Title: My Sister’s Keeper
Author: Jodi Picoult
Genre: Young adult, realistic fiction, contemporary
Thoughts: I was first introduced to this book by one of my friends, who had read it and loved it. I decided I would like to read it, but first, I actually watched the movie. It was really good, talking about, and explaining ethics and morals. It had a very deep meaning. And I think watching the movie helped me understand parts of the book better as well, as I kind of knew what was going on already. If I had just read it first, I think I would have been a bit confused, not because I didn’t understand what was happening, just because of the complicated plot-line and characters. So many thoughts going on in everyone’s heads and each chapter changes point-of-view, so it would have been a bit hard to keep up.
If anyone has seen the My Sister’s Keeper Movie, and think that you don’t need to read the book now, you’ve made a mistake. The movie is very good, and does an amazing job of conveying the emotions and thoughts, but the book is actually completely different. I won’t spoil the ending, but the movie has done a whole new take on it. You should definitely take the time to read the book, and hear the different ending. I also think that books convey a lot more that movies.
Basically the plot-line of My Sister’s Keeper is about one family. There’s Sara (Mum), who stays home, and Brian (Dad), who’s a firefighter, then oldest child, Jesse, and his two sisters Kate and Anna. Kate was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia when she was two, and the only way for her to survive was for Sara and Brian to conceive another child, genetically engineered to be an organ match for Kate. This way, whenever Kate needed blood, or a Kidney, Anna (the genetically matched child) had a matching one. For 13 years, Anna donates blood, bone marrow, tissue, and organs to her sister, so that Kate can live, until she makes her decision. She is tired of being used, even if it is the only way her sister can survive. So she files a lawsuit against her parents, to stop being Kate’s donor. She wants to own her own body. Also throughout the story, Jesse tells his point of view of being part of this family, always being left out, and forgotten. All the characters in this book seem so real. They do what, I think, any family would do if they were in that situation.
So told from multiple points of view, this book looks at what it means to be a good sister, a good brother, a good mother, a good family. Is it morally and ethically correct to do whatever it takes to save one child’s life, even if it means taking from another?Is it morally correct for a five year old to be held down so that doctors can draw blood, so that her sister can live? These are the types of questions, that don’t really get answered, but are examined and investigated. It is heartbreaking to read about this family going through all of this stress ad trouble, and you know that they can never really escape it either. Every decision they make, means good for one person, but bad for another.
The writing style in My Sister’s Keeper is also interesting. It was almost as if the characters are talking to you, the reader. I don’t think there is anything I dislike about this book, except maybe the ending. I’m not sure if I like it or not. It was very surprising, and I think Picoult added it in, to show that even though this family has been though so much, even though, one child is dying from cancer, the other taking her parent to court and the other starting fires in warehouses, that it doesn’t matter to the rest of the world. The Earth keeps turning, people keep moving. (I’m trying very hard to not spoil the ending, but once you read it, you’ll understand.) Even though bad things happen to some families, more bad things can keep happening to them. They don’t spread out across the world.
It took my longer than usual to read, because of the complicated characters, thoughts and emotions. Then there’s also me trying to make up my mind, whether Anna should or shouldn’t own the rights to her own body as well. But if this book didn’t have all of this, it wouldn’t have held the same meaning.
Why should you read this book: Definitely read this book if you enjoy thinking about morals and ethics. This book’s all about them. It made me cry, so if you like reading sad books, then this is also for you. Even if you have seen the movie, don’t think it spoiled the ending of the book. They are two completely different endings, with nothing to do with each other. I don’t think anyone will guess how the book ends; it surprised me greatly!!
Book in a word: powerful