My Sister's Keeper

September 30, 2008
How would you feel if your older sister was dying of leukemia and you were the only person who would keep her alive? Anna Fitzgerald is your average teen, except for the fact that she was made (so-to-speak) with the genetic make-up and sole purpose to keep her sister, Kate, from dying. However, is it really living when you have to constantly go to the hospital in order to support your sister? So Anna decides to hire a lawyer, Campbell Alexander, and their lives will never be the same…

This novel includes multiple main characters. Jodi Picoult wrote the book from all different perspectives (a different person for each chapter), which is also why it is such a long and in-depth book. There was Anna, Kate, Jesse, Sara, Brian, Julia, and Campbell. Anna was the main reason for the book, though. She is thirteen, slender, has brown hair, and is a little taller than Kate but not too tall. I loved her personality. She always questioned different aspects about life. “When I was little, the great mystery to me wasn't how babies were made, but why.” (Picoult 7) Her curiosity is persistent throughout the book. On page 272 she ponders, “Here's my question: What age are you when you're in Heaven?” And she thinks about things in a new light. On page 299 she recalls, “When you are a kid you have your own language… Everyone under the age of seven is fluent in Ifspeak…” She was very loving to her sister, Kate. Also, she is humble and doesn't like to speak her mind or be too selfish. For example, on page 375 Anna thinks, “It's not that I'm nervous, like Campbell thinks. I am not afraid of clamming up, either. I'm afraid of saying too much.” She is also honest with others and herself. Anna tells Campbell, “Sometimes I hate myself… I get it. You were invisible, too.” (Picoult 339)

We all have battles in life, but for Anna, she had to face one of the greatest internal struggles of her life at a fairly young age. As if being a teen isn't confusing enough, Anna has to face the fact that by not giving Kate her kidney to help with the leukemia, Anna is without a doubt killing her sister. Anna has to face her mom, who loves them both to death equally. Anna also doesn't want to be tied to her sister her whole life. For example, she couldn't go to hockey camp because, God forbid, something terrible might happen to Kate.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is mature enough to understand it, because it is a fascinating novel. I liked the different characters and perspectives that the author used. I especially liked Jesse, the middle child. Because she never got attention being in a family of chaos, he found some attention through getting into trouble, setting fires, doing drugs, drinking, ect. and by being the “bad child” or “trouble maker”. Jesse thinks that by not saving Kate, his job is automatically to cause problems. On page 93, “I am the kid who played with matches. I used to steal them from the shelf above the refrigerator, take them into my parents' bathroom.”
I also liked how the book was very emotional and personal. Anna says on page 412, “Only one thing's a constant. Ten years from now, I'd like to be Kate's sister.” This is very personal to Anna because she is telling Campbell how much she cares about Kate, in despite of all she has gone through in her life. My Sister's Keeper also consists of emotion and depth of character. In the epilogue Kate decides, “There should be a statue of limitation on grief. A rule book that says it is all right to wake up crying, but only for a month. That after forty-two days you will no longer turn with your heart racing, certain you have heard her call out your name.”

The author could have improved on the length because sometimes there was unnecessary information. But at the same time, that is what added to the depth of the characters. So maybe she needed fewer characters telling the story. I would have stuck with Anna, Kate, and Jesse because I liked them the best because they are teenagers to I could relate. Maybe she could have done a book for teenagers, a book for adults with Sara (Anna's mom) and Brian (Anna's dad), and a book from Julia and Campbell's perspective for adults who like hearing things from a business perspective. Also, it could go into detail about Julia and Campbell's relationship more because that alone could have been a long story. I was curious to hear more about their relationship because although it was a sub-plot, it was still interesting how after all those years being broken-hearted, they found each other again and decided to make a change and love unconditionally.

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