Sunday, 1 September 2013

What I've Been Reading:
'My Sister's Keeper' by Jodi Picoult

After reading 'Sing You Home' by Jodi Picoult earlier this year, I knew I would eventually read another one of her books. When I found a copy of 'My Sister's Keeper' for £2 in a local charity shop, I couldn't resist and started reading it straight away. The following day I'd reached the final page and was kind of sad to close the cover on the world I'd immersed myself in so completely.

Anna Fitzgerald is thirteen years old. All she wants is to live her life but part of being her means that in a way, she also has to live her sister's life. Unlike most people she knows, Anna wasn't just a happy accident, she was the result of a fertilisation process that involved selecting the embryo that was the perfect match to give her sick sister Kate the stem cell transplant that might just save her life. The result? While not being sick herself, Anna has undergone multiple medical processes throughout her short life, ranging from donating stem cells after her birth to bone marrow donation several years later. Now her parents want her to donate a kidney to her sister. But how long can this process go on for? How long can Anna keep being a donor for her sister?

Anna takes her case to hotshot lawyer Campbell Alexander, who agrees to represent her in her lawsuit. Anna has decided to sue her parents for medical emancipation. Aged thirteen, she believes it is time she has the last word when it comes to her body and helping her sister.

'My Sister's Keeper' tackles an issue that is very prevalent in the media, an issue that many people will have strong opinions on. But she tackles it with incredible sensitivity, showcasing perfectly the two sides of the coin, the pros and cons of conceiving one child to save another. This novel was beautifully written, kept me gripped throughout and had me both laughing and crying at various points. 

As with the last Picoult novel I read, I fell in love with the characters. In this case, mainly Anna and Campbell. Anna is the perfect know-it-all kid, a child wise beyond her years and heavy with social and familial responsibility. And Campbell is just a sarcastic weirdo - his excuses for why his Service dog Judge accompanies him everywhere get more and more random as the story progresses (my personal favourite is 'I have SARS, he helps me keep track of how many people I've infected') - who really managed to touch my heart. 

I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good soppy read with plenty of courtroom drama. 


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