I guys, it’s Zoe here, and today and I’m going to be reviewing a book I read yesterday called My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I know this is a really popular and devastating book and has been highly recommended to me by a bunch of friends so I decided to give it a go.
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.
I have been constantly told to read this book by numerous people who have absolutely loved it and was certainly not let down by the story. This book had it all, from amazing writing, an amazing plot and such raw and honest characters. It was one of those books I just couldn’t put down as I became so engaged in the story. Unfortunately, before I started the book I did already know the ending. Also, I watched the movie a couple of months ago so had a pretty good idea about the book and what was going to happen but knew the endings were very different. After reading the book and watching the movie I am not even sure which end I preferred. Looking back on the movie I think it was a more realistic ending but after finishing the book I can’t decide. Nevertheless, they both made me cry and displayed amazing characters and an amazing story.
One thing which I loved about this book was the characters. The book has 6 different perspectives which I found really interesting as I have never read a book from so many different points of views. There was Sara, Brian, Anna, Campbell, Julia, and Jesse. Surprisingly throughout the book, Kate’s voice was not displayed but rather her point of view is told from all the different characters specifically Sara. I thought this was really interesting but when I got to the end of the book realised why and thought having Kate have the very last chapter was so lovely and heartbreaking at the same time. I think that not having Kate’s perspective was also really clever as the book does revolve around her being in hospital but we as the readers get to see how everyone around her is affected by what she is going through and how they all deal with this. I found Anna and Sara’s chapters the most engaging.
Obviously, Anna was a very prominent character in the story and I loved her personality. She is shown as such a brave, intelligent and loyal sister which I found so beautiful. The relationship between Kate and Anna was honestly so sweet and extremely realistic which I loved. Many reviews said that they really didn’t like Sara (the mother) as a character which I have a totally different view on. I do agree that Sara’s actions were sometimes not called for, but because of everything she was going through I thought she was well portrayed and loved how caring and loving she was toward her children. I thought Brain (the father) was a really nice addition and so supportive of Anna thought out the process. Jesse, Kate and Anna’s older brother was off the rails for most of the book, usually on drugs or drunk which I found really sad and reiterated the idea that something like this can tear apart a family. You got the idea that because Kate has been the central attention for so many years and Anna has been involved in helping Kate, that Jesse had been forgotten about and even Sara said herself that she stopped trying with Jesse and let him go, unable to help anymore.
“If you have a sister and she dies, do you stop saying you have one? Or are you always a sister, even when the other half of the equation is gone?”
Julia and Campbell were the other two characters. Campbell was Anna’s lawyer who I did find interesting and loved his dog judge. I think he was a necessary person in the book as he had a secret of his own which we didn’t know until the end but really cared for Anna and fought for her case. Julia, on the other hand, I did not find that necessary. Sure her chapters gave us some context between her and Campbell 15 years ago and she was a nice addition in the life of Campbell but I found that I was kind of bored when reading her chapters and didn’t think she needed as big of a role in the story but added another layer to a complex story. Overall, I thought all the characters were so well structured and developed throughout the story. Although we only get 1 chapter on Kate, we see her represented through Sara’s point of view as she shares Kate’s medical history and I thought Kate was so beautifully portrayed and such a fighter in her battle against Leukemia.
I found this book so beautiful, examining the ethics to do whatever it takes in an attempt to save a life. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who hasn’t read it but be prepared to cry as it is heartbreaking and has such a bitter-sweet ending. It was really well written and I found myself tearing up over the beautiful relationship this family has despite going through a considerable amount of pain and heartbreak.
Thank you so much for reading. Hope you are all having a good September so far and we will be back with another post soon. x