My Sister’s Keeper vs Handle With Care

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I’m a latecomer to Jodi Picoult. When My Sister’s Keeper exploded, I ignored the hype completely. It wasn’t until I was hanging out at the library awhile ago that I saw her latest offering, Handle with Care, which I picked up and proceeded to devour. Then I decided to get my a into g and check out MSK, which EVERYONE recommended, and for good reason! It kicked HWC’s ass so many times over. HWC was good, but it was a weak shadow at best.

Here’s why: it was essentially the same story told over with details here and there tweaked, but without that same sense of soul and engagement. To be honest, it actually REALLY annoyed me after reading both books, just how much of MSK was echoed. I’ve read through the synopses of most of her other novels (and they sound really interesting, esp Plain Truth, Nineteen Minutes, Mercy and Keeping Faith).

I get that most of them end up in the courtroom, and involve tons of family drama; that’s her thing. But I felt like MSK and HWC went way beyond that. Like she just took the same formula and hammered it out again, to get a book, any book out, on time.

    The father’s jobs. Brian’s a firefighter, Sean’s a cop.
    The child’s horrendous illnesses – Kate’s leukemia, Willow’s osteogenesis.
    The lawsuit that divides the family and splits the parents up.
    The parents’ courtroom reunion, essentially.
    The troubled, ignored sibling – Jesse and his arson, Amelia and her cutting
    The tragic twist ending.

Just as an aside, I hear My Sister’s Keeper has a different ending than the book. Hmm???

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