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My Sister's Keeper [Audio CD]

Jodi Picoult , Various
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 1 2005
"New York Times" bestselling author Jodi Picoult is widely acclaimed for her keen insights into the hearts and minds of real people. Now she tells the emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness. Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate -- a life and a role that she has never challenged...until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister -- and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves. "My Sister's Keeper" examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life, even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less? Should you follow your own heart, or let others lead you? Once again, in "My Sister's Keeper, " Jodi Picoult tackles a controversial real-life subject with grace, wisdom, and sensitivity.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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From Publishers Weekly

The difficult choices a family must make when a child is diagnosed with a serious disease are explored with pathos and understanding in this 11th novel by Picoult (Second Glance, etc.). The author, who has taken on such controversial subjects as euthanasia (Mercy), teen suicide (The Pact) and sterilization laws (Second Glance), turns her gaze on genetic planning, the prospect of creating babies for health purposes and the ethical and moral fallout that results. Kate Fitzgerald has a rare form of leukemia. Her sister, Anna, was conceived to provide a donor match for procedures that become increasingly invasive. At 13, Anna hires a lawyer so that she can sue her parents for the right to make her own decisions about how her body is used when a kidney transplant is planned. Meanwhile, Jesse, the neglected oldest child of the family, is out setting fires, which his firefighter father, Brian, inevitably puts out. Picoult uses multiple viewpoints to reveal each character's intentions and observations, but she doesn't manage her transitions as gracefully as usual; a series of flashbacks are abrupt. Nor is Sara, the children's mother, as well developed and three-dimensional as previous Picoult protagonists. Her devotion to Kate is understandable, but her complete lack of sympathy for Anna's predicament until the trial does not ring true, nor can we buy that Sara would dust off her law degree and represent herself in such a complicated case. Nevertheless, Picoult ably explores a complex subject with bravado and clarity, and comes up with a heart-wrenching, unexpected plot twist at the book's conclusion.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School - Anna was genetically engineered to be a perfect match for her cancer-ridden older sister. Since birth, the 13-year-old has donated platelets, blood, her umbilical cord, and bone marrow as part of her family's struggle to lengthen Kate's life. Anna is now being considered as a kidney donor in a last-ditch attempt to save her 16-year-old sister. As this compelling story opens, Anna has hired a lawyer to represent her in a medical emancipation suit to allow her to have control over her own body. Picoult skillfully relates the ensuing drama from the points of view of the parents; Anna; Cambell, the self-absorbed lawyer; Julia, the court-appointed guardian ad litem; and Jesse, the troubled oldest child in the family. Everyone's quandary is explicated and each of the characters is fully developed. There seems to be no easy answer, and readers are likely to be sympathetic to all sides of the case. This is a real page-turner and frighteningly thought-provoking. The story shows evidence of thorough research and the unexpected twist at the end will surprise almost everyone. The novel does not answer many questions, but it sure raises some and will have teens thinking about possible answers long after they have finished the book. - Susan H. Woodcock, Fairfax County Public Library, Chantilly, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What Lengths Should a Family Go to Save a Life? Nov. 12 2008
By Teddy
Anna was conceived as a bone marrow donor for her sister Kate. Originally it was just going to be taken from the placenta but when that didn't hold, Anna ended up being a long-term donor for Kate. By the age of 13, Anna had undergone several surgeries and transfusions. Now she is expected to donate a kidney to her sister. Now she will draw a line in the sand. She will fight this.

What length should parents and siblings' go to save a family member's life? What is ethical, moral, and legal? What is right for the person who has the disease? Picoult does not give us the answers but leads us through the journey of what one family, lawyers, and the courts go through. In the end, we must decide.

I like how the narrative of the story switches from character to character so that we can get inside what each person is thinking and feeling. Picoult also throws in a few twists and turns to keep the story and plot going.

Several people have recommended this book to me. I must admit I hesitated, blowing it off as "chick lit". Boy was I wrong. This story is not superficial fluff; it deals with deep ethical issues and is well written.

This is the first Jodi Picoult book I have read, but it is certainly not the last. I highly recommend My Sister's Keeper!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Does not Live Up to Its Interesting Premise June 2 2004
By A Customer
"My Sister's Keeper" is the first novel I have read by Jodi Picoult, and it could very well be the last. The premise of the novel is so interesting: a younger sibling is genetically "designed" so that she will be an acceptable donor to her older sister, who is very ill. As the girls age, there are medical, legal and emotional choices and consequences for the whole family. The story is told from the perspective of each character in the story, which is also an interesting and insightful way to deal with the subject matter.
However, in spite of its promise in both subject matter and form, the novel does not deliver a pleasurable read or a satisfactory ending. At several points while I was reading, I thought: "Is this a soap, or this literature?" I felt like the book, which has lofty quotations which run the gamut from D.H. Lawrence to Shakespeare, has too many aspirations. The author does not let it be enough of a straight-up tug at your heartstrings family drama, and tries to endow it with more seriousness than the writing is really capable of pulling off. And the ending was just not appropriate: the reader is anticipating an ending that deals with the ethical consequences of the character's actions, and the author robs the reader of that experience. I couldn't recommend the novel on that basis alone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tear-jerker June 19 2012
By Karen73
I have to object to the comments criticing the abruptness of the ending. I thought it was perfect. I don't believe readers needed all the nitty gritty details of the events that happened. You can imagine it for yourself. I had tears streaming down my face as I started to read the final chapter. If you've ever lost someone you loved abruptly, you will too.

Jodi Piccoult is one of my favourite authors. Her style of writing is an easy read and you quickly get caught up in the story line making it difficult to put any of her novels down.

I've you've seen the movie, know that the novel has very little in common with it. The movie bastardized the ending. The novel is a must read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book Jan. 10 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a great book, it was an easy read, couldn't put it down. Can't wait to see the movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Book by Jodi Picoult- My Sister's Keeper Sept. 1 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Very good book. Would be one to read again in a few years. They should have made the movie as the book went.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Okay.... July 9 2013
This story has a very interesting premise; a 'designer' baby created to save an older child's life. I think the most interesting thing are the various chapters with the voices of the different characters...A lot of the 'wit' and wise-cracking comments go between a lot of the characters, so I am not sure each voice was carried off well, still an interesting idea.
It was hard to put down but it was somewhat 'soap-operaish'....the ending was not very satisfying, and the mother's character not reflective at all of her relationship with her husband and youngest daughter...Perhaps it was meant to show how wrapped up a mother can get in caring for one sick child. I gave it 3 stars because of the attempt at the various voices, and it did pull at my heart strings. Still, it would have been nice to see the mother more reflective of what a sick child does to a relationship between husband and wife, and her other children.
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5.0 out of 5 stars tear jerker June 21 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
At first I didn't want to read this. I am so happy I did. It has a great twist and will make you cry.
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5.0 out of 5 stars WOW Feb. 14 2013
By Barb O.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a story, I had a very hard time putting this one down !!!
I'm so glad that I didn't see the movie, that would have wrecked everything about this story.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars audio book of my sisters keeper
I enjoyed the audio book, but I thought the readers could be more animated. They seemed to just read the book. instead of acting the parts. but I really enjoyed the book.
Published 19 months ago by Karen
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it
book came in great condition. was a quick delivery. I loved the book and would order from this seller again, and recommend to others. thank you
Published on Nov. 14 2011 by majek
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it.
If you have seen the movie, I suggest you buy the book anyways. The book was amazing and I would recommend it to anyone!
Published on May 11 2011 by marialovesyou
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!
Incredibly well written book - the first I've read of Jodi Picoult's. I couldn't put it down. Heartbreaking story about the issues of sibling donors. Read more
Published on Jan. 3 2011 by Gerrie
5.0 out of 5 stars Just incredible!
This is a MUST READ!!! Absolutely fantastic story addressing some very challenging and very real issues that arise with sibling donors. Totally surprising and shocking ending... Read more
Published on Dec 1 2010 by S. Roberts
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, recommended
I started reading this book not from the perspective of the mother, but from the perspective of a person with leukemia. Read more
Published on July 18 2010 by MZ
2.0 out of 5 stars Great premise, disappointing book
This was my book club read for this month which is why I read it. While Jodie Picoult often picks very interesting and controversial topics to explore in her books, her habit of... Read more
Published on April 6 2010 by Cuddlecakes
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