Nathaniel Irvin's Reviews > Second Glance

Second Glance by Jodi Picoult
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Apr 14, 2012

it was ok
Read in April, 2012

This was a fairly decent book, but I did not enjoy it. Reading it felt less like enjoying a story than digesting a bunch of facts. I did think the character of Ross was interesting, but his self-loathing got very tiresome; eventually I no longer felt sympathy for him, but irritation. Considering his turmoil is in some ways the focal point on which the whole story turns, that presents a problem. The rest of the characters had great potential - Ethan especially - but were kind of only one-dimensional.

This book has a number of elements that, if they're supposed to be twists and surprises, do not work. I figured out a lot of them long before they were revealed, and I typically don't see that kind of stuff coming. And the ones that I didn't see coming seemed overly convenient or conventional.

The discussion of eugenics in the book is interesting; a creepy and eye-opening view into the history of racism and classism in America, as well as a solid point about the need for law & science to be constrained by morality, instead of the other way around. It was rightly just one piece of the story's backdrop, but I think in the end I would have rather read a nonfiction discussion of those topics than the novel's approach to them.
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