Rebecca Berto's Reviews > The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
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's review
May 06, 2012

really liked it

This book started off strong. I've studied biology in my final year of high school and chemistry in my second-last year. I've always loved how humans are made up. That being said, I'm not a scientist nut or a nerd. I read mostly fiction or fiction-writing guides. This has been my first non-fiction book since A STOLEN LIFE by Jaycee Dugard which I read late Nov/early Dec 2011.

The content of this book relating to Henrietta Lacks herself is shocking, amazing, and heartbreaking because she's always been abused in the sense that her image was unknown to all those who performed experiments on her cells or benefited from the medical developments. Author, Rebecca Skloot has done a great job of writing this book for the general public when much of it could have easily been heavy biology/scientific jargon. Overall, most of it was easy to understand, easy to read and thrilling.

However, this book is split into two parts. Two storylines that work together throughout the book. One is Rebecca Skloot's journey in getting to know the family, interviews/research, and the other part is Henrietta Lacks and her family.

Unfortunately, this book "gave it all away" too soon. By midway, I learned everything I wanted to know, and I actually put this book down for a short period and read something else in between. there was no tension or secrets I was waiting to hear how they panned out. Basically people plodded around for the last 40% or so. Disappointing.

In the end, I didn't read the last two chapters because I didn't think I'd miss out on anything anyway.

I want to stress that Henrietta Lacks changed our lives. This book is all about her suffering, biology and how she revolutionalised health and disease cures for everyone today. You MUST know the truth of HeLa. However, read this book knowing that the excitement/tension drops off and the start is much stronger than the ending.

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Reading Progress

May 6, 2012 – Shelved
May 10, 2012 – Started Reading
May 11, 2012 –
page 77
May 13, 2012 –
page 175
May 14, 2012 –
page 224
May 28, 2012 –
page 268
May 28, 2012 – Finished Reading

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