What can you say about a best selling, wildly popular writer, especially in criticism of her works?
Jodi Picoult reminds me of those weekly movies that were produced by Hallmark or Lifetimes in the 1970/80s. Each of her novels seems to focus on the disease/family problems that are buzz word topics. Don’t get me wrong. I have read her works – in fact more than one of her books. But I don’t care to read depressing books or books that will probably make me cry. That is one reason I don’t read many of Oprah’s book club suggestions any more.
As a mystery this book fails – I was able to figure out who-dun-it very quickly. As an introduction to how people judge others, especially those who do not look different, just act different, this novel works. One of the problems I did have with the novel is the cover itself. It shows a young boy where the main character in the novel is a teen. But like we are taught we shouldn’t judge a book (or a person) by the cover. For another view of this illness, try this biography of an Asperger person, Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robinson.
Another of Picoult’s books that I have read was My Sister’s Keeper. Between the movie and the novel, it was very hard to avoid this book in the last year or so. The story of a girl who is born to be a harvest body for her ill sister. In this novel, Picoult touches on two topical issues; organ donation/cell donation and dying children. I will never understand why movies change wonderful books, but completely changing the ending for this one truly baffles me. How can a person who cries at commercials (me) not get teary eyed for all the family involved in this sob story.
Another book (and movie) The Tenth Circle, also looks at a family under pressure. It shows the period of time when a child realizes that her parents are not gods – perfect in all their actions. The illustrations within this novel were interesting due to the fact the father is a graphic novelist working on the theme of Dante’s Inferno. Did Picoult realize that there was a video game in the making for this book? I wonder!
Judge for yourself whether Picoult is a wonderful writer or just a master manipulator of emotions.