Jordan Bradt: The local library has a used bookroom. A while ago, I found a copy of MY SISTER’S KEEPER by Jodi Picoult for twenty-five cents. I added it to my “to read” pile in my bedroom, and recently came across it. I saw the movie on television and thought I should finally compare it to the novel.
I didn’t like the movie very much. It was intense and portrayed the characters well, but I found it heartbreaking. The book is also heartbreaking, but I enjoyed it more than the movie version. It explores the characters in more depth, and I felt like they became friends and neighbors, rather than people on a screen. The ending was also different, and I can’t decide which I liked better. Both are tearjerkers. I cried during the movie and in the last chapter of the book. Yes, I’m not embarrassed to admit tears poured down my cheeks.
I would give this book 5 stars out of 5, except for one aspect, which pushes it down to a 3 or 4, depending on my mood for the day. That aspect: the brother, Jesse. He screams “cliché” in a horrible way. I understand that Jodi wanted to show how Jesse suffered from being ignored. His family concentrated on Kate and Anna, and he, the middle child, got pushed to the back. However, he’s just the “bad boy.” He does drugs. He drinks. Smokes. Steals a judge’s car. He sets fires with homemade explosives. He was so two-dimensional in his badness that I wanted to skip the parts about him. I didn’t, but they happened just as I had assumed they would. He was bad. He remained bad. Jesse made me want to scream. The other characters had so much going for them…then there was Jesse. At the end of the book, Jodi has him turn his life around, but I would’ve rather seen that throughout, rather than piled into the epilogue. He needed to have more substance. Overall, though, I enjoyed the book and I recommend it to others…just be prepared to meet Jesse.