Thursday 13 June 2024

eBook Review - My Sister’s Keeper

This is one of those books where it feels like every one has either read or know the vague outline of. And the author of this is one of those authors that I have been meaning to read for YEARS, but I keep putting off due to the Hype Monster that surround them and their novels. 

Yes, I am talking about My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. 

Title and Author: My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughtin
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
Buy From (Affiliate):

Anna was born a Saviour Sibling for her older sister, Kate, who has acute leukaemia. When she was born, doctors took blood from umbilical cord. As she’s grown up, she has given her blood, blood marrow and now, at the end of 13, her parents want her to donate a kidney. But Anna decides to sue her parents for medical emancipation. 

Now, from the little I wrote above, you would expect this book to be really heavy and quite dark. We have a saviour sibling storyline, illness and how it affects everyone around the people who is ill (and how those in need to help can slip through the cracks), messy family relationships, a messy relationship between Anna’s lawyer and the court appointed guardian ad litem.

So, as you can imagine if you have been following my blog or my socials for quite a while, this is very much not my typical go-to read. 

And yet, I found this quite a compelling read. Even though it took me a few weeks to read (mainly because I was focused on other things so reading took a back seat), I kept coming back to this messy family drama and these quite unlikeable characters. Ok, mainly unlikeable is the wrong word. Flawed and selfish. 

The parents are so focused on her ill child, they forget about their other children (the mother more than the father). The eldest son is forgotten and considered a disappointment by his parents so he acts out. Anna feels like she has no voice or choice, but is uncertain over her choices and Kate who wants some control over her life but is unable to due to her illness. 

I think that, yes, even though these characters are really flawed and make/do quite unlikeable things, I found them really interesting to read as, yes, they are flawed and make some really questionable decisions, but you see where they are all coming from. 

It’s a nice relief to have Anna’s lawyer, Campbell, and Julia, the court appointed Guardian ad litem storyline running alongside. We have Campbell who has a service dog but we don’t know where and we have Campbell and Julia having a teen romance, but Julia (and the reader) don’t know why Campbell 
ended it. 

So, as you guess, I did like it. I didn’t love it, but I think that’s because I was on my guard with it. You see, I knew that the movie adaptation of this was changed and, even though I haven’t seen the film, I knew what the ending was changed from so I knew where this was going so I couldn’t invest in these characters like I should have. But would I have liked this twist in the tale had I not known? I have no idea. I would be shocked and I think I would have been very annoyed/angry over it. 

And yes, I was very aware that this book was trying to emotionally-manipulate me on multiply occasions. 

While I’m not sure if this book deserves all the attention that it has received, I am glad I have finally got round to reading it and I do plan to read more Jodi Picoult in the coming months (I have my eye on two/three titles, but we shall see where I go next…)

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