My Sister's Keeper: A Novel by Jodi PicoultMy Sister's Keeper: A Novel by Jodi Picoult

My Sister's Keeper: A Novel

byJodi Picoult

Paperback | February 1, 2005

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Jodi Picoult tells the story of a girl who decides to sue her parents for the rights to her own body in this New York Times bestseller that tackles a controversial subject with grace and explores what it means to be a good person.

New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult is widely acclaimed for her keen insights into the hearts and minds of real people. Now she tells the emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness.

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.

My Sister’s Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child’s life, even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less? Should you follow your own heart, or let others lead you? Once again, in My Sister’s Keeper, Jodi Picoult tackles a controversial real-life subject with grace, wisdom, and sensitivity.
Jodi Picoult grew up in Nesconset, New York. She received an A.B. in creative writing from Princeton, & a master's degree in education from Harvard. She is the author of six previous books. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband & three children.
Title:My Sister's Keeper: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 8.25 × 5.31 × 1.2 inPublished:February 1, 2005Publisher:Washington Square PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0743454537

ISBN - 13:9780743454537

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Rated 2 out of 5 by from A good read, though flawed I *thoroughly* enjoyed this book. That said, I found a handful of serious plot flaws that are impossible or improbable - enough that they jolted me out of my absorption and brought my rating down. Yes, it is fiction. But the author endeavoured to write a realistic book. Most are near or at the end, so I dare not share them for fear of giving away too much. Good book, but seriously weak near the end.
Date published: 2018-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome book This book is so heartbreaking and emotional. If you have seen the movie, it has nothing on this book. It's a must read!
Date published: 2018-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! The type of book you can't put down. Very intense and emotional. The first book I ever read that was written from a different characters perspective each chapter, which was an interesting way to read a book and interpret a storyline.
Date published: 2018-08-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing Intense, amazing, blindsided me, I could not put it down.
Date published: 2018-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from emotional An amazing book that brings about the modern issues in healthcare in a very emotional way.
Date published: 2018-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from heartbreaking I read this book 4 years ago and it is still a story I think back on today. I loved the writing and the the different perspectives. It's a great read.
Date published: 2018-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A beautiful read Painfully realistic and emotionally charged, My Sister's Keeper is full of twists and turns that reveal it's so much more than just a story of suing one's parents to the right to your own body... it's full of ethical questions, moral dilemmas, and most of all, an intense and realistic relationship between sisters that makes me want to give my own a hug. The book's ending is also a thousand times better than the movie's!
Date published: 2018-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A beautiful book A beautifully written story. This one truly hits home.
Date published: 2018-07-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best fiction books i've read This book got me thoroughly hooked on her books. It was the first one I read and in my opinion the best one!
Date published: 2018-07-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible Amazing!!! An incredible story weaving together medicine, family, law.
Date published: 2018-06-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The book was great The way things ended shocked me. I kept asking myself, if I was Ana, Sarah, Kate, Brian, or even Jessie, what would I’ve done? I’m not going into the details, I just want to say that I’m very disappointed that the author failed miserably after posing a great dilemma. Even with that ridiculous end, I would still recommend this book if you’re looking for a story set in our days that will make you question yourself.
Date published: 2018-06-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The way it is written... I love love love the way this book is written. I love how it jumps from various characters points of view.
Date published: 2018-06-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing read this novel pulls in all the strings of your heart. very addictive once you start reading and gets very emotional. loved it !
Date published: 2018-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book! I read this book a few years ago and it remains one of my all-time favorite books. The writing is great, and the way the story is told in different viewpoints captures the reader's attention all throughout the book. Interesting topic and incredibly well executed! You won't be able to put it down. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-05-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this! This book was amazing. It was hard to put down and managed to bring tears to my eyes.
Date published: 2018-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! Such a powerful, emotional and thought provoking book. Very touching!
Date published: 2018-05-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Never to be forgotten This book was absolutely amazing. The way Picoult developed each of the characters, you couldn't help but feel like you knew each and every one of them, on a personal level. I went through all of the ups and downs the story had to lend and in the end... I was an emotional disaster. While the writing and the story itself were both amazing, the ending is what I thought to be the best part. What happened in the end, is quite obviously bittersweet and not ideal. However, the reason it is great is it's so outside of what we've grown to expect to happen in these types of stories. It was a breath of fresh air to experience something so.... forbidden and unheardof.
Date published: 2018-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So Heartwarming When I first read this book I was thrown off by the format in which it was written but immediately I had a difficult time putting it down. I finished this book in 2 days because it was so good. The story was so touching and really gave you insight into a world that not everybody knows about.
Date published: 2018-04-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good This was not one of my favorite books by this author.
Date published: 2018-04-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it! Better grab the tissue box before starting this one! This book is best read prior to watching the movie. This book will have you smiling, crying and frustrated before it’s over. It will have you questioning your own morals as you debate how you would handle the same situation. As usual Picoult has written a beautiful novel with what was for me...a surprise ending.
Date published: 2018-04-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful heartfelt read This is one of my favorite books by Jodi Picoult. I read the book before watching the movie… read the book, skip the movie! A mind opening book that makes you examine issues from different perspectives.
Date published: 2018-03-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Brilliant book. Touching, original, brings up great moral dilemmas.
Date published: 2018-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book...better than the movie! I loved this book and found the ending to be particularly shocking. This is probably my favourite Jodi Picoult book.
Date published: 2018-03-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing book I watched the movie first, but still loved the book. very well-written
Date published: 2018-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book Loved this, emotional book which is very well-written
Date published: 2018-03-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love it! Enjoyed this book but made the mistake of watching the movie while in the middle of the book. Definitely read the book first.
Date published: 2018-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read! You won't put this book down. Love the different points of view! Ending that will make you shake you to the core. Do yourself a favour and don't watch the movie - read the book!
Date published: 2018-03-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Way better than the movie with different ending. This book was did a great job in plot and in character. It's one of those books that I couldn't stop reading. The book captivated me from cover to cover and I couldn't put this down until the final shocking end. I like how the author writes from multiple character viewpoints, allowing the reader to get an extremely well-rounded look at the story. The novel made me torn. I really don't know who to support. Can you blame Anna? Because she doesn't want to give her sister an organ. Can you blame Sara or Brian because they want one of their child to live? Because they made a baby to save their daughter? Can you blame Jesse for how he is? For wanting attention because he feels like he is forgotten? The ending is a real "Oh wow!" moment.
Date published: 2018-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Favorite Book! I wish I could give this more than 5 starts. I read this book in high school back when I wasn't very into reading and it just captivated me I couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2018-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The tears kept flowing If you are looking for a captivating, emotional book , this is a great one. Taught me to appreciate my family more, gave me a larger perspective on life
Date published: 2018-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A breathtaking book that keeps you hooked I love this book so much. There is a wonderful cast of characters; some you love and some you love with some annoyance. There is a lot of humour and hope here, and the story unfolds in a way that makes the reader unable to put this down. This is a book I can always reread and know that I will fall more in love with.
Date published: 2018-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from loooved all I can say is: wow. This book was just so good, I can barely remember even putting it down (well, only at the end before reading the last chapter/prologue to fume about the unexpected ending).
Date published: 2018-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great book loved this book, hard to imagine what it would be like to be in their shoes
Date published: 2018-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Love this book! Love this author! The story was incredible and I liked how each chapter was from a different character's perspective in regards to the situation - book was definitely better than the film!
Date published: 2018-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW This book is amazing and fills you withs madness, joy and anger. It takes you on a rollercoaster and you can't stop reading it until the book is over. I would stay up nights just to find out what happens in the next chapter. I loved it so much
Date published: 2017-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So moving Such a wonderfully touching story. It had me in tears too many times to count.
Date published: 2017-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Favorite book! I could not put this book down. The emotions evoked by this story were so real I thought I was right there! Totally recommend!
Date published: 2017-12-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved this story Such and interesting story as science creates a human to help another, beautifully written as it shows the struggles of everyone involved, Be warned ending is very different from the movie
Date published: 2017-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better than the movie I read this book after watching the movie. I found the book different and WAY better (as usual) than the movie!
Date published: 2017-12-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Could not put it down! Excellent book, so many emotions! Do not watch the movie if you read the book!
Date published: 2017-12-08
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Awful This book made me so angry! The ending and the whole story line..just awful! #plumreview
Date published: 2017-12-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Tear Jerker Having gone through this with my youngest daughter - really hit home. Keep tissues nearby.
Date published: 2017-12-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book Thought provoking and a page turner
Date published: 2017-11-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Too much hype This book covers an important topic - and I can only begin to imagine how each person in this family feels about their place in life - but, sadly, it's written by an author who I categorize as one who pumps out one book a month. The writing was mediocre, which did a disservice to the story.
Date published: 2017-11-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book, Terrible Movie I've read this book twice now and for me it's memorable because of it's beautifully tragic ending. I highly recommend the book but if you like the book, don't see the movie.
Date published: 2017-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this novel! This novel is emotional and a great read for everyone, especially those with sisters. It keeps you interested from start to finish and is much better than the movie.
Date published: 2017-10-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Did not dissapoint Another novel that was way better than the film. Picoult delivers a great read, yet again. It was very emotional and pulled on your heart strings. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-10-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Favorite Picoult novel Having read about 5 of Picoult's books, although the style and stories become repetitive, this one is by far the one I've enjoyed the most. Emotional and touching #plumreview
Date published: 2017-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from love Really great book very emotional
Date published: 2017-09-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Good book. Picoult is an amazing writer
Date published: 2017-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Irreplaceable Bond Between Sisters A beautifully written novel, My Sister’s Keeper is a moving and thought-provoking story of the Fitzgerald family and their struggle for hope and survival amidst situations rooted in tragedy. Brian and Sara Fitzgerald is a regular American couple. Brian is a firefighter, while Sara, a civil attorney, gives up her career to bring up their children, 4-yr old son, Jesse and 2-yr old daughter, Kate. Their life is plunged into darkness when Kate is diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia, a very rare form of blood cancer. Kate is immediately put on chemotherapy, but her only hope for survival is to have a bone marrow transplant. The first choice for a donor is Kate’s brother, but unfortunately Jesse turns out not to be a match. Highly skeptical as to when they will find another donor, Brian and Sara decide to have another baby….and this is how Anna Fitzgerald comes into their world, with the sole purpose to save her sister’s life. Anna is specifically ‘designed’ with the right set of genes so that she is a perfect genetic match/donor for her sister. Immediately after Anna’s birth, her cord blood is transplanted into Kate, but it does not stop here. Over the next several years, Anna is subjected to several surgical procedures to save her sister. When Anna turns thirteen years, Kate suffers from massive kidney failure and as always it is decided that Anna has to donate one of her kidney’s to Kate, as it is her final chance to survive. Meanwhile, Anna has taken some pretty important decisions of her own. Too scared to admit it to her family, Anna approaches a lawyer to sue her parents for the rights to her body. She refuses to donate her kidney, despite being aware that it might be the cause of her sister’s death. What follows is a series of tumultuous events and intense court sessions, which threatens to tear their family apart. The author raises some ethical, moral, and mostly unanswerable questions about how anyone can make a life-or-death decision about a terminally ill loved one. What are the complications of putting one person in pain or in danger for the well-being of another? As parents, how far would Brian and Sara go to keep Kate alive? Do they unknowingly begin to favor one child over the rest, just because she is sick? And do parents solely have the right to decide what is right/wrong for their children. I can assure you that after reading this book you will see your family in a new light. And especially if you have a sister you will just want to hug her and never let go. So I would recommend this novel to everyone, but make sure to have a box of tissues handy. You will be shedding more than a few tears.
Date published: 2017-09-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pretty good I have a lot of respect for Jodi Picoult because she writes books that bring to life real and often controversial issues that people are faced with and no one really wants to talks about. I've read a few of her books now and there are a number of reasons why her books just don't capture me as much as I think they should: 1. Her writing seems formulaic, often with court cases and deep betrayal of family and/or friends 2. The books are always sad and usually leaves you wondering what happened to the characters. I guess I'm a bit tired of reading sad novels with open endings which I know is just my preference. 3. They are way too long. She tends to have long paragraphs and even chapters of boring details that have no relevance to the story and go off on tangents with romance and unnecessary subplots. This book was pretty good, I skimmed a lot of the details to see what happened to the characters but I found myself engrossed in the story despite it's flaws.
Date published: 2017-08-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Grab the tissues This book made me cry so hard... Heart-wrenching.
Date published: 2017-08-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Biggest twist ever Jodi Picoult is the M. Night Shyamalan of literature. Don't watch the movie!! It will ruin everything.
Date published: 2017-08-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Powerful Jodi Picoult raises many controversial issues in this novel. My sister's keeper is a novel about survival. This was one of my first books from Jodi Picoult that I have read and it is still one of my favourites.
Date published: 2017-08-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring. This is a book that I would definitely recommend reading. Shows the realistic emotion and physical struggles that many families all around this world go through. How any medical situation affects the patient and shows how strong the bonds of the people around you- especially your family- are.
Date published: 2017-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favorites Absolutely loved this book. Much better than the movie. Makes you think.
Date published: 2017-07-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Emotional I couldn't stop turning the pages. Great book and fabulously written.
Date published: 2017-07-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read the book, saw the movie both great.
Date published: 2017-06-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my all-time favourite books! This was an amazing book! It's the rare kind of book that keeps you engrossed until the very last page. You're always on the edge of your seat with this book. While I was reading it, I found it really hard to put it down, as I do with all of Jodi Picoult's books. I would definitely recommend this book!
Date published: 2017-06-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from All Time Fav Book I'm not much of a reader but this is the first book i have read from start to end it was amazing !!!! Always suggest this book to friends and family that want a recommendation of a book they should read.
Date published: 2017-06-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great This was my first Jodi Piccoult book and it was a great read. Slightly disappointing ending, but doesn't take away from the whole book overall
Date published: 2017-06-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great work The interactions between the characters were so well-written and the story itself is a tearjerker.
Date published: 2017-06-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Original Book While this book isn't Jodi's first, I think this is the first book that really captivated readers and made her a household name. This book is beautiful and challenging because it explores an issue that is not often thought about: should one child be used to save the other? This book is worth reading and re-reading.
Date published: 2017-05-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book One of the most heartfelt books i've read. Really gets you emotional in a good way. 100% recommend this.
Date published: 2017-05-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Visceral Work I admit I hadn't heard of this novel until I saw the trailer for the film in 2009. And I was mostly intrigued because I was a huge fan of Abigail Breslin. My friend (whom I was supposed to go see the movie with) got me the book to apologize for not being able to see the movie. I read it once (I only read books once) and it still gets to me. Specifically, the controversy that Anna is a genetic clone but also their daughter whom the parents love. Her purpose is as bone marrow and organ donor to her sister, Kate. The book is a lot darker than it appears. It's marketed as sick-lit, rom-com, family drama, etc. But it's more about identity and independence than anything else. My main question was: what did the parents expect? Don't they realize the damage they've caused Anna in trying to save Kate. Picoult's use of several points of view to tell the story has a generalizing effect on the takeaway. The story is about Anna's rights being called into question. When we hear the perspective of the parents, it overshadows the fact that they did a shitty thing. One thing I do agree with everyone else on is: grab the tissues!!! This novel will break your heart.
Date published: 2017-05-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Emotionally Gripping Well done, Jody Picoult novel.
Date published: 2017-04-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good story When I first started this book, I thought indignantly that 13-year-old Anna has every right to decide what is done to her body medically, and that no parent should conceive a child simply to keep another one alive. But as the story, which is told from the viewpoint of all members of the family, progressed I began to have doubts about where I really stand on this issue. I wanted to side with Anna and liberate her from the burden of being a medical object that the doctors constantly plugged her sister into just as much as I wanted her sick sister, Kate, who hadn’t lived a normal life since the age of two, to stay alive. But did I want it at Anna’s expense? Was it fair to demand of a young girl to make those sacrifices? Was it even her responsibility? And as a mother, how would I handle it? Would I have readily conceived a child to save another? Or would I simply have found it immoral and just let the sick toddler die? What I discovered is that if I’m having so much trouble deciding what the right thing to do is in a fictional setting, what would I do if this was my reality? And is there really a right choice? In this novel, you will see all aspects of the dilemma, and you will meet people that, although not perfect, have the best intentions at heart. And in a world that is not always black and white, but shades of grey, where do you really stand?
Date published: 2017-04-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved the book This book is very emotional and captivating. It will leave you reaching for the tissues.
Date published: 2017-04-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book I loved it Excellent story with many realistic full characters with strengths and flaws. I loved the concept of this book and enjoyed seeing from the perspective of different characters
Date published: 2017-04-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down! Love, love, love! Such an amazing story of family and their bond! Beautifully written, couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2017-04-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book The first Picoult book I ever picked up. Though I am not interested in reading her other books (I've read Nineteen Minutes, but nothing else since), I still have a lot of appreciation of this book. It was so well calculated and I loved the characters.
Date published: 2017-04-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking This book will force you to explore your feelings and ethics surrounding the characters of this novel. Its heartwrenching.
Date published: 2017-03-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heart wrenching! Such a beautiful, complicated story. I found myself becoming so tied up in the lives of the characters. The ending sure is a surprise. Not many books leave me crying but this one certainly did.
Date published: 2017-03-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Emotional This book evoked mixed feelings. I did not enjoy the ending as it seemed unrealistic to me but it was an overall entertaining books which depicted the hardships families must go through in times of need and distress.
Date published: 2017-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Makes you think Explores the ethical issues of using one daughter as a donor to save another beloved daughter. Couldn't help but ask myself what I would do. Another good one from this author. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I loved this book! This was such an amazing read I absolutely loved it! Great for readers who enjoy books that tug at your heartstrings, this book does exactly that.
Date published: 2017-03-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Will make you cry I found this book to be a little slow at times but nonetheless I enjoyed it. Since I have sisters myself, I really connected with this book emotionally. At the end I was sitting there crying like a baby. Definitely a good read if you're looking for something emotional.
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyed this Was my first Picoult book and it kept me engaged and crying throughout!
Date published: 2017-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favorite This was the first Jodie Pico ultrasound book I read and still to this day my favorite. It is certainly a page turning story with a unpredictable ending.
Date published: 2017-02-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great! So engrossing and interesting. It had the classic Jodi Picoult ending but it was the first I had read of the author so it was quite the experience!
Date published: 2017-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Very interesting great book
Date published: 2017-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it This was my first Jodi Piccoult novel and I was hooked. It was beautifully written and had a very unexpected ending. An amazing read!!!
Date published: 2017-02-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from very sweet story I really enjoyed this book. Thought the story line was very sweet. Its a tearjerker.
Date published: 2017-02-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from My first Picoult This is a roller coaster ride of a novel. Picoult looks at every side of the story and requires you to do the same. The ending will seem like it comes out of nowhere, but it will make sense.
Date published: 2017-02-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Tear jerker Such a beautiful story of sisterly love, but so sad. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very touching... I started reading Jodi Picoult's books because of this novel. It like the story and it is really well written. My favourite amongst Jodi Picoult's long list of novels!! I always recommend this book to my friends. :)
Date published: 2017-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful book Great book, I only wish the movie had the same ending, the book's ending was so much better!
Date published: 2017-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Book Great book about a sad story, definitely worth reading. The book is better than the movie.
Date published: 2017-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Lives up to all the buzz. Really gets you thinking too! #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from sad so sad.....didnt like the idea but the writing was good
Date published: 2017-01-20
Rated 1 out of 5 by from First and last Jodi Picoult book Well.....that answers that: would I enjoy Jodi Picoult's writing? Answer: No, I don't. I found the story long drawn out with very little substance to the heartbreaking story she was trying to tell. Add a romance to draw in more readers, and you've got a book written for profit, not substance. Then, after we plod through this long story, and we wait to find out what the final decision will be.....the author takes matters in her own hands with an ending that shows anger and disrespects a person's stance.
Date published: 2017-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from dont watch the movie Amazing book, ruined by a motion picture. I loved this book, and was happy I read it before the movie as the movie was disappointing and left out most of the important information. recommend the book to anyone, but grab a tissue!!!
Date published: 2017-01-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Totally Worth Reading DISCLAIMER: the ending of the movie is different than the ending of the book. And the book's ending is better. So read it. ;)
Date published: 2017-01-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read Great story, very well written. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Interesting! The writing of this novel is not exactly spectacular but the plot is definitely very intriguing. Would recommend to anyone who enjoys Nicolas Sparks novels.
Date published: 2017-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well written A great read. The author did a great writing the book. Chapters were written in the point of view of one of the main characters.
Date published: 2017-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it I enjoyed the book very much. I enjoyed the way the author wrote the book- a chapter in the perspective of one of the main characters.
Date published: 2017-01-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Meh Usually, the book is preferable to the movie, but this time the movie was better. The book was slow & different, but not in a positive way.
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Overthought The writing was very simple, and it had the plot of a lifetime movie. Think Valentines Day or New Years Day but with cancer. The premise at the beginning was good, but the plot of the lawyer was over done and Andy was given no agency near the end.
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting Plot, Poor Language The plot of this novel was much more intriguing than originally anticipated yet the poor writing was distracting. Overall, if you can look past the writing the story is very enjoyable.
Date published: 2016-12-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It was great! My sisters keeper really encompassed the behaviour and effects of cancer in a family, amazing work as usual by Picoult
Date published: 2016-12-31
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Awful I was not a fan of the storyline at all. Sad how one child was just used to save another. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful and engrossing All though I read this book several years ago every time I think of Jodi, this book always comes to mind. I've read all of Jodi's books and this one was one of the ones that made me cry several times. The story is so dearing. Two sisters that each have a different perspective on their lives and how it all unfolds is beautiful and engrossing. Definitely a must read.
Date published: 2016-12-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from My Sister's Keeper A little slow, a tad pretentious... Interesting plot line, but it could have been done better.
Date published: 2016-12-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking My Sister's Keeper was a heartbreaking but still amazing book. It'll move you to tears but is definitely worth a read!
Date published: 2016-12-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from sad but a great read. if you love a sad read, this is for you. It brought me to tears a few times but it is a beautiful story. As are all of Jodi Picoults novels.
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from loved it beautiful and sad all in one! if you love a book about love, heartbreak, family this will be a good book for you. but be warned you might cry!
Date published: 2016-12-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Bitter Sweet Jodi crafted another bitter sweet story. It's not a romance, but the relationships explored are detailed yet ambiguous. I guess all real-life relationships are ambiguous in many ways. Sad, but worth reading.
Date published: 2016-12-11
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Awful Not a great read I was very disappointed and such a sad story line.
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Mixed Feelings Although the book was touching and sad, it is probably one of the few times where I enjoyed the movie more than the book. The book will break your heart, however the ending seemed unrealistic to me; almost didn't make sense to end the book that way.
Date published: 2016-12-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from :) Pretty good book and definitely enjoyed this better than the movie ❤️
Date published: 2016-12-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heart Wrenching Goodness My sister’s keeper was my first Jodi Picoult novel. It was also the first book that made me cry. It was one of the most heart wrenching stories I've ever read. When I was finished, I was practically forcing people to read it.
Date published: 2016-12-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking I actually watched the movie before I read the book and was shocked by the ending! It was a great twist but very sad.
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read! Good read with a gut-wrenching ending!
Date published: 2016-11-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read I did enjoy this book, but was surprised by the ending. I found myself cheering for the character, Anna.
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great so hard to put down, another great book by jodi
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from So sad Sad story, wasn't a fan of the ending, but overall OK read.
Date published: 2016-11-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Book This was a good book. Brings up a lot of questions for discussion and is a good read.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was okay #plumreview Interest idea for a book but a little too sappy for me.
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting My Sister's Keeper explores some very deep ethical issues that I think it's important to address and Picoult succeeds in writing to a young adult audience in a relatable way. I enjoyed reading it, although it dragged on a little at points and there were certain developments to the plot that I thought could have been better. Overall an enjoyable read though.
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Meh. I read this when it exploded and everyone was reading it. It was readable, but I wasn't completely wowed by it like I was hoping to be. A typical Jodi Picoult - a story thrown around a divisive issue. Not awful, but not amazing either. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I LOVED THIS! I have read everyone of her books, and I am never disappointed!
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Engrossing Engrossing book and keeps you hooked until the ending.
Date published: 2016-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from love it Though many have critiqued the ending I absolutely love it.. I much prefer it over the ending of the movie
Date published: 2016-11-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! I loved how intricate and thoughtful this book is. It was an absolute page turner right to the end of the book. It was impossible to put down and it kept me guessing right 'till the end.
Date published: 2015-10-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from . So sad but so well written. Appreciate those in your life , love them with every fibre. Life is too short , too complicated no to.
Date published: 2014-10-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from . I love Jodi Picoult's writings. She has never failed to keep me reading. Sometimes even later than I should be. This was a very interesting story and one that tugs at your heart.
Date published: 2014-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from . Excellent book. One of her best. The author kept me interested the entire read and the twist at the end was the icing on the cake. I was disappointed when I read the last page. The author chose a delicate subject and presented it in a way that asked the reader "What would I do?". Highly recommend it.
Date published: 2014-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from . Loved this book. It was emotional and I couldn't put it down. I was totally surprised by the outcome. Jodi Picoult's writing is sensitive and controversial.
Date published: 2014-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pretty Good It is really well written just that I didn't really expect the ending to be like that.
Date published: 2014-01-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty Good Heartbreaking.
Date published: 2013-10-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pretty Good Great book!! Best author out there!!
Date published: 2013-10-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pretty Good Awesome book. Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors. Always enjoy her books.
Date published: 2013-09-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pretty Good Judy Picoult always writes profound books!
Date published: 2013-09-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pretty Good A very thought provoking book. Should Anna be forced to have surgeries etc to save her sister's life? Well worth the read.
Date published: 2013-09-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pretty Good Hands down one of the most amazing books I have ever read
Date published: 2013-09-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty Good Another great Picoult tear jerking read
Date published: 2013-09-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pretty Good I love the way Jodi make you think about life in a diff. light. she have a great book again that was hard to put down
Date published: 2013-09-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pretty Good Loved this book. I appreciate Jodi's way of writing from a number of characters perspective.
Date published: 2013-09-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pretty Good This is the first book I read of Jodi Picoults. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Could not put in down. I was quite surprised at the ending, did not expect that to happen at all. Would defintley read another one of her books.
Date published: 2013-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pretty Good great read hard to put down
Date published: 2013-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pretty Good I had to have my kleenex box close by for this one
Date published: 2013-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pretty Good This book kept me interested right until the end. The ending was a total and unexpected surprise. By the time I finished reading I was in full tears. A must read.
Date published: 2013-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pretty Good Good book.
Date published: 2013-09-22
Rated 2 out of 5 by from i tried really hard... to get into this and finish it. i really could not and i know a lot of readers will not be happy with this review. i found it dragged it a lot could've been left out. every chapter is a characters pov. normally i don't mind this but i just couldn't get into the book. i read half way i've decided to stop. too detail about every single thing. but that is probably why this book has been rated so good. it's meant to take the reader straight to the stress and emotions of all the characters. it is not a bad book maybe i was not in the right mood or mind frame for this type of book. i am really disappointed because all the reviews have been great. i think i'll book mark it and come back later on. i really wanted to get into this book. don't let my review discourage you to read this, but just be prepared for the right mood for this type of book.
Date published: 2012-10-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better Than the Movie Loved it. Much better than the movie, but sadder. Best of Picoult is in this novel. A must read.
Date published: 2012-10-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from touching and heartfelt This was the first book by Jodi Picoult I read and now I cannot wait to read more. I did find it a little bit confusing at times with each chapter being from a different characters point of view, and it kept jumping from past to present. Absolutely recommend this book!!
Date published: 2012-07-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from bored I heard nothing but rave reviews about this book, however, every time I tried to get into it, I just couldn't do it. The book was just too boring for me, I forced myself to read half way, and then I just couldn't go on. Didn't end up finishing the book.
Date published: 2012-06-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAAAAAAZING Jodi is one of my all time favorite authors, and this book just tops of her list of books. Every book of hers I cant put down, but this one exceeded my expectations. I read it twice in one month, thats how much I love it. If you want a book that has a little of everything in it, read this. It will make you laugh, cry and think about life all in one paragraph! A must read :) and one of my all time favs!
Date published: 2011-05-24
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Was Bored Reading It I found this book very hard to get into, and was rather bored reading it. I ended up not finishing the book due to the lack of interest in reading it. I think it was due more to the style of the book then the subject itself.
Date published: 2011-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Book Review My Sister’s Keeper is a novel about a young girl, Anna, fighting for her right to decide what medical procedures can be preformed on her. Anna was genetically selected at birth to be a close donor for her sister, Kate, who was diagnosed at a young age with leukemia. Jodi Picoult covers a controversial topic on what is morally and ethically right, and how far one sister must go to help her older sister survive. The author switches characters, allowing the reader to understand each characters personal dilemmas and feelings. Picoult provides a surprising twist at the end of the novel. I strongly recommend My Sister’s Keeper.
Date published: 2011-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Story I've read My Sister's Keeper multiple times and I think I'll cry without fail no matter what. It's such a beautiful, heartbreaking story. Jodi Picoult's writing is great and I love the different viewpoints from each character. I wish the movie had been closer to the book, yet I still loved it. One of my favourites.
Date published: 2011-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous on many levels Touching, constroversial and thought-provoking at the same time. I had such a good time reading this book, it was really hard to put it down. I love that it was masterfully pulled together, giving perspective from the many characters woven in. An unexpected ending and a lot of depth in the characters. Great read!!
Date published: 2011-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best book ever!! I read this book a few years ago while in University and couldn't put it down! I was totally pulled in by the characters and wanted to know how it would end. I *definitely* would recommend this book. Jodi Picoult is such a great writer!! I have to add though, that the movie was the crappiest crap ever! I always say, the book is better and in this case it's true!
Date published: 2010-12-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Incredible This book was amazingly addicting. It was a little upsetting, but still it was the type thing that made you think for a long time after you were finished reading. The characters were unbelievable and felt quite real. Though I did find the Campbell and Julia happenings a little stretched and fake. But it was a very good book.
Date published: 2010-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Story This was my first Picoult novel and I was impressed. I couldn't put it down. I was enjoying the book throughout but the ending just made me like it even more. I like endings that I can't guess. My favourite of her books so far.
Date published: 2010-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Jodi, Jodi, Jodi I can't take it anymore. Jodi' books make me cry like a baby. Great read but make sure you have kleenex near by. I need something with comic relief now.
Date published: 2010-07-28

Read from the Book

Chapter One: AnnaWhen I was little, the great mystery to me wasn't how babies were made, but why. The mechanics I understood -- my older brother Jesse had filled me in -- although at the time I was sure he'd heard half of it wrong. Other kids my age were busy looking up the words penis and vagina in the classroom dictionary when the teacher had her back turned, but I paid attention to different details. Like why some mothers only had one child, while other families seemed to multiply before your eyes. Or how the new girl in school, Sedona, told anyone who'd listen that she was named for the place where her parents were vacationing when they made her ("Good thing they weren't staying in Jersey City," my father used to say). Now that I am thirteen, these distinctions are only more complicated: the eighth-grader who dropped out of school because she got into trouble; a neighbor who got herself pregnant in the hopes it would keep her husband from filing for divorce. I'm telling you, if aliens landed on earth today and took a good hard look at why babies get born, they'd conclude that most people have children by accident, or because they drink too much on a certain night, or because birth control isn't one hundred percent, or for a thousand other reasons that really aren't very flattering.On the other hand, I was born for a very specific purpose. I wasn't the result of a cheap bottle of wine or a full moon or the heat of the moment. I was born because a scientist managed to hook up my mother's eggs and my father's sperm to create a specific combination of precious genetic material. In fact, when Jesse told me how babies get made and I, the great disbeliever, decided to ask my parents the truth, I got more than I bargained for. They sat me down and told me all the usual stuff, of course -- but they also explained that they chose little embryonic me, specifically, because I could save my sister, Kate. "We loved you even more," my mother made sure to say, "because we knew what exactly we were getting."It made me wonder, though, what would have happened if Kate had been healthy. Chances are, I'd still be floating up in Heaven or wherever, waiting to be attached to a body to spend some time on Earth. Certainly I would not be part of this family. See, unlike the rest of the free world, I didn't get here by accident. And if your parents have you for a reason, then that reason better exist. Because once it's gone, so are you.Pawnshops may be full of junk, but they're also a breeding ground for stories, if you ask me, not that you did. What happened to make a person trade in the Never Before Worn Diamond Solitaire? Who needed money so badly they'd sell a teddy bear missing an eye? As I walk up to the counter, I wonder if someone will look at the locket I'm about to give up, and ask these same questions. The man at the cash register has a nose the shape of a turnip, and eyes sunk so deep I can't imagine how he sees well enough to go about his business. "Need something?" he asks. It's all I can do to not turn around and walk out the door, pretend I've come in by mistake. The only thing that keeps me steady is knowing I am not the first person to stand in front of this counter holding the one item in the world I never thought I'd part with."I have something to sell," I tell him."Am I supposed to guess what it is?""Oh." Swallowing, I pull the locket out of the pocket of my jeans. The heart falls on the glass counter in a pool of its own chain. "It's fourteen-karat gold," I pitch. "Hardly ever worn." This is a lie; until this morning, I haven't taken it off in seven years. My father gave it to me when I was six after the bone marrow harvest, because he said anyone who was giving her sister such a major present deserved one of her own. Seeing it there, on the counter, my neck feels shivery and naked.The owner puts a loop up to his eye, which makes it seem almost normal size. "I'll give you twenty.""Dollars?""No, pesos. What did you think?""It's worth five times that!" I'm guessing.The owner shrugs. "I'm not the one who needs the money."I pick up the locket, resigned to sealing the deal, and the strangest thing happens -- my hand, it just clamps shut like the Jaws of Life. My face goes red with the effort to peel apart my fingers. It takes what seems like an hour for that locket to spill into the owner's outstretched palm. His eyes stay on my face, softer now. "Tell them you lost it," he offers, advice tossed in for free.If Mr. Webster had decided to put the word freak in his dictionary, Anna Fitzgerald would be the best definition he could give. It's more than just the way I look: refugee-skinny with absolutely no chest to speak of, hair the color of dirt, connect-the-dot freckles on my cheeks that, let me tell you, do not fade with lemon juice or sunscreen or even, sadly, sandpaper. No, God was obviously in some kind of mood on my birthday, because he added to this fabulous physical combination the bigger picture -- the household into which I was born. My parents tried to make things normal, but that's a relative term. The truth is, I was never really a kid. To be honest, neither were Kate and Jesse. I guess maybe my brother had his moment in the sun for the four years he was alive before Kate got diagnosed, but ever since then, we've been too busy looking over our shoulders to run headlong into growing up. You know how most little kids think they're like cartoon characters -- if an anvil drops on their heads they can peel themselves off the sidewalk and keep going? Well, I never once believed that. How could I, when we practically set a place for Death at the dinner table? Kate has acute promyelocytic leukemia. Actually, that's not quite true -- right now she doesn't have it, but it's hibernating under her skin like a bear, until it decides to roar again. She was diagnosed when she was two; she's sixteen now. Molecular relapse and granulocyte and portacath -- these words are part of my vocabulary, even though I'll never find them on any SAT. I'm an allogeneic donor -- a perfect sibling match. When Kate needs leukocytes or stem cells or bone marrow to fool her body into thinking it's healthy, I'm the one who provides them. Nearly every time Kate's hospitalized, I wind up there, too.None of which means anything, except that you shouldn't believe what you hear about me, least of all that which I tell you myself. As I am coming up the stairs, my mother comes out of her room wearing another ball gown. "Ah," she says, turning her back to me. "Just the girl I wanted to see."I zip it up and watch her twirl. My mother could be beautiful, if she were parachuted into someone else's life. She has long dark hair and the fine collarbones of a princess, but the corners of her mouth turn down, like she's swallowed bitter news. She doesn't have much free time, since a calendar is something that can change drastically if my sister develops a bruise or a nosebleed, but what she does have she spends at, ordering ridiculously fancy evening dresses for places she is never going to go. "What do you think?" she asks.The gown is all the colors of a sunset, and made out of material that swishes when she moves. It's strapless, what a star might wear sashaying down a red carpet -- totally not the dress code for a suburban house in Upper Darby, RI. My mother twists her hair into a knot and holds it in place. On her bed are three other dresses -- one slinky and black, one bugle-beaded, one that seems impossibly small. "You look..."Tired. The word bubbles right under my lips. My mother goes perfectly still, and I wonder if I've said it without meaning to. She holds up a hand, shushing me, her ear cocked to the open doorway. "Did you hear that?""Hear what?""Kate.""I didn't hear anything." But she doesn't take my word for it, because when it comes to Kate she doesn't take anybody's word for it. She marches upstairs and opens up our bedroom door to find my sister hysterical on her bed, and just like that the world collapses again. My father, a closet astronomer, has tried to explain black holes to me, how they are so heavy they absorb everything, even light, right into their center. Moments like this are the same kind of vacuum; no matter what you cling to, you wind up being sucked in."Kate!" My mother sinks down to the floor, that stupid skirt a cloud around her. "Kate, honey, what hurts?"Kate hugs a pillow to her stomach, and tears keep streaming down her face. Her pale hair is stuck to her face in damp streaks; her breathing's too tight. I stand frozen in the doorway of my own room, waiting for instructions: Call Daddy. Call 911. Call Dr. Chance. My mother goes so far as to shake a better explanation out of Kate. "It's Preston," she sobs. "He's leaving Serena for good."That's when we notice the TV. On the screen, a blond hottie gives a longing look to a woman crying almost as hard as my sister, and then he slams the door. "But what hurts?" my mother asks, certain there has to be more to it than this."Oh my God," Kate says, sniffling. "Do you have any idea how much Serena and Preston have been through? Do you?"That fist inside me relaxes, now that I know it's all right. Normal, in our house, is like a blanket too short for a bed -- sometimes it covers you just fine, and other times it leaves you cold and shaking; and worst of all, you never know which of the two it's going to be. I sit down on the end of Kate's bed. Although I'm only thirteen, I'm taller than her and every now and then people mistakenly assume I'm the older sister. At different times this summer she has been crazy for Callahan, Wyatt, and Liam, the male leads on this soap. Now, I guess, it's all about Preston. "There was the kidnapping scare," I volunteer. I actually followed that story line; Kate made me tape the show during her dialysis sessions. "And the time she almost married his twin by mistake," Kate adds. "Don't forget when he died in the boat accident. For two months, anyway." My mother joins the conversation, and I remember that she used to watch this soap, too, sitting with Kate in the hospital. For the first time, Kate seems to notice my mother's outfit. "What are you wearing?" "Oh. Something I'm sending back." She stands up in front of me so that I can undo her zipper. This mail-order compulsion, for any other mother, would be a wake-up call for therapy; for my mom, it would probably be considered a healthy break. I wonder if it's putting on someone else's skin for a while that she likes so much, or if it's the option of being able to send back a circumstance that just doesn't suit you. She looks at Kate, hard. "You're sure nothing hurts?"After my mother leaves, Kate sinks a little. That's the only way to describe it -- how fast color drains from her face, how she disappears against the pillows. As she gets sicker, she fades a little more, until I am afraid one day I will wake up and not be able to see her at all. "Move," Kate orders. "You're blocking the picture."So I go to sit on my own bed. "It's only the coming attractions.""Well, if I die tonight I want to know what I'm missing." I fluff my pillows up under my head. Kate, as usual, has swapped so that she has all the funchy ones that don't feel like rocks under your neck. She's supposed to deserve this, because she's three years older than me or because she's sick or because the moon is in Aquarius -- there's always a reason. I squint at the television, wishing I could flip through the stations, knowing I don't have a prayer. "Preston looks like he's made out of plastic.""Then why did I hear you whispering his name last night into your pillow?""Shut up," I say."You shut up." Then Kate smiles at me. "He probably is gay, though. Quite a waste, considering the Fitzgerald sisters are -- " Wincing, she breaks off mid-sentence, and I roll toward her."Kate?"She rubs her lower back. "It's nothing."It's her kidneys. "Want me to get Mom?""Not yet." She reaches between our beds, which are just far apart enough for us to touch each other if we both try. I hold out my hand, too. When we were little we'd make this bridge and try to see how many Barbies we could get to balance on it. Lately, I have been having nightmares, where I'm cut into so many pieces that there isn't enough of me to be put back together. My father says that a fire will burn itself out, unless you open a window and give it fuel. I suppose that's what I'm doing, when you get right down to it; but then again, my dad also says that when flames are licking at your heels you've got to break a wall or two if you want to escape. So when Kate falls asleep from her meds I take the leather binder I keep between my mattress and box spring and go into the bathroom for privacy. I know Kate's been snooping -- I rigged up a red thread between the zipper's teeth to let me know who was prying into my stuff without my permission, but even though the thread's been torn there's nothing missing inside. I turn on the water in the bathtub so it sounds like I'm in there for a reason, and sit down on the floor to count.If you add in the twenty dollars from the pawnshop, I have $136.87. It's not going to be enough, but there's got to be a way around that. Jesse didn't have $2,900 when he bought his beat-up Jeep, and the bank gave him some kind of loan. Of course, my parents had to sign the papers, too, and I doubt they're going to be willing to do that for me, given the circumstances. I count the money a second time, just in case the bills have miraculously reproduced, but math is math and the total stays the same. And then I read the newspaper clippings.Campbell Alexander. It's a stupid name, in my opinion. It sounds like a bar drink that costs too much, or a brokerage firm. But you can't deny the man's track record.To reach my brother's room, you actually have to leave the house, which is exactly the way he likes it. When Jesse turned sixteen he moved into the attic over the garage -- a perfect arrangement, since he didn't want my parents to see what he was doing and my parents didn't really want to see. Blocking the stairs to his place are four snow tires, a small wall of cartons, and an oak desk tipped onto its side. Sometimes I think Jesse sets up these obstacles himself, just to make getting to him more of a challenge. I crawl over the mess and up the stairs, which vibrate with the bass from Jesse's stereo. It takes nearly five whole minutes before he hears me knocking. "What?" he snaps, opening the door a crack. "Can I come in?"He thinks twice, then steps back to let me enter. The room is a sea of dirty clothes and magazines and leftover Chinese take-out cartons; it smells like the sweaty tongue of a hockey skate. The only neat spot is the shelf where Jesse keeps his special collection -- a Jaguar's silver mascot, a Mercedes symbol, a Mustang's horse -- hood ornaments that he told me he just found lying around, although I'm not dumb enough to believe him. Don't get me wrong -- it isn't that my parents don't care about Jesse or whatever trouble he's gotten himself mixed up in. It's just that they don't really have time to care about it, because it's a problem somewhere lower on the totem pole. Jesse ignores me, going back to whatever he was doing on the far side of the mess. My attention is caught by a Crock-Pot -- one that disappeared out of the kitchen a few months ago -- which now sits on top of Jesse's TV with a copper tube threaded out of its lid and down through a plastic milk jug filled with ice, emptying into a glass Mason jar. Jesse may be a borderline delinquent, but he's brilliant. Just as I'm about to touch the contraption, Jesse turns around. "Hey!" He fairly flies over the couch to knock my hand away. "You'll screw up the condensing coil.""Is this what I think it is?"A nasty grin itches over his face. "Depends on what you think it is." He jimmies out the Mason jar, so that liquid drips onto the carpet. "Have a taste."For a still made out of spit and glue, it produces pretty potent moonshine whiskey. An inferno races so fast through my belly and legs I fall back onto the couch. "Disgusting," I gasp. Jesse laughs and takes a swig, too, although for him it goes down easier. "So what do you want from me?""How do you know I want something?""Because no one comes up here on a social call," he says, sitting on the arm of the couch. "And if it was something about Kate, you would've already told me.""It is about Kate. Sort of." I press the newspaper clippings into my brother's hand; they'll do a better job explaining than I ever could. He scans them, then looks me right in the eye. His are the palest shade of silver, so surprising that sometimes when he stares at you, you can completely forget what you were planning to say."Don't mess with the system, Anna," he says bitterly. "We've all got our scripts down pat. Kate plays the Martyr. I'm the Lost Cause. And you, you're the Peacekeeper." He thinks he knows me, but that goes both ways -- and when it comes to friction, Jesse is an addict. I look right at him. "Says who?" Jesse agrees to wait for me in the parking lot. It's one of the few times I can recall him doing anything I tell him to do. I walk around to the front of the building, which has two gargoyles guarding its entrance. Campbell Alexander, Esquire's office is on the third floor. The walls are paneled with wood the color of a chestnut mare's coat, and when I step onto the thick Oriental rug on the floor, my sneakers sink an inch. The secretary is wearing black pumps so shiny I can see my own face in them. I glance down at my cutoffs and the Keds that I tattooed last week with Magic Markers when I was bored. The secretary has perfect skin and perfect eyebrows and honeybee lips, and she's using them to scream bloody murder at whoever's on the other end of the phone. "You cannot expect me to tell a judge that. Just because you don't want to hear Kleman rant and rave doesn't mean that I have, actually, that raise was for the exceptional job I do and the crap I put up with on a daily basis, and as a matter of fact, while we're on -- " She holds the phone away from her ear; I can make out the buzz of disconnection. "Bastard," she mutters, and then seems to realize I'm standing three feet away. "Can I help you?"She looks me over from head to toe, rating me on a general scale of first impressions, and finding me severely lacking. I lift my chin and pretend to be far more cool than I actually am. "I have an appointment with Mr. Alexander. At four o'clock." "Your voice," she says. "On the phone, you didn't sound quite so..."Young?She smiles uncomfortably. "We don't try juvenile cases, as a rule. If you'd like I can offer you the names of some practicing attorneys who -- "I take a deep breath. "Actually," I interrupt, "you're wrong. Smith v. Whately, Edmunds v. Womens and Infants Hospital, and Jerome v. the Diocese of Providence all involved litigants under the age of eighteen. All three resulted in verdicts for Mr. Alexander's clients. And those were just in the past year."The secretary blinks at me. Then a slow smile toasts her face, as if she's decided she just might like me after all. "Come to think of it, why don't you just wait in his office?" she suggests, and she stands up to show me the way.Even if I spend every minute of the rest of my life reading, I do not believe that I will ever manage to consume the sheer number of words routed high and low on the walls of Campbell Alexander, Esquire's office. I do the math -- if there are 400 words or so on every page, and each of those legal books are 400 pages, and there are twenty on a shelf and six shelves per bookcase -- why, you're pushing nineteen million words, and that's only partway across the room. I'm alone in the office long enough to note that his desk is so neat, you could play Chinese football on the blotter; that there is not a single photo of a wife or a kid or even himself; and that in spite of the fact that the room is spotless, there's a mug full of water sitting on the floor.I find myself making up explanations: it's a swimming pool for an army of ants. It's some kind of primitive humidifier. It's a mirage. I've nearly convinced myself about that last one, and am leaning over to touch it to see if it's real, when the door bursts open. I practically fall out of my chair and that puts me eye to eye with an incoming German shepherd, which spears me with a look and then marches over to the mug and starts to drink.Campbell Alexander comes in, too. He's got black hair and he's at least as tall as my dad -- six feet -- with a right-angle jaw and eyes that look frozen over. He shrugs out of a suit jacket and hangs it neatly on the back of the door, then yanks a file out of a cabinet before moving to his desk. He never makes eye contact with me, but he starts talking all the same. "I don't want any Girl Scout cookies," Campbell Alexander says. "Although you do get Brownie points for tenacity. Ha." He smiles at his own joke. "I'm not selling anything." He glances at me curiously, then pushes a button on his phone. "Kerri," he says when the secretary answers. "What is this doing in my office?""I'm here to retain you," I say.The lawyer releases the intercom button. "I don't think so.""You don't even know if I have a case."I take a step forward; so does the dog. For the first time I realize it's wearing one of those vests with a red cross on it, like a St. Bernard that might carry rum up a snowy mountain. I automatically reach out to pet him. "Don't," Alexander says. "Judge is a service dog."My hand goes back to my side. "But you aren't blind.""Thank you for pointing that out to me." "So what's the matter with you?"The minute I say it, I want to take it back. Haven't I watched Kate field this question from hundreds of rude people? "I have an iron lung," Campbell Alexander says curtly, "and the dog keeps me from getting too close to magnets. Now, if you'd do me the exalted honor of leaving, my secretary can find you the name of someone who -- "But I can't go yet. "Did you really sue God?" I take out all the newspaper clippings, smooth them on the bare desk.A muscle tics in his cheek, and then he picks up the article lying on top. "I sued the Diocese of Providence, on behalf of a kid in one of their orphanages who needed an experimental treatment involving fetal tissue, which they felt violated Vatican II. However, it makes a much better headline to say that a nine-year-old is suing God for being stuck with the short end of the straw in life." I just stare at him. "Dylan Jerome," the lawyer admits, "wanted to sue God for not caring enough about him." A rainbow might as well have cracked down the middle of that big mahogany desk. "Mr. Alexander," I say, "my sister has leukemia.""I'm sorry to hear that. But even if I were willing to litigate against God again, which I'm not, you can't bring a lawsuit on someone else's behalf."There is way too much to explain -- my own blood seeping into my sister's veins; the nurses holding me down to stick me for white cells Kate might borrow; the doctor saying they didn't get enough the first time around. The bruises and the deep bone ache after I gave up my marrow; the shots that sparked more stem cells in me, so that there'd be extra for my sister. The fact that I'm not sick, but I might as well be. The fact that the only reason I was born was as a harvest crop for Kate. The fact that even now, a major decision about me is being made, and no one's bothered to ask the one person who most deserves it to speak her opinion.There's way too much to explain, and so I do the best I can. "It's not God. Just my parents," I say. "I want to sue them for the rights to my own body."Copyright © 2004 by Jodi Picoult

Bookclub Guide

Questions and Topics for Discussion 1) One of this novel's strengths is the way it skillfully demonstrates the subjectivity people bring to their interactions with others. The motivations of individual characters, the emotions that pull them one way or another, and the personal feelings that they inject into professional situations becomes achingly clear as we explore many different viewpoints. For example, despite Julia and Campbell's attempts to remain calm, unemotional and businesslike when they deal with one another, the past keeps seeping in, clouding their interaction. The same goes for the interaction between Sara and Anna during the trial. Is there such a thing as an objective decision in the world of this story? Is anyone capable of being totally rational, or do emotions always come into play? 2) What do you think of this story's representation of the justice system? What was your opinion of the final outcome of the trial? 3) What is your opinion of Sara? With her life focused on saving Kate, she sometimes neglects her other children. Jesse is rapidly becoming a juvenile delinquent, and Anna is invisible -- a fact that the little girl knows only too well. What does this say about Sara's role as a mother? What would you have done in her shoes? Has she unwittingly forgotten Jesse and Anna, or do you think she has consciously chosen to neglect them -- either as an attempt to save a little energy for herself, or as some kind of punishment? Does Sara resent her other children for being healthy? Did you find yourself criticizing Sara, empathizing with her, or both? 4) During a conversation about Kate, Zanne tells Sara, "No one has to be a martyr 24/7." When she mistakenly hears the word "mother" not "martyr" and is corrected by Zanne, Sara smiles and asks, "Is there a difference?" In what ways does this moment provide insight into Sara's state of mind? Do you think it strange that she sees no difference between motherhood and martyrhood? 5) Campbell is certainly a fascinating character: guarded, intelligent, caring and yet selfish at the same time. Due to these seemingly contradictory traits, it can be difficult to figure him out. As he himself admits, "motivations are not what they seem to be." At one point he states, "Out of necessity -- medical and emotional -- I have gotten rather skilled at being an escape artist." Why do you think Campbell feels that he needs to hide his illness? Is it significant that Anna is the first to break down his barriers and hear the truth? Why, for example, does he flippantly dismiss all questions regarding Judge with sarcastic remarks? 6) At one point, Campbell thinks to himself: "There are two reasons not to tell the truth -- because lying will get you what you want, and because lying will keep someone from getting hurt." With this kind of thinking, Campbell gives himself an amazingly wide berth; he effectively frees himself from speaking any semblance of the truth as long as the lie will somehow benefit himself or anyone else. Did it concern you that a lawyer would express an opinion like this? Do you think, by the end of the story, that Campbell still thinks this moral flexibility is okay? In what ways might this kind of thinking actually wind up hurting Campbell? 7) It is interesting that Campbell suffers seizures that only his dog can foresee. How might this unique relationship mirror some of the relationships between humans in this novel? In what ways does Judge introduce important ideas about loyalty and instinct? 8) On page 149, Brian is talking to Julia about astronomy and says, "Dark matter has a gravitational effect on other objects. You can't see it, you can't feel it, but you can watch something being pulled in its direction." How is this symbolic of Kate's illness? What might be a possible reason for Brian's fascination with astronomy? 9) Near the end of the novel, Anna describes "Ifspeak" -- the language that all children know, but abandon as they grow older -- remarking that "Kids think with their brains cracked wide open; becoming an adult, I've decided, is only a slow sewing shut." Do you believe this to be true? What might children teach the adults in this novel? Which adults need lessons most? 10) "It's more like we're astronauts, each wearing a separate helmet, each sustained by our own source of air." This quote comes from Anna, as she and her parents sit in silence in the hospital cafeteria. Besides being a powerful image of the family members' isolation, this observation shows Anna to be one of the wisest, most perceptive characters in this novel. Discuss the alienation affecting these characters. While it is obvious that Anna's decision to sue her parents increases that sense of alienation throughout the novel (especially for Anna herself), do you think that she has permanently harmed the family dynamic? 11) During the trial, when Dr. Campbell takes the stand, he describes the rules by which the medical ethics committee, of which he is a part, rules their cases. Out of these six principles (autonomy, veracity, fidelity, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice), which apply to Anna's lawsuit? Moreover, which of these should be applied to Anna's home situation? In other words, do you think a parent might have anything to learn from the guidelines that the doctors follow? Are there family ethics that ought to be put into place to ensure positive family dynamics? I so, what should they be? 12) Early in the legal proceedings, Anna makes a striking observation as she watches her mother slip back into her lawyer role, noting, "It is hard to believe that my mother used to do this for a living. She used to be someone else, once. I suppose we all were." Discuss the concept of change as it is presented in this story. While most of the characters seem to undergo a metamorphosis of sorts -- either emotionally or even physically (in the case of Kate), some seem more adept at it than others. Who do you think is ultimately the most capable of undergoing change and why? 13) Discuss the symbolic role that Jesse's pyromania plays in this novel, keeping in mind the following quote from Brian: "How does someone go from thinking that if he cannot rescue, he must destroy?" Why is it significant that Jesse has, in many respects, become the polar opposite of his father? But despite this, why is Jesse often finding himself in the reluctant hero position (saving Rat, delivering the baby at boot camp)? Brian himself comes to realize, in the scene where he confronts Jesse, that he and his son aren't so different. Talk about the traits that they share and the new understanding that they gain for each other by the end of the story. 14) My Sister's Keeper explores the moral, practical and emotional complications of putting one human being in pain or in danger for the well being of another. Discuss the different kinds of ethical problems that Anna, as the "designer baby," presents in this story? Did your view change as the story progressed? Why or why not? Has this novel changed any of your opinions about other conflicts in bioethics like stem cell research or genetically manipulated offspring?

Editorial Reviews

The Boston Globe Picoult writes with a fine touch, a sharp eye for detail, and a firm grasp of the delicacy and complexity of human relationships.