Title: My Sister’s Keeper
Author: Jodi Picoult
Publication: February 1st, 2005 by Washington Square Press
Received: Bought at an Airport Kiosk
Rating: 4 out of 5
Written with grace, wisdom, and sensitivity, this novel is about a teen who was conceived as a bone marrow match for her sister Kate, and what happens when she begins to question who she really is.
Unexpected and heartbreaking. Nothing at all like the movie, which is why if you’ve seen the movie you should read the book.
I read this book on a plane to Toronto back in 2009, which is when the movie came out. Back then I had a thing for reading books that would later become movies. This was the first book I read before seeing the movie.
And it’s a prime example of movies that ruin a good book.
There were lots of things I liked about My Sister’s Keeper. First of all, the writing style. Jodi tells the story from multiple first person view. Meaning, each section is titled with the person who is speaking, and the text itself actually changes depending on the person. That alone made it a great read as you got to get into the heads of everyone involved, including Anna’s brother Jesse, Anna’s dad, Anna’s mom, and Kate, Anna’s sister.
I liked Julie. She was the love interest for Campbell Alexander (aka Anna’s attorney) and Anna’s legally appointed guardian. Yes, she’s not even in the movie, but she was very prominent in the book, so much so that there’s an entire sub plot all about Julie. Julie is a twin, Julie names things like her fridge. Julie used to go out with Campbell but they broke up because she thought he was a jerk when really he just had a health problem he was hiding from her. They fall in love again because of Anna’s case, and yeah, apparently live happily ever after.
And in case you missed it, Anna’s dad is a firefighter and Jesse is upset with his family so he’s out being an arsonist for most of the book in hopes that his dad will notice him. Not the best way for a kid to do something but hey, it added a lot of layers to the dysfunctional family atmosphere in this book.
And then there’s the entire main plot about Anna’s case. I did feel sorry for this kid. I mean who wants to be born for the sole purpose of being a donor to your sister? And where do we draw the line between donor and body harvesting? Most of Anna’s life it was up to her parents to speak for her, and now instead of it just being marrow or a blood transfusion or something it’s a whole kidney they want from Anna. In my opinion, girl had a right to go in this direction, she had a right to get a lot more angry than she did in the book.
And the ending. It was unexpected and beautiful and goes to show you that nobody and nothing is infallible in life. It shows you that sometimes bad things happen and there’s nothing you can do about it. In case you’re wondering, it doesn’t end the way the movie ends, Kate lives. That’s all I’m going to say.
So if you haven’t yet picked up this book because you um, saw the movie and thought “meh, not my type of book” go get the book . . . it’s a hundred times better than the movie.