I’ve read a few of Jodi Piccoult‘s novels in the last 12 months, but I’m afraid I won’t be coming back for any more. I’ve given her a few chances, and I’m afraid she just doesn’t deliver. I gave her a go with Nineteen Minutes and she disappointed me with her inability to get me to relate to the characters. Then I picked up Vanishing Acts in South Africa for ZAR30 and I ended up skipping parts of it that were so boring, but I had to find out what happened in the end. A complete disappointment – I have to say, one of the least appealing books I’ve ever read.
But I was saving the best for last: My Sister’s Keeper. That was supposed to be her best so I had it transferred from the Ballarat Library, and borrowed it from the Wangaratta Library a couple of weeks ago. Now, to give you a bit of background, I actually went to see the movie when it came out last year, and spent around 2 hours being manipulated by Hollywood, and basically blubbering like an idiot. But I quite enjoyed the story, and I could really get in to the plot and characters. Unfortunately on my way out of said movie, I overheard a fellow movie-goer exclaim “in the book, it finishes this way ____________ blah blah blah.” Thanks lady. No really, that was a great piece of information to share. (I’m not going to be a jerk and spoil it for the rest of you.) But as we all know, the book is ALWAYS better than the movie.
Or so I thought.
I finished it up last night, and by that, I mean I forced myself to read the final 80 pages in one go, just so I could get rid of it. And I’m a slow reader, so that took me about 2 hours. Of course it made me cry in the end (damn manipulative writing) but I had no sense of peace or justice. It’s like she drew this story out for over 400 pages and then got bored and thought “I’m just going to wrap this up right here and now.”
BAM. It’s over.
And there is no WAY I’m going to be looking out for her books any more. I understand that there are quite a few JP fans out there, and you’re entitled. I’m not trying to make enemies here. My main criticisms of her books that I have read are as follows:
- She researches certain topics and just seems to show off with a bunch of information that really isn’t necessary to the story. It’s just distracting and a little obnoxious.
- She writes in short bursts – paragraphs that you could have taken out of, or could put in to any book. It’s like she comes up with this really powerful paragraph, writes it on a big sticky note and puts in near her computer, waiting to fit it in somewhere.
- The endings to her books are abrupt and unfulfilling. Everything gets wrapped up in the last chapter and I never feel any sense of resolution.
Good on her for making a great career out of writing – I think it would be a very hard road. I’m just not a fan.
Next on my “to read” list is The Other Boleyn Girl. Let’s hope it’s much more rewarding.
No I haven’t actually read the series, though, I’m sure Hubs has (and would be mortified that I haven’t!!) Might put it on my library list.
I have to admit to being a huge JP fan, and have been since my sisters keeper was released 6 or 7 years ago. Her earlier stuff (vanishing acts, the pact etc) are really hard to read i found. She just chops and changes and in the writing from different characters, loses the “flow” and the build up of the book. I never found her earlier stuff went anywhere. it just stayed on the same level and i was just reading it for the sake of reading it.
I started to get into her later stuff (the tenth circle, change of heart, nineteen minutes) but by then her pace had quickened, but like you said, she just never really lets you connect with the peeps in them. I do go back and re-read them a lot, but thats just for “gee, i have half an hour on the train what can i do” factor, rather than actually enjoying the reading… kind of pointless huh…
So anyway, the point of my (very long winded!) comment is to find out if you had read the Tomorrow when the war began series.. Matts never read them before and i own most of them, so we just started again. Have managed to do 4 in 3 days, they’re just super fast page turners! (plus it helps that they’re prob high school aged reading!)
Don’t be sad AppelMak! I’m sure there are plenty of things that I like that you may not! That’s the beauty of having blogs – we can talk about our opinions knowing that not everyone will agree!
And yes, Amy, I agree she needs to “lighten up” with some of her story lines 🙂 Another round of doom and gloom anyone?
I was a huge JP fan, I read My Sisters Keeper and loved it (but this was years before the movie was even made), I also really enjoyed Perfect Match and whatever that one is about the two teenagers who make a love pact and try and commit suicide (such happy stories).
Everything past then I’ve been disappointed in. It’s good dribble when I want to read something and zone out, but everything she’s written lately seems to be really quick and cookie cutter.
why am I sad to read about this? I’ve still only read 2 of her books…2 more are sitting on the shelf… I’ve really enjoyed My sisters keeper and 19mins. I reckon 19minutes should be a movie 🙂