July 16, 2013

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

My Sister's Keeper

Author: Jodi Picoult
Release Date: February 1, 2005
Pages: 423
Review by: Tessa

*WARNING* If you watched this movie and now you want to read the book you might be disappointed. The ending and some other parts of the book are VERY different from the movie. So if you liked the happy ending in the movie, don't read the book!

We all know that humans will do anything to survive, but is there a line that we can't cross?

This is ultimately a book about morals and ethics. The question the book revolves around seems like it has a simple answer, but when you see the situation from everyone's point of view it becomes less clear.

Anna is a normal teenager with an extraordinary purpose. She was born to save her sister's life. Anna's sister, Kate, has leukemia, a blood cancer. Her parents planned to conceive Anna to take her cord blood to put Kate's cancer into remission, but when Kate doesn't get better one operation turns into another and another. The donations that Anna makes for Kate are becoming more invasive. Kate's parents are so involved in Kate's illness that they don't think about how the operations are affecting Anna. When Anna's parents decide to have Anna donate her kidney, Anna decides to finally take action by suing her parents for the rights to her own body. Whenever a family member sues another it isn't pretty, but with one child fighting for her life, things get extremely messy.

SPOILER ALERT!!! This part of the review reveals the ending of the book.
Overall I liked the book. It made me think about how humans will do anything to survive. I started to wonder how far I would go to live. Would I risk my sister's life just to prolong mine? In my humble opinion, I think it is wrong to make a person donate something against their will, especially if they are a child and they don't know what is going on. Picoult did a great job at making me love Anna, but not so good a job with Kate. Nothing really popped out at me about Kate. I may just be a insensitive jerk, but I really didn't feel as bad for Kate as I did for Anna. I don't think Kate was really grateful for what her family has done to keep her alive. She just wants to die, which is understandable after what she has gone through, but she should honor her family's decision and at least try to live. I also loved Jesse. I blame his parents for his problems. If he got even a little bit of attention from his parents everything might have been different. I was extremely happy to know that he turned his life around and became a policeman (even though I was secretly hoping he would be a fireman).

The ending was the most heartbreaking part of the book. Picoult killed Anna just so Kate could get the kidney and they could have a "happy" ending. Admit it, we all thought that Kate was going to die, so it would not have hurt as much as if she died instead of Anna. She was such a strong and stubborn character. She should not have died! I think that even after the lawsuit Anna would have donated the kidney, but Picoult had to throw a curveball and kill Anna. That was not a happy ending!!!! You can tell that Anna's mom only cared about Kate, because after Anna was killed she only cared about getting the kidney to Kate. Campbell seemed to be the one most upset about Anna dying (besides me).

So, my advice would be watch the movie and skip the book. (Max agrees!)



  1. I disagree about skipping the book.


    Though the ending was shocking and sad, I thought that it had more impact than if Kate had died from cancer. I think that the author didn't kill her to give the book a happy ending, because the action itself was so shocking and and heartbreaking. Because of her death, her actions had more emphasis.

    1. I agree! Sorry Tessa, but that's what I thought, too. Thanks for putting it into words, Kate! I don't think you could really write a happy ending for this book...