Jodi Picoult Books Reading Group. discussion

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Succumbing to my addiction: Jodi's novels

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message 1: by Monica (new)

Monica (monicajoy) | 4 comments I am a huge fan of Jodi's books. My first was 19 Minutes, then My Sister's Keeper, and I have just finished Handle With Care. I love the way she writes the story through the points of view of different characters. There are any similarities in the three that I have read so far: lawyers/court scenes, storytelling through different perspectives, a medical disaster of sorts (sickness, disease, death), and they all end tragically. This, of course, makes me wonder why I am so drawn to her books. Why is it that once I start reading I refuse to put the book down? I finished all 477 pages of Handle With Care in less than a week.

There never seems to be a happy ending in the world of Jodi Picoult, so why do we all insist upon reading her tragic novels? Surely we can't all be terrible people who like to read pages upon pages of people suffering; hell, I cried at the end of all three novels I read. I am still trying to determine my own logical answer, but what is your rationale? Why Jodi Picoult? Why feed your addiction if you know it won't end well?


message 2: by Glenda (new)

Glenda | 12 comments I love reading Jodi Picoult. My first was Plain Truth way back in 2000, before she became so well known. I fell in love with her style of writing, from multiple viewpoints. Other writers do that now, but I think she was one of the first. Also, I love reading about moral issues and seeing what kind of choices people make. Sometimes people make bad choices for a good reason. They really make me think what I would do if placed in that situation and that is what appeals to me, I think. She also writes on topics that are current. That is another draw for me. I have read all of her books and can't wait for House Rules coming out next month!


message 3: by Marti (last edited Feb 14, 2010 12:04PM) (new)

Marti (marjay) | 8 comments Monica, Amy and Glenda, I also enjoy reading Jodi Piccoult's books. I have read all of your thoughts and I see them just a bit differently. I think her books allow you to see more sides of an issue than what we normally do. Her books take you on a journey, instead of it being linear, it is circular. We go all around and around an issue and when we stop we have had a chance to walk in another's shoes... I started with Plain Truth and have read them all. My least favorite was The Tenth Circle - I had it figured out to some extent and I didn't enjoy the graphic nature. In Handle With Care, I had a strong visceral reaction to Charlotte and how she treated her best friend. But in Her Sister's Keeper my feelings were conflicted all the way through. It is a gift that we have here. The luxury to take our mores/moral thoughts and take them out, turn them around and examine them. She makes us reassess and realize how there is not right or easy answer...ever

PS Chris Bohjalian writes in a similar style and I feel the same about his books.


message 4: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey (lindseyloo725) | 10 comments The first book I read was My Sister's Keeper. I had NO IDEA what I was getting into but the minute the book ended...I was hooked. My husband laughs at me because I always feel so "drained" when I put down one of her novels. I always have to read something lighter in between her books or else I think I wouldn't ever get out of bed! I think the reason I love her books to the degree I do is that her books always seem to start a good conversation. Not having any children of my own, I love reading how the characters handle situations and I absolutely love how these books continuously provide amazing conversations with between my husband and myself.

I am counting down the days until March 2nd. I can't wait for House Rules!!


message 5: by Dara (new)

Dara | 145 comments Monica wrote: "I am a huge fan of Jodi's books. My first was 19 Minutes, then My Sister's Keeper, and I have just finished Handle With Care. I love the way she writes the story through the points of view of dif..."

Monica, I think for me it is about the message of her books, not necessarily the tragedy. But in most of her stories she has the protagonist, usually the mother, who fights with abandon for one child. Ultimately the message is usually that you need to value ALL of your family, not just the one that appears to be "needy" at a particular time, because you never know what life will throw at you.


message 6: by Dara (new)

Dara | 145 comments Lindsey wrote: "The first book I read was My Sister's Keeper. I had NO IDEA what I was getting into but the minute the book ended...I was hooked. My husband laughs at me because I always feel so "drained" when I p..."

I agree with you Lindsey. JP really sucks me in and I can't put her books down. I too have to read something lighter after one of her books for this reason. But her ability to put the reader into the heads of all the characters, how it felt to be the mother of a kid who shot up his school etc. Most of us will never be touched by that particular tragedy, thankfully, and it is soooo easy to armchair quarterback and think "how could that mother not know her child was that damaged and capable of such harm?", when in reality, how well do we know our children and what they don't want us to know? I don't have anyone in my house that likes reading (though I can't for the life of me figure that out!) so you can't vent and discuss with me anytime!!




message 7: by Dara (new)

Dara | 145 comments Is anyone going to JP's book signing in Oakbrook, IL on March 9th??


message 8: by Monica (new)

Monica (monicajoy) | 4 comments No, Dara, but I am going to the signing & lecture March 7 in Wyckoff, NJ. I am sooooooo excited!!!


message 9: by Dara (new)

Dara | 145 comments Monica wrote: "No, Dara, but I am going to the signing & lecture March 7 in Wyckoff, NJ. I am sooooooo excited!!!"

Have a great time Monica. You will love it. I went last year to Oakbrook (it is about 3-3.5 hrs from me) and loved it. I loved hearing her thought processes and why she chooses the topics she does. And I enjoyed it so much I will go by myself if my friend can't get off work for it.

On Feb 9th I was supposed to go up to the Chicago suburbs for a Kristen Hannah book signing and then it snowed. Grrrr...I am not afraid of a little snow but it was supposed to be blowing and much worse up north so my friend wouldn't go and I ended up staying home. Then yesterday I saw on Kristen's FB page where Susan Elizabeth Phillips also showed up for the event. Susan, I believe, lives in the Chicago area and is friends so she came out. Ughhhhh...I was sooo frustrated. We NEVER get the amount of snow, if any, that they predict but of course the one day I want to go out of town we get it.


message 10: by Ashley (new)

Ashley  (angelashly) | 20 comments I love her books because she is a great writer. Her characters are usually complex and have layers that so many books are lacking now a days. She does her research and writes a story that leaves me thinking months after I read it.

That being said I usually do read a YA or chick lit book after one of her books.


message 11: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah | 8 comments I'm currently reading Handle With Care. I'm about a quarter of the way through, and I can't seem to put it down. I love it! I love how she writes her books with every chapter being a different character's point of view. It's an easy read for me and I just love her books! I started reading Mercy; that was my first Jodi Picoult book, but I never finished it. I read Change of Heart and absolutely loved it! Handle with Care is my new favorite of hers, and I can't wait to read all her others!


message 12: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah | 8 comments no, not yet. My mom and I have been trading back and forth...I think she's reading 19 Minutes or Second Glance right now...I think My Sister's Keeper will be my next one.


message 13: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah | 8 comments I usually like to read the books first anyway, because they are usually better. I end up being really disappointed in the movies afterward, but that's usually the way it goes. I will make sure I read My Sister's Keeper before I see the movie. Thanks foe the advice:)


message 14: by Crystal (new)

Crystal | 4 comments I just finished House Rules and for the second book in a row I am really disappointed! I have read every book Jodi P. has written and attended her book signings 3 years in a row. I figured out the twist in House Rules by Chapter 3! In Handle with Care I got tired of reading the recipes and didn't read the last one until one of my friends told me that I should. Now in House Rules she has cases to read. I am really frustrated that my favorite author seems to be using gimmicks in her books. I am really frustrated! Interested to see what other people think!


message 15: by Crystal (new)

Crystal | 4 comments Amy wrote: "I too didn't like House Rules ending very much, nor the ending to Handle with Care. I have never been to one of her book signings, and I also don't think I should go, because I would probably ask w..."
Glad to hear that I am not the only one who didn't like the ending! What is your opinion about the last two pages? Do you think Theo did kill Jess or was it just an accident? I keep changing my mind but now am leaning toward the fact that it was an accident.


message 16: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 3 comments Her books always give you a peak into other peoples lives and we get to see how they deal with hard issues. I have read them all and enjoyed them very much. In fact i find my self in a delima now because I cant seem to find another author I like as much. any suggestions? I have read all of sparks and emily giffin. I miss having her jp huge stack of books to tear through.


message 17: by Susan (new)

Susan I love Diane Chamberlain for that same reason! I just read her book Breaking the Silenceand it was really good!!


message 18: by Malisa (new)

Malisa I think we just love how the story is told and it gets us thinking about how precious life is.


message 19: by Betsy (new)

Betsy (mistymtladi) | 36 comments Alot of people like Kristan Hannah. The Magic Hour s reminiscent of one ofJodi's called Vanishing Acts


message 20: by Eileen (new)

Eileen (longtimecouple1) | 7 comments I have read almost all of hers, just the most recent two I haven't gotten to. I started with Plain Truth, and have gone pretty much in succession. I love them all, but some more than others. I loved Sister's Keeper and Second Chance particularly. I also enjoyed reading Nineteen Minutes, even though it was very reminiscent of the Colorado School Shootings it was very thought provoking. She does so much research for all of her books, it really shows in her writing.
I have had the opportunity to meet her 3 times at book signings and library talks, and she is such a genuine person. She really seems to enjoy her fans.


message 21: by Eileen (new)

Eileen (longtimecouple1) | 7 comments That should be Second Glance, not Chance, can't type today.


message 22: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (readerandwriter) | 75 comments I like her books because after reading them, I ask myself what would I have done in this character's situation ? And Jodi 's books make great discussions afterwards, even debative ones. Jodi's books make you really think afterwards. Not just "that was a great book" .


message 23: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Ballard (cheball) I agree that Jodi chooses topics that are sometimes controversial or thought provoking. I enjoy finishing a book and feeling like I have been challenged to consider how I would have reacted in difficult situations. Her book "Sing Me Home" was written to bring awareness to homosexuality . She is proud of her son and wanted to write a book to open up the minds of those who might treat him as less than a person. I led a discussion on this book and feel that some people may have become more accepting of gays. Her books are just fun reading ; they are educational.


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