Publisher's Note:  

New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult is widely acclaimed for her keen insights into the hearts and minds of real people. Now she tells the emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness.

Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate—a life and a role that she has never challenged...until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister—and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

My Sister’s Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child’s life, even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less? Should you follow your own heart, or let others lead you? Once again, in My Sister’s Keeper, Jodi Picoult tackles a controversial real-life subject with grace, wisdom, and sensitivity.

My Sister's Keeper

by Jodi Picoult

Review Date:

Recommended Age:

Overall Rating:

Profanity / Language Rating:

Violence / Gore Rating:

Sex / Nudity Rating:

Overall Review:  

The premise of My Sister's Keeper is intriguing, the writing is masterful, and the variety of character voices is captivating. Picoult deals with a sensitive issue from all sides, and the reader feels empathy for each character in turn. 


The ethics of genetic engineering had me thinking about the book non-stop for about a week, and I still don't know where I would stand if faced with a dilemma like this one. It's a heavy topic, but the book is so well-crafted that the reader never gets bogged down. There are a couple of lighter mysteries going on in the middle of the weightier issues, and those kept me turning pages.


My Sister's Keeper is sometimes billed as a young adult novel, and while several of the main characters are young adults, I hesitate to recommend this book to them due to a variety of reasons, including mature content. Also, the majority of the book deals with legal jargon and other issues that younger readers have not yet experienced. My concern is that most of them will be bored and find the reading slow. For adults, I recommend this complex, thought-provoking read.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  53 religious exclamations; 50 mild obscenities; 7 religious obscenities; 7 derogatory names; 17 scatological words; 14 anatomical terms; 1 obscene gesture; 20 f-word derivatives.


Violence/Gore:  A character commits arson (twice); a character is rescued from a burning building (twice); a character bleeds profusely from an accidental head wound; a character bleeds profusely due to a medical condition (twice); a character helps deliver a lamb in graphic detail.


Sex/Nudity:  A character is known to have watched pornography on TV (twice); oral sex is referred to; underage characters have sex with no detail; underage characters have sex with vague details (twice); adult characters have sex with vague details (twice); characters kiss briefly (twice); characters are known to have kissed; a character claims to have had sex; characters use slang to refer to sex; sexual arousal is referred to (twice); two characters flirt; characters joke about sex.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Homosexuality, terminal illness, death of loved ones, family troubles, ethics.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Minors smoke, use various illicit drugs, and drink alcohol.

Reviewed By Leslie
No image available