There are too many books I haven't read, too many places I haven't seen, too many memories I haven't kept long enough. There is so much left to experience and so much to feel. Books come close to what I truly feel; come close feeling to living life to the fullest. But if I had to ever choose one book in the whole myriad of books out there it would be My sister’s keeper. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult, is one book that changed my life’s perspective. I was quite young and since then I began taking life with a purpose. Why did this book change everything? I didn’t know then but now I’m beginning to understand. Jodi Picoult skillfully mixes the emotions of a normal family having to go through one of the most difficult times of anyone’s life: overcoming cancer. The book leaves you choked for emotion and the ending leaves you with so many questions about life that it makes all the difference just rethinking faith for the first time all over again. When I first read it I was 12 about the same age as Anna, the protagonist. I literally lived the book through her taking her side when things got messy. I could relate to Kate’s feelings (she’s the daughter with leukemia) but I couldn’t fully understand them. Her need to feel human, her need to live her life as a normal teenager, her need to fall in love, her need to have feel useful, her need to cry for others who were more fortunate than her but whom she could feel more for. Anna I could get, Kate baffled me. The book was not the only factor but I got me seriously thinking into what I wanted to do and what I wanted to be. Kate was 17 at that time. I’ve read the book too many times for my taste and I felt something different every time. The first time I was overwhelmed, Anna died instead of Kate and though I hated myself for it I wished Kate had taken her place. The wrangling grip cancer had on a family reduced me to tears. It was my first Jodi Picoult and it is definitely not my last. The second time I read it, it had a different meaning to me, since I knew how it ended it held no surprises but I began to explain why the ending was so catastrophic: why Anna HAD to die. Why God chose the alternative which was so shocking and so painful that it benumbed both the family (in the story) and the reader. Why Kate and Jesse’s (the brother) life blossomed into something beautiful and why Anna’s death instead of breaking them, made them stronger. Kate wasn’t destroyed by Anna’s death. Her admiration and respect for her sister knew no bounds, Anna was truly a ‘sister’s keeper’ she sacrificed her life for her. She would have died for her; even if she hadn’t had that fatal accident. The more I read it the more scared I got as I began to think too deeply about it. Anna’s and Kate’s life meant more to me than just characters of fiction; I felt I knew them more than my closest friends. It freaked me out and I stopped reading the book. I was 14 then. A month back when I was cleaning my room I chanced upon the book where I had hidden it. And I read it again. Everything was different this time. I could relate more to Kate and Jesse than Anna. My favourites had shifted and as I was the same age as Kate; this time the book was all about her. The whole book is centered on her, but she has only one chapter for herself; the last one. One fire burns out another's burning, One pain is lessen'd by another's anguish; Turn giddy, and be holp by backward turning; One desperate grief cures with another's languish. - Romeo and Juliet, W. Shakespeare I cried with her when she bleed so much she couldn’t feel her limbs, I rejoiced with her when her crush asked her out, I flew over cloud nine with her when she was kissed for the first time, I felt a sense of acceptance when she knew what was inevitable was very near, I understood her when she knew when she was ready to leave this earth. Why? I don’t know. Had things changed so much? Could I relate to the older girl’s feelings because I had read her story enough times when I was young or was it because I was going through the same thing? Not that I had cancer, but everything else. It’s easy to say she felt immeasurable pain, sorrow, confusion. It’s easy to say she was strong, brave, a stone when her family was falling to pieces. But it really isn’t as easy as that, what she felt only she will understand; an experience I felt was mutual. Anna didn’t understand what her parent’s meant that she was born for a reason. She wasn’t born because her sister needed her leukocytes and granulocytes; she wasn’t born because her sister’s bone marrow wasn’t functioning properly or because she had to donate her kidney to her. The Fitzgerald family was being torn apart and she was the reason their smile could reach their eyes. Anna kept them grounded. Brian, the father talks about why Anna was special, why her real name was Andromeda after the Greek princess.He says; “Anna’s real name is Andromeda. The constellation she’s named after tells the story of a princess, who was shackled to a rock as a sacrifice to a sea monster – punishment for her mother Cassiopeia, who had bragged to Poseidon about her own beauty. Perseus, flying by, fell in love with Andromeda and saved her. In the sky she’s pictured with her arms outstretched and her hands chained. The way I saw it, the story had a happy ending. Who wouldn’t want that for their child? Anna was my princess, my hope.” No family should be put through all this especially such a beautiful one like the Fitzgerald family. I’m still only beginning to understand what they had to go through. Writing a story like this is difficult enough but the way Picoult sucks you into their world so naturally without making utopian sacrifices or creating brave hearts so unique no one can relate to, makes this book a must-read. Promises are kept; but hearts are broken. If you had a choice who would you pick: Your healthy baby girl or you diseased second born? Would you be a good mother if you made that choice? Read this multi-award winning book to find out.