My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
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Blurb (on back of book): Can a parent love too much? Or is too much never enough?
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, 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 tears 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 moral parable for all time.

MY OPINION: *****

This book doesn't deserve anything but a five stars. Anything less would be desecrating it.

This is yet another book themed around family and loss, and also the evil word: cancer. Like other books I have read, it deals with something that everyone is willing to try everything to prevent. I think that this book was definitely one of the most moving "illness" books I have ever read.

I found this book while surfing around on Goodreads. I was looking at some user-created lists and I typed in "sad books". Like I said a while back, sad stories are definitely one of the best kind because you can really feel for the characters and understand what they are going through. Anyways, about ten lists popped up, but I saw a generality in all of them: The Fault in Our Stars was always number one, and My Sister's Keeper was always number two. Having already read the first one, I decided to read the second saddest book according to Goodreads users.

This book was sad, but I didn't cry. I'm not sure if any of you did, but this wasn't really a tearjerker. I mean, it touches on things such as being sick, dying, and leaving your family. It also shows how parents feel, especially when losing a child. But it wasn't enough to really make you cry. You might feel empathetic or sad at times, but overall, this was just a really tender and touching book, not an emotional one.

I watched this movie first, so if you did that, let me just say, you have to read the book. BASICALLY EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT. The book was definitely better.

I'm going to try to make my character write-ups short today as I have other things to talk about.

Anna was definitely someone I could understand. She just wanted to obey her sister's wishes and stop an operation that her mother was literally forcing them both to have. Anna was kind at points, but I think she was at her best when she was either defiant or determined. They both showed how strong of a character she was in this book. I mean, she sued her parents. That shows that she really has a lot of determination and believes in what she is doing and is willing to do anything to get what she wants.

Campbell Alexander. His point of view was slightly tiring to read, only because he was Anna's lawyer, and almost everything was about the law and court and judges. It was better to read about when he wasn't in court. His dog, Judge, was so confusing. He kept making up little explanations for why he needed a service dog, and I didn't manage to catch on until about the third one. Or whichever one was insane.

Sara. Anna's mom. Sara was a very determined person. For the first half of the book, basically, her point of view was always flashbacks of the past. I think that this was very helpful in explaining why she wanted to keep Kate so badly. I mean, obviously she's a mom who doesn't ever want to lose her daughter, but she went to all ends and never gave up, even when her husband did and let go. Sara refused to let go. At some points in the book, I think that Sara irritated me. I understand why she did what she did, but if her husband was able to let go and understand that his daughter was going to leave soon, I think Sara should have been able then to. Sara was an awesome mom though, always doing things to help Kate. Then again, she wasn't a very awesome mom to Anna or Jesse at some points.

Brian. Anna's dad. He was a firefighter. The ironic thing was, he was constantly putting out fires caused by his very own son. He just wasn't close with Jesse at all, and so he didn't know until some place close to the end. Brian was definitely not the most sympathetic to his son throughout the book. I vaguely remember various passages where he said he "gave up on his son". I can't believe he would say that. Honestly, he is supposed to be a dad. I think that he was right in letting Kate go when he did, though. Even though she never left.

Jesse. He was Anna and Kate's brother. He was living a bad life. He wasn't a donor match for Kate, so he felt guilty and took it out on the world. I feel as if his parents put Jesse at liberty to do whatever he wanted. And that's what he did. He would go to empty building and start fires there. His own father would help to put them out. The scene where he almost killed Rat was actually scary, because I could totally understand. Jesse never wanted to hurt anyone but himself. And possibly his parents. Jesse also did a ton of other stuff, such as smoke, drink, and do drugs. I mean, he was going down a very bad path.

Julia. I also disliked reading her point of view. It was mostly always about the law, or it was about why she liked or hated Campbell. Honestly, she was so wishy-washy and I must admit, Campbell was so stupid as to break up with her just because he developed a medical problem. Julia was Anna's guardian ad litem, but I disliked Julia as a character. I kind of felt as if she wasn't even needed in the book. In the movie, she doesn't even exist.

Kate. She was brave and determined, but she knew when she wanted to die. Her mother wouldn't believe her but she knew. Kate was definitely one of the best characters, even though we only see her point of view once. I think Kate was definitely someone who should have gotten the ending she did. Which brings us to...

THAT ENDING. WHAT??? Spoiler alert. Anna dies in a car accident and donates her kidneys to Kate, who then lives for a long time afterwards. Anna was pronounced brain dead, and was left to die. I honestly think that Sara felt guilty about not giving her as much attention as Kate.

Jesse became a police officer and turned his whole life around. I will not say anything else as that will spoil the whole ending.

Campbell has Judge because he has seizures. I think that this isn't the worst thing and he should have just told his parents or Julia. I mean, he broke up with her because he didn't want her to have to live with his problems and constantly clean up after him, etc. I think that this is incredibly stupid. If they were in love, then love beats all.

Ok, I think I'm done with this review. Honestly, this is one my shortest reviews, but I think that this does this book good.

I would recommend this book to YA readers who enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars and similar books. This is an amazing tale of family and love. And dealing with loss.

Main Character: Anna Fitzgerald
Sidekick(s): Kate, Sara, Brian, Campbell, Julia, Jesse, etc
Villain(s): Cancer, death, guilt, not being loved enough, etc
Realistic Fiction Elements: All of this could happen in real life, though I really hope it never will.

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