Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Genre: Fiction, or Lifetime movie fodder
Publisher, Year: Atria, 2004
Other Works: Plain Truth
Flags: Moderate language
Rating: F, or Don’t Even Bother
Premise: Kate is sick. She has a rare form of leukemia, and no one can help her except a sibling. Kate’s parents have Anna, the daughter who will save their daughter. Anna faces difficult decisions as Kate ultimately needs a kidney transplant.

So, I've said before that's it's hard for me to go see a movie that's based on a book if I haven't read it. I don't know, it's like I feel like I'm robbing myself of that experience, which is usually better for me than the viewing one. Well, I've been cured of this neurosis. I guess, at least in this case, I'm so UN-tempted to see the movie now that I won't waste my money. I guess that's a plus.

My first experience with Picoult was a good one, with Plain Truth. I loved that story, and I’ve recommended it to so many people. This is now my second BAD experience with her, so that's it. She gets no more chances. (Time out for you!)

First of all, honestly I thought the whole premise of this book was sort of ridiculous. A couple has a daughter, Kate, who gets cancer. In order to save Kate, they have another child, Anna, (exact match to Kate) so that child can donate needed blood etc. Maybe it's plausible, I really wouldn't know, but it seems fantastical at best, to me. But, hey, I thought, I'll bite. +/-

Unfortunately, it only got worse from there. Not only is the quality of writing just plain bad, but the structure was a complete mess. The story just goes all over the place. Each chapter is narrated by a different character, which is confusing enough, but on top of that, each chapter rewinds to the past and fast forwards to present and future--rewind, fast forward, rewind, fast forward--until I had whiplash. This can be an amazing technique with more skilled hands, but unfortunately . . . Picoult—she just don’t got it.

Think it can't get much worse? Think again. Each character digresses with their anecdotes into completely worthless details that really don’t add anything to the story. I got so bored halfway through I just started skimming, trying to get to the meat of the story, which I’m sorry to say was somewhat unrecognizable. I can’t even tell you which characters bored and annoyed me the most because they were all about the same, just in different ways. I have one more word for you: cliché.

And then the ending . . . please. I won’t even go there. I’ll spare you. Just suffice it to say that this one should not be in your “must read” pile. If you really want to see the movie, be my guest, but don’t waste your time on the book.

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