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on June 26, 2016
I think the premise of this book opens up a whole can of worms.

I like the book because it definitely hit me right in the feels. As someone who has dealt with loved ones fighting cancer, I found myself in the shoes of the different family members just as Picoult had intended with the way the book is broken up into perspectives. It becomes emotionally turbulent, minds are jumbled, and hearts are broken. I found myself going back to this book with every free moment I had during the time I was reading it because it had hit so close to home for me.

Despite that, I felt the ending may have been a bit of a cop out and ultimately while I did enjoy many parts of the book, I was left a bit disappointed. Considering the length of time it took to lead up to the ending, the ending was sudden and felt unresolved and anticlimactic, but a plot twist thrown in to flip our emotions. I certainly agree with the other reviewers that the journey is a good one, but the destination is lacking.
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on November 12, 2008
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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on June 2, 2004
"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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on April 18, 2006
I have just finish reading this book and I have to admit that I don't regret my purchase. However, people thinking of getting this book should be aware that the ending spoils the 'greatnest' of the story. It is too abrupt, too sudden and you're left wondering if the author had a deadline and didn't know what to do so lets just say she puts a stop to the debate about the organ donation pretty quickly.
One other minor thing that bugged me : Anna's going back and forth to her mother. (You'll understand!)
Even though some parts of the book were frustrating, if you read most people's comments they couldn't put the book down so in MY book, it means it is worth the time spent reading it.
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on August 15, 2006
This is a novel pulled right from today's headlines, one filled with ethical conundrums and ambiguities. Medical advances that put us in the position of playing God (but without the infinite wisdom) have no easy right/wrong answers, as Picoult makes abundantly clear in her captivating book. Picoult's characters are as real as your friends and neighbors, good people at heart caught up in troubling issues that are only going to grow more vexing as medical advances continue to outstrip our courts and our ability to come to terms with all the moral implications. Unsettling yet fascinating, My Sister's Keeper is a must-read. It would have received five stars if it weren't for the ending, which could have been much more definitive and less of a convenient, simple way out of a problematic situation. Still, My Sister's Keeper wins a solid recommendation. There's another thoughtful good book, An Audience for Einstein, that explores the ethics of advanced medical science in a somewhat gentler way.
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on June 24, 2004
This is the first novel of Picoult's that I have read. When reading the description of the plot (a minor who sues for medical control over her own body after 13 years of being used for blood and marrow donations to her sister who has leukemia), I was immediately taken in. An added bonus, when I got the book, was discovering Picoult's narrative structure -- chapters are written from the point of view from different characters.
Picoult does an excellent job at character development. I found that I was able to understand each character's motivations and was drawn to each of them as individuals. And it is obvious that she does her homework in regards to both the complex legal and medical issues.
I was, however, very disappointed in the ending. After spending some 200-odd pages taking the rollercoaster ride of emotions with each character as well sorting through my own feelings about truth and morality, I reached the culmination of the trial. Her handling of the trial is emotionally rich, even if several of the issues that are raised are only done so cursorily. Regardless, the verdict is given that is fair and appropriate. I was excited to see what would happen *after* the verdict.
Instead, however, of attempting to implement the verdict in a "real-life" setting, Picoult ends the book with a plot device that indicates to me that she had run out of creative energy. It enabled all the characters to have their stories all neatly tied up. Very much a "happily ever after" ending which does a large disservice to the bulk of the book where Picoult spends extensive time laying out the issues.
I have recommended this book to my friends, but with the very large caveat as above. So much more could have been done with this book and the issues it raises -- I was disappointed in the cliche ending.
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on June 19, 2012
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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on January 29, 2009
This is the first book I have read by Jodi Picoult.It was good enough that I will read another of hers. It is fluff enough to read without much effort, but because of this I found the characters to be a bit shallow and contrived-- especially Jessie. Jodie Picoult tends to go overboard with her depiction of what she believes to be the voice of a delinquent teen. He turns out not to be believable and I feel the story did not need him. The core of the story, however, is believable and fascinating. In this day of -do anything, try anything and buy anything- the concept of a designer baby like Anna is real. I would recommend this book.
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on June 21, 2004
The story was incredible most of the time, but there were a few parts i mostly skipped over because they read like daytime television. The relationship between the sisters was good, but i felt that the parents were too 2-D. i didnt mind the flashbacks, but i felt that the older brother's little drama could have mostly been left out of the story. Same with the lawyers. I felt that they should have just filled their roles and allowed the sisters to take the center stage the rest of the time because their drama had, really, nothing to do with the important issues of the story.
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on June 19, 2006
Anna, a 13 year old, had been an IVF baby specifically created to be a genetic match for her older sister Kate who was dying from leukaemia. Throughout her short life she has undergone painful procedures in order to donate various parts of her to her sibling. No one ever asked Anna what she felt about this or questioned her willingness to be a donor. When Kate goes into renal failure it is assumed that Anna will donate a kidney to her. It is at this point Anna approaches an attorney and asks him to represent her, in a case against her parents, for the rights to her own body.

The book doesn't merely narrate Anna's story but also gives the views of Kate, Sara and Brian (her parents), Jesse, (her delinquent brother), her lawyer Cameron and Julia, the court appointed guardian. Sara wants to keep Kate alive no matter the cost, Brian wants everyone to be happy, Jesse feels neglected and left out, an `after thought'. What quickly becomes clear is that there is no black or white, just shades of grey, no easy answers and an awful moral and ethical dilemma. Is it right to use a child to save another? Is it morally right to create `designer babies' and who should make those decisions? Is a 13 year old mature enough to decide whether she wants to be a donor? Are parent's rights over their child absolute? Jodi Picoult has handled these issues sensitively and has managed to produce a thoughtful, moving story that will have the reader gripped from start to finish. This is one of those books that you cannot put down, a real page turner and one I would recommend highly.
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