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Book Review: Handle With Care

For my book club, I read Jodi Picoult’s Handle With Care. I’ve never read anything by her before – although I’ve heard of some of her books (like My Sister’s Keeper). I have mixed feelings. Are all of her books so freakin’ emotional??? I’m not sure I can handle that 🙂 Oh my goodness the tears.

The first thing I noticed was that the book has recipes in it! And yummy-looking ones at that. How can you not like a book that includes information about how to bake something tasty? 🙂

The second thing I noticed was that each chapter is set up as a different character talking (or writing a journal entry) to one specific character in the book, Willow. It feels really, really personal because you know they’re talking to Willow, but it totally feels like they’re speaking directly to you. Another neat thing Ms. Picout did (that I probably noticed right away because of my tech writing background)..? Each character has their own font. So each chapter is a different font! I thought that was a nice touch.

However, since each chapter is a different character and they’re all talking in the first person – it is sometimes a brain “ka-thunk” to remember who is doing the talking. Not a huge one, but it’s still there. There were a few times that I had to page back and look at the chapter title again (the title is the name of the character). Also, even though knowing the character is talking to Willow, when I switched from one chapter to the next, I had to remind myself that the new character wasn’t talking to the previous character; s/he was talking to Willow. Again, not a big deal … but it was there.

The way Ms. Picoult puts you through all these different – and very strong – emotions is amazing. And the way she makes you think “Yikes. What would *I* do in that situation??” is incredible. She just grabs you and makes you read until you can no longer keep your eyes open. 🙂 Very engaging.

I do have to say that I didn’t really like the ending. I’m not sure, exactly, how I would have wanted it to end…but definitely not the way it did. Or if the ending had to happen that way; perhaps it shouldn’t have been the ending because we need more information about how those events impacted the other characters. Perhaps I was just left wanting more…

I’ll definitely be picking up another book by Ms. Picoult – but I need to read a few not-so-freakin-emotional ones first! 🙂

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4 Responses

  1. Wow, you could have swapped “My Sister’s Keeper” for “Handle with Care”, and you would have had exactly my review for My Sister’s Keeper. Well, except the very end, where my review said, “I will NEVER read another book by Ms. Picoult. Not that she needs my readership, but yikes! I’m surprised she’s structured other books the same way, as she handled it terribly in My Sis’s Keeper. Try Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami if you want to see an odd structure choice handled beautifully (and just ’cause I think you’d like Murakami).

  2. I need to learn the secret of how to actually read an entire book in my new life with children. Seriously, I’ve read only 2 books (not related to parenting) since my kids were born. I joined a book club, thinking that would motivate me. It meets tomorrow. And I’m on chapter two. I plan to read all night tonight after putting the kids to bed, but I know I still won’t finish it by tomorrow.

    I love your reviews though. You’re helping me create a nice little list of books that I hope to read someday…

  3. Great review – I tend to keep mine short and simple. I also hated the end (said so in my review too). All her books are this emmotional – I tend to take long in between reading them.c

  4. I have friends who LOVE her books.
    I have not been hooked.
    Perhaps I will try again.

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