbell would even take on the case that he was not getting paid for but also a case where a child her age was suing her parents. It was unrealistic to me or just unlikely that a child would sue her parents even, not that it can't happen (SPOIILER)even if her sister encouraged it. Also, I don't think grown adults in their thirtys such as Campbell and Julia would have such feelings uncomfortable feelings years later, if they cared that much about one another they probably would have made it an effort to contact them and (spoiler) Julia would have learned what happend way before. Additionally, I know the sad things happen, but it just seemed to be too much drama happening at once to be likely. The ending, although it could happen did not seem necessary or likely, (I know it could happen but still, it seemed forced and purposeful) then again, I would think having a child with lukimia is unkikely, but it could still happen. If anything I would have expected Jesse to be in that situation in the end. Additionally, SPOILER: The ending made it impossible to find out if Anna would have decided to give the kidney or not and I really wanted to know that. The fact that Campbell had a drivers licence when he had epilepcy was unrealistic I think; and the fact that her parents let her drive around with a strange man seemed unlikely, although that part could happen. I didn't hate the parents because I could tell they loved their children all and would give up their own lives if they could for any of their children. (SPOILER) Also, the ending happened too fast, you didn't really get to even hope or think about what might happen. It was just poof she's gone and so morbid and a bit cold. But I do not think what the parents did was unrealistic in conceiving a child to keep her alive. I had a best friend who passed away with cancer and I would like to believe her parents would do all they can to keep her alive. Anna was the most mature one in the book but then, she had to grow up fast due to circumsatances and did not have much of a childhood. All in all, an interesting book but not a real feel good novel, not all books can be though. We need some books to teach us something.

message 10: by Olga (new)

Olga Rita,
I really liked your review. I chose not to read this book based on several reviews including yours, but I am intrigued now -- could you please tell what the service dog was for?

message 9: by Rita (new) - rated it 1 star

Rita He had epilepsy. The dog could sense when he was going to have a seizure and alert him.

message 8: by Olga (new)

Olga Thanks for doing all the hard work!

Good Reads to you.

Madge I'm not alone in only finishing to find out about Campbell?! Yes!

dawna hahahaa I only finished it to find out abut the dog too then promptly forgot this book existed. I only remmebered cause it showed up in me feed with a discussion and I was like "what the hell, I never read this" but alas, unfortunately, I did!

Melinda I completely have to disagree the story was about a girl who was young and being influenced by her family members on whether she should help her sister. Also the main question of the book was should we let children decide what is right for them or there parents and it's a really big conflict we still face today. So I have to disagree with what you said. Yes there were some parts I didn't like but over all it was very good.

message 4: by Gypsybee (new)

Gypsybee You should write Rita... lol

Crystal Good and funny review. That is how I feel about all Picoult books I have read. Regardless though, I will be reading this book now only for personal reasons (having been there and done that) ,which are basically to see if Picoult is really full of it, like I have suspected all along. Your review tells me that yes, she probably is.

Rachel Lewis I had to get on goodreads to see if anyone else felt as I did about this book. Your review captures my general irritation with the characters and my fury over the end. I HAD to tell someone, so hence my comment.

Stephanie Spot on, funny review..I dislike all Picoult books..Her writing is trite, sensation, boring.. Lifetime Television for Women type..Second rate knockoff of her much better mentor, Alice Hoffman..She writes for the intelligence level of the masses…Dumbing down of fiction to be sure

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