2008-06 Discussion of My Sister's Keeper

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2008-06 Discussion of My Sister's Keeper

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jun 9, 2008, 2:39 pm

I still haven't read My Sister's Keeper, but I've heard good things about it and am looking forward to reading it soon!

Redigeret: jun 11, 2008, 1:38 pm

I liked the book, but it is very emotional and heart wrenching. I don't want to say more until others are ready to discuss.

jun 11, 2008, 2:18 am

I thought it was a wonderful book, and as GeorgiaDawn said, it is very emotional.

jun 20, 2008, 1:35 pm

I've been trying to read this book for the last two weeks - and I'm only on page 76. And though what I've read makes me want to keep reading, it just does not have to pull that makes me push the other thousand things I need to do to the side and keep reading. My thoughts so far from the little bit that I've read, is that this has great potential to be one of my favorite books. But at the same time, I am afraid that my expectations may be too high, and I won't enjoy it as much....that may be why I've had such a hard time really getting into the story. I plan on finishing this one before the end of June and posting my thoughts.

jun 20, 2008, 8:28 pm

I am also emotionally drained at the end of her books.

jun 24, 2008, 9:32 pm

Hmm, okay, I'm gonna leap in and ask some questions for those other people here who have finished the book :) I read the book a while ago so my details are fuzzy, but so much of the main things stay with you for a long time...


So, I really loved the part where it turns out the her older sister was the one pushing her to go through all the effort to make sure the she wasnt forced to keep ruining her life for the older sister.

But.. it makes you wonder, what would you do in a situation like that? How much does being a goalie in hockey compare to being able to prolong your sisters life, for an indefinite, maybe miniscule, length of time? What would you do if you were the older sister? Or if you were the younger sister? I'm not sure that I can answer those questions myself... I would hope that if I were the older sister I would do what she did and push her sister to decide for herself and not be forced by her parents. As the younger sister though, I'm not sure what my decision would be? I guess since I'm not athletic and I don't have aspirations that require a perfect body it might be much easier for me to say that I'd be willing to donate to my sister, since that decision wouldn't really be so life-altering for me. I'm not sure I could properly imagine that exact scenario happening to me, since my life is so far removed from theirs.

On another note, I do think this book really makes a good case for general organ donation... I'm never sure why more people don't donate their organs, I guess just generally awareness about these things would help... because I'm sure there are some religious reasons for a few people, but the vast majority of people who aren't donors probably just don't consider it, I would speculate. This book helps makes you realize the difference one person can make...

I never expected the book ending with her dying though... Seemed a sort of easy way for the author to avoid having to have the character follow through with a decision. Although like I said above, I think bringing up the ensuing organ donation probably was good for readers to consider...

And finally, what did everyone else think about the parents role in all of it? What should they have been doing? I don't think they really did anything wrong in having the younger daughter, partially motivated by having a blood match for their older daughter... I think they probably cross a line in compelling their daughter to help the older one though, once shes old enough that she can decide on her own, but at the same time I can't really find that the parents were bad.

Overall, I think it was really well-written, because all of the characters stay with you for a long time, and nobody comes out of the book a clear winner or loser, or good guy or bad guy.

jun 25, 2008, 10:27 pm


I didn't see it as the author taking the easy way out because she died. I think when some one is so sick that organ donation is the solution that anything can and does happen. There is usually more then one thing wrong with the person plus complications, infections, on and on.

jun 26, 2008, 7:12 pm

I actually threw the book against the wall when I finished. (yes, it was my personal copy, not a library book!) It was a neat twist but felt so very, very wrong to me. So when I share it with teens, I do the standard booktalk and then I tell them that I hated the ending. You'd be amazed at how many come back, seek me out, and want to debate the ending with me. I have been persuaded that perhaps it is a good ending but I still find it unsatisfying. On the other hand, many books fade in memory but this one will always be fresh.

jun 27, 2008, 3:41 pm


Since everyone was already expecting the older sister to die I thought having the younger sister die instead was a neat twist. What I found "unreal" was how the older sister was suddenly cured after her sister's death.

As a parent I can empathize with having a baby to help save an older child. However I cannot see forcing that child to consistently sacrifice year after year for that same sister.

jul 13, 2008, 9:21 am

This was my first Jodi Picoult -- what about the rest of you? If it was your first, as well, are you now itching to read others by her? If you've already read her other books, how does this one compare?

Though I enjoyed this book, it didn't inspire me to rush out and read others by her. It played on my emotions a bit too much, I think.

jul 18, 2008, 11:04 pm

I have read many of Jodi Picoult's books. What I like most about them is that they usually take a current "issue" of some kind and then look at it from many points of view. In My Sister's Keeper, we see the issue from the older sister, the younger sister, the parents and even the brother. No matter what happens, there is pain. There IS no easy answer. The other thing I like about her books is that they usually have a twist at the end. I don't always like the twist, but there usually is one.

Picoult is one of my favorite authors. MSK is one of my favorites. Two other favorites are 19 minutes and Plain Truth. I am currently reading her newest book, Change of Heart combining organ donation and the death penalty as issues. Again, a compelling read!

Redigeret: nov 16, 2008, 8:04 am

as this is a YA Lit group I'm curious what age people suggest this book for... I read it last year and liked it very much, and as usual I've already given my copy away.

I'm thinking of getting another copy for my daughter (aged 13) to read before the film adaptation is released, but I didn't read it with her in mind so my 'age appropriateness' filter wasn't active and I'm not sure whether it would be suitable at her age.

any and all opinions most welcome.

nov 16, 2008, 2:59 pm

Freelunch: I read the book when I was thirteen and though I'm not sure that will have any effect on your decision I thought you might like to know. I read it off the recommendation of my English teacher at the time, who recommended it to the entire classroom of seventh graders, so she at least must have thought it was appropriate for that age group.
That's all I have; being seventeen I'm not usually reading books on age-appropriateness filters :)

Redigeret: nov 16, 2008, 3:49 pm

Would you all please take a lok at the group Teenage Book Nudgers? It is based on the Book Nudgers group, only it is for teens.

Redigeret: nov 17, 2008, 12:36 am

>13 curioussquared: thanks, that it was recommended by a teacher for kids my daughter's age is all I needed to hear :)

>14 cornpuff12: I took a quick look at your group but there was no obvious thread discussing this book.

nov 17, 2008, 1:39 am

This was my first Picoult book, too - it's inspired me to buy one or two others, even though I haven't read them yet.

I honestly wouldn't have chosen this book for YA, although I can see teenagers reading it - I would have as a teenager had I known about it then.

Oh my goodness did I cry at the end! I read it all in one sitting - I stayed up until 4 AM reading it, and the end completely threw me for a loop.

nov 17, 2008, 3:00 am

My sister's keeper is incredibly popular in New Zealand with 15-18 year old secondary students. We have a requirement in English called 'Wide reading', and it is often used a part of that. Picoult's other works are popular too.

sep 15, 2010, 9:37 pm

I'm coming to this discussion late; I just noticed its existence again and have finally read the book two years later.

I think it's age-appropriate; I had a great discussion of it with a 12-year-old, including a debate about the ending.


Which I think was a terrible cop-out. I don't think it's an excuse that "anything can happen when someone is so sick that organ donation is required", because this was the healthy sister who died, in a freak accident with no relation to the illness. The whole book was about a difficult decision that had to be made, and in the end no one had to decide after all! I thought that was a huge disappointment.

sep 15, 2010, 10:43 pm

(#18: You should watch the movie.)

Redigeret: aug 24, 2011, 2:51 pm

Resurrecting this old thread... =)

I haven't read this book. I saw the movie instead. Afterwards, I sought discussions like this and realized that was a good choice, which is weird.

I hardly ever watch a movie adaptation before I read the book, and the few times that I've done it, I rushed to a bookstore to get the book ASAP.

Not with this one, though. Hearing how the book ends killed any interest I had in it (no pun intended). The movie was very well done, and I liked the ending very much. It made me cry lol

Anyone else is up for discussing this topic, or should we just let it lie?

aug 24, 2011, 9:39 pm

Please tell me how the movie ends! It's been a while since I read this book, but I HATED the cop-out. Hate, hate, hated it! Haven't read any other Picoult books and never will. Maybe I would like the movie better if it ends differently - but I'm never going to watch it to find out, so please tell me!

Redigeret: aug 25, 2011, 12:45 pm

>21 BookLizard: BookLizard:

Are you sure you want to know how it ends? Won't it spoil the movie for you?

I'll tag it and post it here anyway:

**************STOP READING IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT YET**************
In the movie, the healthy sister lives, but not the ill one. The final day in the trial, the judge decides to go visit the sick kid before making a decision. So she goes to the hospital and talks to the girl. That night, the girl dies. Days later, the surviving sister's lawyer visits her with the court's ruling: they won. If her sister hadn't died, the healthy girl would have had the right to refuse giving her kidney to her sister.

It's bittersweet, and a tad predictable for the genre, but it's much, much better than the book, in my not so humble opinion.

What do you think?

aug 25, 2011, 10:35 pm

22> Thank you! I agree - MUCH better ending.

You say it's predictable, but I think that's a good thing in this case. The dilemma the family is facing - it's a no-win situation. You're expecting a tear-jerker. The way the author cops-out in the novel to try to give it a "happy ending," just made me angry. It's not a happy ending, it's a b.s. ending.

OT: I was in the DVD section of the library today and I overheard someone telling her friend, "They have My Sister's Keeper." Freaky coincidence.

aug 26, 2011, 10:04 am

23> That's the Universe conspiring to have you watch the movie. ;-)

aug 26, 2011, 11:10 am

24> Well, I could test your theory and borrow the movie to watch this weekend, but we're in the path of Hurricane Irene, and I don't want us losing power because the Universe does NOT want me to watch it. LOL.

aug 26, 2011, 11:19 am

All the contrary, BL. Since you already know the Universe does want you to watch it, you should go ahead and see it to make sure you don't lose power!

Redigeret: mar 18, 2012, 6:52 pm

Definitely one of her best! But it's hard to choose since many other books are also amazing..... like Handle with Care, and Second Glance and House Rules... and Nineteen Minutes, I recommend reading them all!!!!!
The movie kinda sucked........ Anybody any thoughts?

apr 18, 2012, 5:05 pm

Me too! It looks great. I'll get around to reading it sometime.