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By Karen on 02-02-08
A little less drama, a lot more substance, please
Although the book is beautifully written and dramatic, seamlessly going back in time and returning once again to the present, the book is lacking in several ways.
First, I do not feel as if I can really see the characters in this tale as well as I have been able to in other books by Picoult. Chris, Emile, and their parents seem very one-dimensional. Second, the substance is not there. There is lots of heart, as the teens are "soulmates," but seeing them actually live it out leaves you feeling flat and unconvinced. Third, the parents of each child are said to be overjoyed at the thought of the two teens dating and one day marrying. But Picoult also says Emily's family is Jewish and Chris' family is not. I do not know any Jewish family that would be excited for their daughter to be marrying outside their faith. In fact, some kids are disowned for doing so. Fouth, Picoult does not make a good enough argument for me to believe that suicide was Emily's only way out. It just didn't make sense, knowing what the author tells about the girl.
And fifth, my biggest issue with the book, did Picoult just get tired of the characters and not finish the book? There are so many questions left unanswered! I was an English major in college, and am all for books with loose ends, which let the reader take from it what he or she will, but Picoult signs off on an unfinished script, in my opinion.
I thought I liked the book as I was listening to it, but afterward, I feel cheated, because I did get emotionally involved, but there was no payoff for it. I was just left with an empty, hollow feeling and frustration.
Picoult asks a very good question (do we ever really know our children?) and addresses a very controversial subject (teen suicide). The problem is, she doesn't stick it out long enough for any answers to come. Move on to Picoult's "Plain Truth" or "My Sister's Keeper."
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