Jo Anne B's Reviews > Lone Wolf

Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult
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it was ok

2.5 stars

I am a big Jodi Picoult fan. Her books are easy to read quickly and involve family dynamics. She always seems to do a lot of research on a wide range of topics in order to bring controversial issues into her books to keep them a little more cerebral than other chic lit authors. However, the subject matter in this book was intangible for me. A guy who preferred living with the wolves than with his wife and two kids? It seemed far fetched and a unrealistic. First, why would a woman want to be with a guy like that, let alone marry him, have kids with him and then stay with him after he left for two years to go be with the wolves? The wolves clearly ranked higher than his family in his book. I didn't like any of the characters either because they were all so selfish, felt sorry for themselves, and were too cowardly to do anything about their situations. No one wants to deal with anything in this book. They all run away from their problems leaving them all unresolved. I only liked this book for Jodi Picoult's excellent writing and the interesting information about people being brain dead vs. in a vegetative state.

Each chapter is narrated by alternating characters. Luke's are all written in italics because he is in a coma. His were the most boring and ridiculous of the book. I did not care about any of the information about wolves and their packs. I especially didn't 
Iike any of the wolf proverbs before many of the chapters. It was shoved down our throats enough that wolves are so wise and all knowing. I doubt any wolf acres more about humans than the other wolves. Luke cared more about them then his family because he fit in better with the animals. This guy just seemed crazy. The only reason he comes back to be with humans is because they don't love him back. They treat each other the way they do out of duty rather than love. Which is weird because that is how he parents his own kids.  Here he is giving all this information about how wolves parent their young and he tell us all the hierarchy in the wolf pack yet he himself sucks at being a parent. What little parenting he does is always related back to what wolves would do in their kids' situations. I guess the reader is supposed to be impressed by how intelligent the wolves are and all the lessons humans can learn about themselves by studying them. But all of that is lost because Luke never incorporates those into his own life. Oh wait, he does though when he has sex with his wife but is too rough like a wolf that he hurts her and bruises her skin all over. He fails at his own life. He abandons his kids and goes to live with wolves. Pretty good parenting there huh? Is that what a wolf would do? This guy was so full of bs that I didn't want to read any of his chapters. And he was the one in a coma that we were supposed to care about. I thought they should have given him to the wolves so they could take care of their own.

I hate when authors play the reader for a fool by purposely holding back information in the form of secrets that the characters won't yet be ready to reveal the answers to until they have worked through enough to comes to term with them and then finally be able to tell the reader about them. Only at the end of course! This is the cheapest writing tactic and it is insulting. We are left wondering for the whole book what really happened in the car accident with Cara and her father and what did Luke say that was so awful to his son Edward that caused him to run off to live in Thailand forever at 18 leaving only a note behind. This is all done to string the leader along to make them stay til the end. It is unfortunate that Jodi Picoult feels she has to do this despite thinking her reader intelligent enough to read about medical jargon such as "he had a temporal lobe hematoma and subarachnoid hemorrhage, an intraventricular hemorrhage that produced an incipient herniation." 

Everyone was so bad at being in a family in this book. Obviously we have Luke who leaves his to go be with the wolves for two years. Cara has her brother arrested and charged for murder because she wants her voice to finally be heard in this family.  Georgie remarries and purposely has new kids in order to try to do it "right this time". These people are so irresponsible that I never felt sorry for them or wanted them to get what they wanted. They deserved it. It is sad that I felt like that too because there were very important family issues and topics in this book that should have mattered but didn't because of the awful characters.

I did like how ironic it was that a guy who preferred to be with the wolves because they had to deal with real issues such as life and death rather than deciding what cereal you want for breakfast is himself stuck between life and death in a coma. 

A good take away from this book is that people need to discuss with their loved ones what they would want to happen to them if they were brain dead and if they would also want to be an organ donor. 
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
March 4, 2012 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)

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message 1: by Megs ♥ (new) - added it

Megs ♥ I was afraid her first attempt at YA would be a bust. That's why I'm waiting to see some reviews before I bother with this. Thanks for an honest opinion.

message 2: by Jason (new)

Jason Great review...

Stephanie This is not her YA book. That hasn't come out yet, I don't think. It was written with her daughter.

Lydia You hit the nail right on the head!

Zebunnisa Chughtai Very well put! Your sentiments mirror mine. Personally, I love her books and I've read seven of them I think and I REALLY did not enjoy this one because none of the characters were even remotely reasonable (except for Joe) I mean I realize that the wolves could be taken as a metaphor; how people sometimes place less important things before more important things...but to arouse empathy you need to FEEL the characters! Didn't happen for me! This so far falls on the second last position in the list of Jodi Picoult books I've read in order of how much I liked them. Last position is for The Tenth Circle...

message 6: by Sue (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sue Stanisich I read it and enjoyed it, but did not like the personification of wolves. I just didn't "get" the reasoning of the main character.

message 7: by Brandy (new)

Brandy Damn, this sounds like one helluva bizarre book... Thanks for the review. I think I'll pass on this.

Eduardo Nice review! Don’t know about you, but I just couldn’t stand CARA... so immature. When her mom says she’s proud of her... I cringed, skipped five chapters and so, just to finish more quickly.

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