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DNF: My first Jodi Picoult book

July 31, 2010

(DNF: Did Not Finish)

Both Terri and my BF Erin love Jodi Picoult books, but I’ve never read them.

So I figured maybe I’d try one. I chose Handle With Care, mostly because it mentioned chronic illness and because it sort of fell into my hands at the library. Turns out it’s about a little girl born with (or rather, living with since conception) osteogenesis imperfecta — brittle bone disease.

I started having my doubts in the first chapter, which had me trying (and failing) to hold back big fat tears of the description of a little girl born with seven broken bones, including an ankle that broke at birth, and then a nurse breaking two ribs trying to change her first diaper.

I almost turned back then. I just do not have the stomach for major emotional waterworks these days.

So I kept reading, because it was good and interesting and I liked the characters. But once it became clear that nothing too good was going to happen to any of the characters, I skipped ahead. Everything I read, though interesting and obviously intriguing, was so emotionally painful that I knew I was not going to be able to continue reading this book. So I skipped further ahead, and, well, nope. It does not end well, and I really, really did not want to go through all that only to end up bawling my eyes out.

So, I might try another Jodi Picoult because I liked what I read (emotional heartwrenching aside). Any Picoult fans out there?

10 Comments leave one →
  1. July 31, 2010 7:32 pm

    oh no. i dont like the sounds of this. as you know, i havent read anything by her either but i have a picoult book to be read in my stack. songs of the humpback whale i think its called. hopefully its not as gut wrenching as this one was……

    (love your new header photo. so pretty.)

  2. July 31, 2010 7:45 pm

    That whale book is not gut-wrenching at all. I’ve read four of her books. The first one was Plain Truth which was so. freaking. good. Then I read The Pact which was a little got-wrenching, but good. The whale one is okay. I hated the last one I read that was part novel and part graphic novel and it was set in Alaska. Try Plain Truth. It has some sad parts, but it’s just so good. It’s an Amish mystery.

  3. D'Arcy permalink
    July 31, 2010 8:20 pm

    Bad news for you both. I LOVE Jodi Picoult, but I think all her books are heartwrenching. It’s just what she does. Salem Falls wasn’t as heartbreaking, but also not that great. I loved The Tenth Circle, in which I don’t think anything tragic happens. The first one I ever read is still my favourite – Nineteen Minutes. That one really resonated with me, as a teacher. The Pact is heartwrenching, and My Sister’s Keeper, well… first of all, if you’ve seen the movie, you don’t know the book. And secondly, let me put it this way. A friend of mine (also a teacher) read it on a trip we took our grade 8 students on. She finished it on the bus on the last day and was sobbing. She was nearly hysterical. She got very upset with the other teacher (also a friend) and me because, “You didn’t tell me it was like that!” If you had a hard time with that description of the baby, you should NOT read My Sister’s Keeper (it’s not Picoult’s best anyway) Nineteen Minutes has tragedy, but might be easier to take (are there degrees of tragicness? and is tragicness a word?)

  4. July 31, 2010 8:33 pm

    Eek. Well, I will do a little research. I liked what I read, but I really *really* can’t take the heartwrenching sobbing thing.

    Will check out the whale book, and I think I’ve heard good things about Salem Falls.

    Lia, I’ll check out Plain Truth! Thank you!

  5. D'Arcy permalink
    July 31, 2010 8:54 pm

    I’ve been asking for Plain Truth for Christmas for a couple of years. It never seems to be in at the library when I go. Maybe I’ll buy it for myself, if it’s that good. Thanks!

    The one that’s part graphic novel is The Tenth Circle, I believe. I liked it (see above)

  6. August 1, 2010 9:19 am

    Ok, so I’m the not-Picault fan here. What I’ve read of hers – two, I think, because anyone can have a bad novel that I just happened upon…I’m into second chances – was emotionally manipulative, written just for the leave-you-weeping factor, and a little predictable. However, so’s the movie Beaches and I love that. So I guess it’s whatever you’re into and are ok with knowing you’re going to have an emotional washout. I haven’t seen Beaches in years, by the way, but just felt gutted after every viewing!

  7. August 1, 2010 11:41 am

    D’arce: go buy it! Then let me know how it is.

    Kate: I know what you mean. I loved Beaches. It’s funny how some kinds of obvious tear-jerkers are compelling and some are repellent. Did you read Beaches? Also totally manipulatively tear-jerking. But in a good way.

    I think I can familiar tear-jerking (as in, a story I’m already familiar with) but unexpected tears are just not my bag right now.

  8. August 1, 2010 2:13 pm

    I don’t think I even knew Beaches was a book. It’s a little weird I guess that I’m willing to get jerked in a movie but I don’t want that manipulation in a book. I can recall three books that made me cry: The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara, The Return of the King by JRR Tolkien, and Guernica by Dave Boling.

    I totally get what you mean by not wanting the unexpected tear-jerking. I think that may be why I default to romances when I’m feeling overwhelmed or stressed out: inherently optimistic stories when everything turns out more or less ok in the end!

  9. August 1, 2010 2:22 pm

    Kate: I am not sure how I found out Beaches was a book, but I liked both the book and the movie. I read it a looooooong time ago.

    What, you never read Where The Red Fern Grows? I can’t even *look* at that book now. Also: The Kite Runner. Gawd. Never again.

    I have been pondering stepping foot into romances lately simply because I feel so… I don’t know, scattered? Strained? A relatively simple romance sounds not too bad. And I did enjoy The Thorn Birds.

  10. August 5, 2010 3:03 pm

    Oh, I absolutely read Where the Red Fern Grows – and Old Yeller – both in fifth grade. I even saw the movie of Where the Red Fern Grows. I don’t think I could read them again. I don’t remember crying at those, but then again, I was ten and from the country so I knew about rabies 🙂 Plus I’ve never had a dog, so I didn’t have that emotional connection there.

    Seriously, go pick up Morning Glory by Lavyrle Spencer!

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