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Book Club: My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Buzz Book Club: The Conclusion of My Sister's Keeper

Welcome back, Buzz Book Club readers. I've been re-reading My Sister's Keeper this month so that I can discuss the book's interesting topics with you before the movie comes out. Are you ready to talk about this controversial ending?

First, here's a recap of how the Book Club goes: Every week I've suggested chapters to complete by the next post (which, in this case, went up every Friday in May). In these weekly Book Club posts, I posit a few questions to prompt discussion in the comments section.

Also, don't forget to keep an eye out next week for my June book club announcement!

To discuss last week's section of My Sister's Keeper, in which we read the section marked "Monday" through to the end,

.

  1. Last things first: What do you think of the twist at the end? Do you think Kate should have died and Anna lived? Or should Picoult have allowed both to live? I found myself feeling frustrated by this ending.
  2. While I enjoyed the book overall, I was less interested in some characters than others, and wondered if we really needed to go through all their stories. Specifically, I probably could have done without Julia's whole story, and maybe Jesse's, too. Do you think the book was a little cluttered with all these characters?
  3. Speaking of Jesse, do you think Picoult writes male characters well? Do Brian, Campbell and Jesse's perspectives seem authentic to you?
  4. Were you surprised to learn that Judge was a service dog for Campbell's epilepsy? Did finding this out change your feelings toward Campbell at all?
  5. Anna's revelations on the stand about Kate asking to die were painful to read — but they also struck me as realistic requests from a 16-year-old who'd been sick her whole life and even seen her first love die of a similar disease. Were you shocked by anything Anna said about Kate? Overall, do you wish we'd heard more from Kate in the book, or was the epilogue enough?
  6. After finishing the book, what do you think about the casting? Can you see Cameron Diaz as Sara? And do you think Abigail Breslin will be a good Anna, or would you have preferred seeing what the Fanning sisters could do?
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bingbingboom bingbingboom 7 years
I was sobbing when I finished reading this book.1. I was very shocked that Anna died from a car accident and accidentally gave a new life to Kate. I don't understand either, why would the parents allow Anna to ride in a car with a man who just had a dramatic episode in the court room?2. I didn't care about Julia at all. The love story between her and Campbell wasn't really necessary. However, I did enjoy reading about Jesse. He struggled in the family in a different way. He cared deeply about his sisters, but he still had the teenage rebellious side in him.3. I thought Picoult tried hard to represent male voices in this book. Brian's voice was a bit weak.4. I loved Judge! I knew he was a dog for aiding some kind of sickness, but I didn't see epilepsy coming.5. It was well planned that Kate's epilogue only arrived when the story was ending. We heard much about Kate from other people, but only her real gratitude after her sister's death made her even more precious.6. I was a bit surprised to see Cameron Diaz casted as Sara, I guess I can see her act hysterically. :-p Abigail Breslin was a good choice for Anna.
bingbingboom bingbingboom 7 years
I was sobbing when I finished reading this book. 1. I was very shocked that Anna died from a car accident and accidentally gave a new life to Kate. I don't understand either, why would the parents allow Anna to ride in a car with a man who just had a dramatic episode in the court room? 2. I didn't care about Julia at all. The love story between her and Campbell wasn't really necessary. However, I did enjoy reading about Jesse. He struggled in the family in a different way. He cared deeply about his sisters, but he still had the teenage rebellious side in him. 3. I thought Picoult tried hard to represent male voices in this book. Brian's voice was a bit weak. 4. I loved Judge! I knew he was a dog for aiding some kind of sickness, but I didn't see epilepsy coming. 5. It was well planned that Kate's epilogue only arrived when the story was ending. We heard much about Kate from other people, but only her real gratitude after her sister's death made her even more precious. 6. I was a bit surprised to see Cameron Diaz casted as Sara, I guess I can see her act hysterically. :-p Abigail Breslin was a good choice for Anna.
lizlee89 lizlee89 7 years
I just can't believe everyone didn't love the ending! I know it sound kind of morbid, but I thought the ending took it from an average charcter book to a Greek tragedy - I mean that ending made my heart drop! as for the comment about that Picoult took the easy way out by killing Anna - are you kidding? how is killing your main charcter, especially one to whom the reader really gets attached, easy? she took a big risk and I think it made the book.I think all the POV's were good and contributed to the story. I can honest;y say I was never bored either time I read it. as for the casting, I already said a while ago that they are completely ruining it. Cameron is not strong enough or weak enough to play Sara, Alec Baldwin is way too famous to play Campbell, and while I love Abigail, she is too sweet to play Anna. I am so enraged by this awful adaptation and I will not watch it...
lizlee89 lizlee89 7 years
I just can't believe everyone didn't love the ending! I know it sound kind of morbid, but I thought the ending took it from an average charcter book to a Greek tragedy - I mean that ending made my heart drop! as for the comment about that Picoult took the easy way out by killing Anna - are you kidding? how is killing your main charcter, especially one to whom the reader really gets attached, easy? she took a big risk and I think it made the book. I think all the POV's were good and contributed to the story. I can honest;y say I was never bored either time I read it. as for the casting, I already said a while ago that they are completely ruining it. Cameron is not strong enough or weak enough to play Sara, Alec Baldwin is way too famous to play Campbell, and while I love Abigail, she is too sweet to play Anna. I am so enraged by this awful adaptation and I will not watch it...
dannysf dannysf 7 years
Firstly I loved the twist at the end. Didn't see it coming. Never, ever, would have thought that Kate would be the one to live. Overall I thought the book was pretty good. It kept me reading. I'm interested to see it played out as a film. I think Cameron has the ability to surprise me (Being John M, and Gangs of New York), so we'll see what happens. I do think I would've preferred to see the Dakota sisters in the role, but who knows. Thanks Buzz for an excellent selection.
pinkprincess1101 pinkprincess1101 7 years
Thanks strangel82, I start this book tonight or tomorrow, I must admit I've been cheating at reading these posts with whats going on.
starangel82 starangel82 7 years
The book shouldn't be any different, pinkprincess. They just usually change the cover of paperbacks when a movie comes out (to promote the movie). There is supposed to be some major differences between the movie and the book though. So I'd read the book before the movie comes out!
pinkprincess1101 pinkprincess1101 7 years
I just bought this book the other day (I'm so excited) my only question, is there a difference form the this book and the one with Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin on the cover (the one I have)?
Linda-McP Linda-McP 7 years
I was frustrated by the conclusion; in fact I was downright angry. Picoult seemed to take the easiest, cheapest way out and as a reader I felt cheated because I had invested so much in the story and the characters. I would have preferred to see Anna live to make her own decisions about kidney donation, but I guess I should have seen the ending coming with the foreshadowing where Campbell notes that he thinks that Anna could indeed make the decision in the future to donate. Ah, well... I really didn't invest much in the Campbell-Julia story and while I was interested in Jesse, Picoult seemed to drop his story line quickly and he just disappeared until the end when she wraps up his life all too neatly as well. Brian was more well drawn than the other male characters; I believed him and his actions/reactions more than I did Campbell and Jesse. Campbell seemed almost a caricature at times and Jesse was underdeveloped, though his story had some potential. I definitely would like to have heard from Kate throughout the book; the epilogue just doesn't ring true--just a convenient way to wrap everything up. And Campbell's service dog seemed to be another distraction that could easily have been omitted from the book without any serious damage, though the dog had some of the best action in the courtroom scene. The cast doesn't impress me, but Abigail Breslin might be the surprise if she can combine the right degree of sarcasm and sympathy that I think is needed for Anna. I'm mostly interested in how the conclusion of the movie will differ from the book's conclusion. Seriously, almost anything has to be better.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 7 years
I was frustrated by the conclusion; in fact I was downright angry. Picoult seemed to take the easiest, cheapest way out and as a reader I felt cheated because I had invested so much in the story and the characters. I would have preferred to see Anna live to make her own decisions about kidney donation, but I guess I should have seen the ending coming with the foreshadowing where Campbell notes that he thinks that Anna could indeed make the decision in the future to donate. Ah, well...I really didn't invest much in the Campbell-Julia story and while I was interested in Jesse, Picoult seemed to drop his story line quickly and he just disappeared until the end when she wraps up his life all too neatly as well. Brian was more well drawn than the other male characters; I believed him and his actions/reactions more than I did Campbell and Jesse. Campbell seemed almost a caricature at times and Jesse was underdeveloped, though his story had some potential.I definitely would like to have heard from Kate throughout the book; the epilogue just doesn't ring true--just a convenient way to wrap everything up. And Campbell's service dog seemed to be another distraction that could easily have been omitted from the book without any serious damage, though the dog had some of the best action in the courtroom scene.The cast doesn't impress me, but Abigail Breslin might be the surprise if she can combine the right degree of sarcasm and sympathy that I think is needed for Anna. I'm mostly interested in how the conclusion of the movie will differ from the book's conclusion. Seriously, almost anything has to be better.
starangel82 starangel82 7 years
1. The ending shocked the heck out of me. I didn't see it coming. I think it was fitting though. (I think) Kate said it... someone had to die and Anna took her place. 2. I actually liked Julia's story. Jesse's story on the other hand I could have done without. Yes, he was a trouble making teen... that could have been told well enough through the other characters. 3. I think Piocult did well with Campbell and Brian's characters. Like I said in #2, Jesse's whole story was pointless to me. I'm not sure she conveyed a 16 year old male very well. 4. Judge didn't surprise me. I assumed he was a seizure dog after it was shown that Campbell wasn't blind. It didn't change my feelings towards Campbell. Campbell was all about putting on a show to hide what was really going on inside. 5. I wasn't shocked by what Anna said about Kate's wish. Then again, I've lost many people to cancer. The end stages are extremely difficult for the patient and the ones that love them. There comes a point where you realize they won't get better, so you start to pray for their peace through dying instead of living. I didn't mind hearing from Kate until the end. I felt like I knew her character well enough by the end because everyone else's story revolved around her. 6. I still don't see Cameron Diaz as Sarah. It just doesn't fit for me. I'm interested to see how Abigail Breslin does in the role of Anna. I've always liked her and the roles she's played. I'm also interested to see what they've done with the ending as well.
starangel82 starangel82 7 years
1. The ending shocked the heck out of me. I didn't see it coming. I think it was fitting though. (I think) Kate said it... someone had to die and Anna took her place.2. I actually liked Julia's story. Jesse's story on the other hand I could have done without. Yes, he was a trouble making teen... that could have been told well enough through the other characters.3. I think Piocult did well with Campbell and Brian's characters. Like I said in #2, Jesse's whole story was pointless to me. I'm not sure she conveyed a 16 year old male very well. 4. Judge didn't surprise me. I assumed he was a seizure dog after it was shown that Campbell wasn't blind. It didn't change my feelings towards Campbell. Campbell was all about putting on a show to hide what was really going on inside.5. I wasn't shocked by what Anna said about Kate's wish. Then again, I've lost many people to cancer. The end stages are extremely difficult for the patient and the ones that love them. There comes a point where you realize they won't get better, so you start to pray for their peace through dying instead of living.I didn't mind hearing from Kate until the end. I felt like I knew her character well enough by the end because everyone else's story revolved around her.6. I still don't see Cameron Diaz as Sarah. It just doesn't fit for me. I'm interested to see how Abigail Breslin does in the role of Anna. I've always liked her and the roles she's played. I'm also interested to see what they've done with the ending as well.
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