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Second Glance

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  42,647 ratings  ·  2,789 reviews
When odd, supernatural events plague the town of Comtosook, a ghost hunter is hired by the developer to help convince the residents that there's nothing spiritual about the property. An intricate tale of love, haunting memories, and renewal. (An interview about the book is included below the reading guide).

"Sometimes I wonder....Can a ghost find you, if she wants to?"

An i
Paperback, 448 pages
Published March 2nd 2004 by Washington Square Press (first published April 8th 2003)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  42,647 ratings  ·  2,789 reviews

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Jennifer Edlund
Apr 13, 2012 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
Mar 29, 2009 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.
Mar 31, 2007 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
Jul 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ok another JP book that made my head spin. I love paranormal tropes so i was in my element here. There's a ton of characters which took me a while to get a hold off but once i was in, i was in!

As in all her books they do follow the same formula but I'm good with that, i love that she makes me re-evaluate my views while educating me on various topics i know little about.
Apr 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 5000-2020, may-20
I love Jodi Picoult but sadly this was my least favourite of her books.
A confusing, depressing and bizarre story.
It involves quite a few characters and it's not immediately clear how they all fit together but they do in the end. With that being said, the topics were interesting - paranormal, eugenics, suicide and depression, murder mystery and a love story.
Not bad at all. I liked it and the characters. There were some very funny moments and not as much controversy as some of Picout's books which made this novel a lighter read than most of her books. I expected it to be a bit slow at the beginning and it did have some slow moments but not as much as I expected. I like the ghost aspect which I did not think I would from Picoult because I was afraid it would be like Danielle Steel's Past Present when the ghosts showed up but it wasn't. It was actuall ...more
Dec 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
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. [Editing this in 2020 to say this incredibly sexist and narrow-minded of me to say.] And how can Ross just aba
I don't believe in ghosts. Sorry, I just don't. You could put in a haunted house or whatever and at the end of the day I still wont believe in ghost. Even if I die and become a ghost and haunt all the people that did me wrong in my lifetime - I still wouldn't believe.

Admitting all of that - I can't say that I was hesitant about reading this book nor did I have high expectations for it. I've said this countless time but I really do have a love/hate relationship with Jodi Picoult.

Second Glance wa
Mar 18, 2010 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
Jan 14, 2009 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 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
First Jodi piccoult book. I set it down for 3 months, came back to it, found some things that started to click. Led me to read many many more Jodi piccoult books.
May 12, 2008 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
Jan 06, 2010 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
Jan 30, 2010 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
Nov 15, 2012 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
Jeanette (Again)
Jan 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: all-fiction
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, 2009 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
Jeanne Adamek
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jodi Picoults really quality writing kept me interested throughout my reading of this novel. I was really impressed with her descriptions. Of course the novel having a bit of paranormal, a glimpse in earlier times, and a fascinating look in XP and all this functioning together made the story outstanding--at least in my eyes. I could figure out where the novel was going but the lush expressive writing made up for this.

I guess my only critic would be that the names of the characters often had the
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. ...more
Sep 28, 2009 rated it it was ok
review to follow
Nov 30, 2009 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 05, 2009 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
Sep 01, 2009 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
Mrs. Badass
Aug 05, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: could-not-finish
I know that A lot of people love this author so I picked up a copy at a local store to see what the fuss was about. I read maybe the first 15 pages. I was so confused. I think I was introduced to 3 or 4 different story lines and about 8 or 9 characters and I felt like my rubber neck was going to come off my body and start running away from the sheer torture.

I just could not even get started.

Maybe I will try again.

Probably not.
Jan 18, 2017 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.

Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings)
Read quite some time ago but loved this book in fact love all of Jodi Picoult books.
Sahina Bibi
May 07, 2011 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
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Second glance 3.75⭐️
Ross lost his wife. He couldnt deal living without her so he tried to commit suicide but that didnt stick. He kept living. So now ross it a ghost hunter trying to connect with his wife.
Ross doesnt want to get rid of ghosts if he finds one he wants it to be his Ammie and he wants her to come back to him. It actually a sad story because he cant move on while other people are angry and confused and a little bit scared so they want the ghost gone.

Obviously being Jodi Picoult it
Jun 17, 2017 rated it liked it
**3.5 stars**

What a weird book! The plot was all over the place, with really strange coincidences. I can't even say I liked the main characters. Both Ross and Lia were suicidal so it was very difficult to empathize with them, specially because they kept hurting those they loved.

The most interesting aspect of the story was delving into the Eugenics movement in 1930s Vermont. It was horrifying how these people used this pseudo science with such flawed research to get rid of people that were diffe
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
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JPathon: Chapter 9-chapter 12 1 5 Apr 05, 2017 07:23AM  
JPathon: Chapter 5-chapter 8 1 3 Apr 05, 2017 07:21AM  
JPathon: Chapter 1- Chapter 4 1 2 Apr 05, 2017 07:21AM  
hard going or what ?? 19 115 Jul 24, 2014 12:06PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Second Glance by Jodi Picoult/March 5 2014 16 22 Mar 09, 2014 08:57PM  
Ask Jodi Picoult ...: Paranormal element 2 100 Feb 22, 2013 02:55PM  
I want to borrow this book! 1 27 Oct 23, 2008 11:23AM  

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Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-six novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Small Great Things, A Spark of Light, 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, THE BOOK OF TWO WAYS, is

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