Jodi Picoult Books Reading Group. discussion

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Questions/Observations > Character Similairites?

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message 1: by Ashlee (new)

Ashlee (ashlee_) | 83 comments I've been thinking about this for a while, and I decided to finally ask other JP fans what they think- sometimes I'll be reading a book by JP and out of nowhere I start feeling like I remember the character. Like in 19 minutes- Josie is this young girl who doesn't like to upset anyone and tries to make everyone happy, but in the end it winds up hurting her. I was just reading "The Pact" about a month and half ago and I felt like Emily was the exact same way! and I even pictured them the same. Also- Nina, from "The Perfect Match" and Charlotte from "Handle with Care" are both self righteous mothers and I didn't care for either of them. Does anyone else seem to notice any characters that sort of duplicate other characters? don't get me wrong, I'm NOT trying to downtalk any of her books or characters, I just found it interesting, but also refreshing- I loved 19 minutes and I missed reading it after I finished, so when I read the Pact it was nice to have a character that reminded me of Josie since I loved that book.


message 2: by Anna (new)

Anna | 81 comments I think often times of the characters are similar just like "real life" people. I find in many of her books the moms are very self-righteous--similar to the "power moms" I meet. Those women who charge ahead to get usually what is perceived to be "owed" an offspring.

I loved Sing Me Home as I found all the women in the story to have evolved beyond that point in life. I especially admired Angela--she speaks for those outside of society's definition of "normal". I loved reading a story that I could picture a friend or acquaintance in a positive way.


message 3: by Ashlee (new)

Ashlee (ashlee_) | 83 comments Was Sing Me Home a good book? I keep seeing it at Walmart, but I've heard it wasn't that good, and I didn't want to make a $20 purchase. I may check at the library and see if they have it.


message 4: by Emily (new)

Emily | 4 comments I completely agree with Anna. Yes, the characters are similar sometimes, but only because they share traits the way friends share likes and dislikes. If you have ever hear Jodi speak or read any of her FAQs about her writing process, it is obvious how much she thinks of her characters as real people, which I think is fantastic. The realness of the characters in her mind translates onto the page. And, if the characters were real people, they would not be as similar as you, Ashlee, make them out to be. I know that you are not downgrading anything or anyone, but I personally do not agree that the characters are that similar.

Also, in regards to "Sing You Home", although because it has been 4 months since your last comment on this post you have probably made a decision about it: it is an absolutely fabulous book. I have read every one of Jodi's and they are all amazing. "Sing You Home", in my opinion, ranks the way many people think of "Nineteen Minutes" and "My Sister's Keeper". Personally, I think that "Vanishing Acts" should also be included in that list, and that is my reccomendation (although every one of them is fantastic, and her style remains true throughout each and every one).


message 5: by Ashlee (last edited Sep 27, 2011 03:27PM) (new)

Ashlee (ashlee_) | 83 comments Thanks for the reply Emily. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on the character similarities. I see it in many of her books. Which certainly isn't a bad thing, I was just observing and wondering if anyone else noticed it too. I've read all her interviews and I am a big fan of JP and I love that she says her characters pretty much write themselves after a while. I think it's fantastic. With that being said though, she did say she was the most horrible friend ever (jokingly of course) because friends of hers will say something, and usually it ends up in one of her books. So I think that the similarities I see in her characters may even stem from her real life friends. Like I said I'm not down-talking anything. I think it's refreshing to have a feel of dejavu when reading because honestly I love her work and I miss certain characters after I finish a book. And I actually haven't read Sing You Home yet. I think since I posted in May I've only read My Sisters Keeper and Change of Heart. However we had a wonderful Fall Book Sale in my hometown last weekend and I got 10 books of hers! Some that I had already read and just wanted to add to my collection, and some I haven't read yet. So now I have Picture perfect, Mercy, Second Glance, and The Tenth Circle in my library to read. I will read Sing you Home soon though, and I'm sure I'll post in the group with my thoughts once I'm done. :)

The only book by Jodi I did not care for was Perfect Match. I have no idea why but it's the only book of hers that I could not get into. The rest I think are absolutely fantastic.


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