My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult — 7/10 stars

In My Sister’s Keeper, Kate has leukemia. Her sister, Anna, was born as a donor to provide Kate with cord blood and marrow. When the girls’ parents ask Anna to donate a kidney to Kate, who is experiencing kidney failure. Anna then sues her parents for rights to her body, and it turns into a battle between law, morality, and physical need. In the end, (don’t read the next bit if you don’t want spoilers) Anna gets hit in a car crash, leaving her body an empty shell that provides Kate with the kidneys she needs. 

This is not a happy story. Its tragic ending was a shock to me, the reader. Personally, I was hoping for the happy, fairy-tale ending. 

The story was told from many perspectives. Each of the characters got their turn in providing insight to the story, sometimes with flashbacks. This helped me understand how each person was effected by the series of tragic events, and how past experiences effected the story. 

Jodi Picoult’s use of fire as a symbol was interesting. This symbolism came through characters’ professions (ie: Brian, the father, is a firefighter, Jesse, the brother, commits arson), what the characters say about fire (it is destructive, it is beautiful, sometimes it’s both), and little quotes that open each chapter. The symbolism was not overdone. Sometimes, an author REALLY wants you to notice a symbol, so they’ll blatantly overuse that symbol. Jodi Picoult, on the other hand, was subtle with it. I only noticed the symbolism because I was looking for it, to tell the truth. 

The language used in the book was nothing extraordinary. It was merely colloquial, and that made sense for a mainly first-person narrative. It was interesting to see how the style of language changed between characters. It was surprising, but it made sense. 

This book is excellent if you are looking for a tear-fest. Sometimes, I feel like a sad sob-story is what I need. If you are looking for an uplifting, inspirational book, this is not for you. The style and genre mostly appeals to teenage girls, but I think older people would enjoy it too. This would be a nice book to read in a book group. 

All in all, a good story, but not exemplary. 7/10 stars. 

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