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View Full Version : Jodi Picoult and why I love her


Alpha Echo
04-23-2010, 05:54 PM
Do you know why I love her so much?

Because, unlike so many mainstream authors who pump out book after book, I can actually see the growth in her writing.

Her older stuff is decent. More romance than her newer stuff. But her writing is just okay - a lot of head-hopping and such in her narrative, and the stories were interesting, but not gripping. Different, but not...amazing. Her prose was always though, IMO, beautifully written.

Her new stuff though - she goes out on the limb and writes about hardcore, real issues! School shootings, missing children, Aspergar's Disease. She does the research. Her characters are more developed, more real. She gets inside their heads and makes us see things from a different point of view.

I was telling this to my SO last night, and though he joins in the conversation and nods his understanding and doesn't make me feel silly in the least, he is not only not a writer, but he's not really a reader either (unless you include news articles, and the Playboy advice column lol), I wanted to share this with other readers/writers and see what you guys thought.

Know of any other author who you've seen grow through the years rather than fall into a pattern like so many seem to do?

Kitty Pryde
04-23-2010, 11:14 PM
Many SFF genre writers that I love have a couple of kinda lousy novels that they put out before they became really super awesome. China Mieville has "King Rat", Neal Stephenson has "The Big U" (which actually is my favorite of his, but he was so embarrassed about it that he even didn't want it reprinted...until he found out fans were paying hundreds of bucks to buy used copies on ebay). Vernor Vinge has some fairly goofy crap that preceded his really brilliant work. Sir Terry of Pratchett's first books sort of suck (tiny people living in your carpet...humorous cat anecdotes...painfully bad sci-fi). I like all these kinda lousy books, but they can't compare at all to the greatness of their later stuff.

That said, I can't stand Jodi Picoult's books! Mainly because killing children to generate reader emotion is the writerly equivalent of shooting very large ducks in a very small barrel. And she loves to kill off children (umm, fictional ones that is). Besides that, her stuff is pretty predictable. She does do a great job of getting inside the psychology of the troubled close-knit family unit, but ultimately I am not a fan.

History_Chick
04-25-2010, 07:17 AM
She has a format that she follows and for that reason I can't get into her novels.

That being said, a lot of people like her stuff. I'm just not a fan.

angie828
05-14-2010, 02:25 AM
I have never read any of her books but have seen a movie advertised on TV that was based on one of her books. It looked pretty interesting, so I may have to check this author out. Any suggestions on what book to start with?

Zoombie
05-14-2010, 03:44 AM
That said, I can't stand Jodi Picoult's books! Mainly because killing children to generate reader emotion is the writerly equivalent of shooting very large ducks in a very small barrel. And she loves to kill off children (umm, fictional ones that is). Besides that, her stuff is pretty predictable. She does do a great job of getting inside the psychology of the troubled close-knit family unit, but ultimately I am not a fan.

qft

scarletpeaches
05-14-2010, 03:48 AM
I will never, ever forgive her for that piece of shit My Sister's Keeper.

Zoombie
05-14-2010, 05:48 AM
I will never, ever forgive her for that piece of shit My Sister's Keeper.

Also qft.

RSned05
05-14-2010, 07:17 AM
Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors also. I really enjoyed My Sister's Keeper and Handle with Care. The only real problem I have with her novels is the whole trial aspect. I like the real life issues, I just wish that every one of her books didn't have a trial at the end.

hester
05-24-2010, 11:07 PM
I've enjoyed some of Picoult's work, but the book that did me in was "The Tenth Circle." It was well-written, but I found the main characters (husband, wife, daughter) so unsympathetic and unlikeable that I found it difficult to finish.

bri_ness
05-25-2010, 02:03 AM
Jodi Picoult's books are pretty hit and miss with me, but I still consider her to be one of my favourite authors because the books I love of hers, I really love. She writes some incredibly unlikeable characters, but gets me to sympathize with them. Nineteen Minutes got me to care about someone who did something awful, and I loved that about it.

My other favourites are The Pact and, yes, My Sister's Keeper. Didn't like the ending of the latter, though.

ceenindee
05-25-2010, 02:19 AM
I have never read any of her books but have seen a movie advertised on TV that was based on one of her books. It looked pretty interesting, so I may have to check this author out. Any suggestions on what book to start with?

The movie (My Sister's Keeper, I'm guessing) wasn't that great IMHO, but the book it's based off is one of my favorites by any author, and probably her most popular one. I'd gladly recommend it.

I haven't read enough Piccoult to see how she's grown, but I love her writing style. I'm trying to think who else has done this...maybe Stephen King? I wouldn't say it got better, but you can definitely notice it changing.

Satori1977
05-25-2010, 08:02 PM
Have yet to read any of her books, but I will. A friend gave me a few copies she didn't want anymore. And I haven't watched the movie My Sister's Keeper, because I want to read the book first.

History_Chick
05-27-2010, 05:19 AM
.....My other favourites are The Pact and, yes, My Sister's Keeper. Didn't like the ending of the latter, though.

My students love My Sisters Keeper. I read the Pact for a book club and disliked it. I don't want to say too much here cause I don't want to spoil it for people. However the teenage girl's reasons for doing what she did had me scratching my head. I couldn't believe it.

RedRose
06-01-2010, 03:55 PM
I tried reading her new one, I can't even remember the title. It had a kid with Asperger's in it. Some parts were interesting, other parts boring. It doesn't matter how well you write with me, if the story is boring, I won't continue.

Alpha Echo
06-01-2010, 04:00 PM
I tried reading her new one, I can't even remember the title. It had a kid with Asperger's in it. Some parts were interesting, other parts boring. It doesn't matter how well you write with me, if the story is boring, I won't continue.

Aw, that's sad to me. I thought this book was very good. I know a lot of people on here didn't like her after reading My Sister's Keeper - it's true the ending was frustrating, but...I don't know. I still love her.

So far, there's only been one book that pissed me off. Some of her earlier stuff, i can't think of the title right now, had nothing to do with a trial and was actually totally different from her more current stuff.

sheadakota
06-01-2010, 05:08 PM
I think its fantastic you found an author you can connect with- that is a wonderful thing
As for this particular author- I could give you as many reasons why I dislike her as you give for loving her- but that's ok- you would probably not like my favorite either. But wouldn't it be boring if we all liked the same thing?:tongue

autumnleaf
06-01-2010, 07:05 PM
I've only read My Sister's Keeper, and I wasn't impressed. Is it a typical Picoult, or should I give another of her books a try?

dclary
06-01-2010, 07:11 PM
My wife loves Jodi Piccolo (how I pronounce it to frustrate her, lol).

Lady Ice
06-01-2010, 07:39 PM
I've heard that Picoult's books are very formulaic and they certainly don't sound like something I want to read. Perhaps one day I might read one, when I have more free time.

dclary
06-02-2010, 12:11 AM
The movie (My Sister's Keeper, I'm guessing) wasn't that great IMHO, but the book it's based off is one of my favorites by any author, and probably her most popular one. I'd gladly recommend it.

I haven't read enough Piccoult to see how she's grown, but I love her writing style. I'm trying to think who else has done this...maybe Stephen King? I wouldn't say it got better, but you can definitely notice it changing.

I totally thought I wrote this post because I've used that snoopy avatar.
I was thinking, as I read it, "Holy crap, I like My Sister's Keeper?"

ceenindee
06-02-2010, 03:50 AM
^Hahaha! Sometimes I think I'm you, too. Snoopy's awesome. :D

I guess I'm weird...I actually liked MSK for it's ending. I feel like anything else just would've been sadness for sadness' sake (*coughthemoviecough*).

Southern Girl
06-17-2010, 02:47 AM
Do you know why I love her so much?

Because, unlike so many mainstream authors who pump out book after book, I can actually see the growth in her writing.

Her older stuff is decent. More romance than her newer stuff. But her writing is just okay - a lot of head-hopping and such in her narrative, and the stories were interesting, but not gripping. Different, but not...amazing. Her prose was always though, IMO, beautifully written.

Her new stuff though - she goes out on the limb and writes about hardcore, real issues! School shootings, missing children, Aspergar's Disease. She does the research. Her characters are more developed, more real. She gets inside their heads and makes us see things from a different point of view.

I was telling this to my SO last night, and though he joins in the conversation and nods his understanding and doesn't make me feel silly in the least, he is not only not a writer, but he's not really a reader either (unless you include news articles, and the Playboy advice column lol), I wanted to share this with other readers/writers and see what you guys thought.

Know of any other author who you've seen grow through the years rather than fall into a pattern like so many seem to do?


I was in the bookstore the other day and happened across one of her books. I thought exactly the same thing.

That said, she isn't a favorite of mine. I have a hard time with her pacing.

ArcticFox
06-17-2010, 02:54 AM
I worked as a reporter in NH last year and she interviewed/hung out with one of the local kids who had "brittle bone" disease for one of her books. I was able to conduct and interview with her and she is an amazingly lovely woman. She definitely cares about her subject matter. The family she worked with for her research didn't have enough good things to say about how she handled something they deal with everyday.

InsanitySquares
07-04-2010, 11:38 PM
I've only read My Sister's Keeper (loads of people I know have seen the film, so I thought I'd try the book from the library) and I did quite like it. The ending was a bit odd, but in reflection, a kind of necessary. Like, that final twist. I think I'll try a couple more of her books, just to see what they're like, but if they're all similar I may get bored after a while. Don't know until you try, though.

NoGuessing
09-07-2010, 01:11 PM
I've only read Nineteen Minutes, and I thought it was fantastic.

Haven't picked up another yet because of my big fat To Be Read pile and all the talk about her books being formulaic has me nervous.

NicoleB
09-07-2010, 01:48 PM
I love her.

My favorite thing about her writing is the fact that she writes about tough things and, in my opinion, does a great job.

I've never actually noticed that she is formulaic until you guys pointed it out. I suppose I don't mind. I think she makes up for it in style.

Forbidden Snowflake
09-07-2010, 05:13 PM
Since she pulled the biggest Deux Ex Machina imaginable in 'My Sister's Keeper' I never wanted to touch another book of hers. So far, I haven't.

brainstorm77
09-07-2010, 05:44 PM
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=189769 I have no interest since her little outburst... See thead link for details.

kelloish
09-08-2010, 05:44 AM
I'm ALWAYS disappointed with how her books end... but I do enjoy them up until then. I've probably read 4 or 5 of her books.
I was surprised to see that my local Chapters actually has a Jodi Picoult section now. Weird.