Apologies that this is going to be a double post. To be honest though I'm on track to reach my target of reading 100 books for the 100+ Reading Challenge I'm way behind on posting my reviews. Also as both books were by JODI PICOULT and, to be honest, both were quite similar, it seemed an ideal way to do some catching up.
Now, don't get me wrong, I did enjoy both these novels, very much so in fact BUT it has to be said that they did have many, many things in common ....... a topical 'dilemma', a court case, characters you found yourself either loving or hating, I could go on.......
But first to let you know what each of the books was about.
MY SISTER'S KEEPER.
Sara Fitzgerald's daughter Kate is just two years old when she is diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia. Reeling with the helpless shock of it, Sara knows she will do anything - whatever it takes - to save her child.
Then the test results come back time and again to show that no one in their family is a match for Kate. If they are to find a donor for the crucial bone marrow transplant she needs, there is only one option: creating another baby, specifically designed to save her sister. For Sara, it seems the ideal solution. Not only does Kate live, but she gets a beautiful new daughter, Anna, too.
Until the moment Anna hands Sara the papers that will rock her whole world. Because, aged thirteen, Anna has decided that she doesn't want to help Kate live any more. She is suing her parents for the rights to her own body.
...... Outer back cover.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 152): "...... And if you think of a relationship as a living entity, I guess it's one thing if the missing two percent is, like, a fingernail. But when it's the heart, that's a whole different ball of wax."
....... Inner front cover.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 176):But I always think of a talk like this as if I'm spreading mahogany stain on a natural wood floor. Even if you wipe away the color, it's seeped in a little bit, and you can't get rid of it. Long after we leave, Zoe will still be thinking about what we've said.
Then again, putting mahogany stain on a piece of pine only changes the way it looks on the outside.
KEEP THEM OR NOT?: My Sister's Keeper was a gift and a book I shall probably be keeping, Sing You Home was a library lend that I have no intention of purchasing at this moment in time.
Both gripping and very, very emotional I must confess that though I had expected My Sister's Keeper to be more of a tear jerker I found myself more emotionally involved with the characters in Sing You Home - perhaps because the issue was slightly less controversial or maybes it was just because I identified with the characters more, either way I found myself totally caught up in the lives of Zoe, Max and Vanessa.
That said all of the characters were well written and extremely believable, what I did not expect was my reactions to some of them.
Sara (the mother in My Sister's Keeper)I disliked with a passion that took me totally by surprise. I know the blurb on the back of the book speaks of Sara not only getting a child who will save her other daughter(Kate)from a certain death but also (in Anna) another beautiful daughter. Now I'm afraid I just didn't get any real feeling of this and spent much of the novel struggling to understand Sara's motives rather than just disliking her as a mother who, on the whole, I felt loved daughter Anna but more as a means of keeping Kate alive.
What also surprised me was how well the male characters were written. Once again My Sister's Keeper comes to mind in that I found son and middle child, Jesse, particularlt interesting. Obviously an angry young man, despite his seemingly couldn't care less attitude I think he was in a great deal of emotional pain and couldn't find any 'positive' way of expressing this. Wonderfully written, I think the author did a tremendous job in getting under his skin.
My only concern?
Accompanying Sing You Home was a soundtrack (available via QR Codes, online, or on CD?) which was designed so that certain songs (corresponding with what main character Zoe is thinking and feeling at that moment) were paired with certain events - there were section breaks between the chapters that identified which songs were to be played when.
A great extra or a unnecessary novelty?