Book Review | My Sister’s Keeper
Title: My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary
Published by: Atria Books (May 18th, 2004)
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.
A provocative novel that raises some important ethical issues, My Sister’s Keeper is the story of one family’s struggle for survival at all human costs and a stunning parable for all time.
What I Thought
I first watched the My Sister’s Keeper movie back when it was first released. That movie broke me, and I was sure I’d never read the book. Then, I found out they movie has a completely different ending from the book, and I’ve been curious to read it ever since. Flash forward 8-9 years, and here I am; I finally read the book!
My Sister’s Keeper is such a hard book for me to review, because I loved it, and yet, there’s also a part of me that hated it. This book brings up so many important, ethical issues and really makes you think. I loved the multiple point of views in this book. Usually, when books have multiple POVs, there are some I like better than others. That was not the case for this one, though. By looking at things from each character’s perspective, I was able to gain a better understanding of each character’s reasoning and why they did the things they did. My Sister’s Keeper is about so much more than whether or not a 13 year old girl should donate her kidney to her sick sister.
The flashbacks from the mom, Sara, in her point of view, of watching Kate and Anna grow up and dealing with Kate’s illness really broke my heart. While reading My Sister’s Keeper, Sara really felt like a controlling and manipulative character at times, yet her perspective always helped show her side of things and her vulnerability. She just wants to save her daughter. On the flip side, Anna’s perspective shows a girl who just wants the chance to live her life without guilt and so much riding on each little decision she makes in her life.
This novel is a really great reminder of how fragile life truly is. The deeper I got into the story, the more conflicted I felt about everything, too. I was a bucket of emotions while reading this book. I don’t want to go into the ending because I want to keep this spoiler free, but if you have seen the movie, and you’re wondering about it like I was, let me just say the book’s ending is SO much more complex and thought-provoking.
My Sister’s Keeper is a book filled with so many well-rounded, personal characters – each with their own story to tell. It is one of those books that I will not soon be forgetting. I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for an emotional and thought-provoking read!
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