I have been a very bad blogger. Again. I say that a lot....whoops!
Anyway. I shall aim to do better, and in the meantime I shall talk about Jodi Picoult for a while.
If Handle With Care had been the first Jodi Picoult novel had read, I imagine this review would be very different. I imagine I’d be casting it in a much more positive light. As it is, it is not the first but the umpteenth and the word that is repeatedly coming to the forefront of my mind is simply ‘mediocre.’
The problem with Picoult, as I see it, is a lack of originality. Ok, maybe that’s what she likes to write, ethical and moral dilemmas, courtroom dramas that tug on your heartstrings and that’s fine but she could at least try and make them a little different.
Granted it’s gone by different titles, but I’ve read this book before and I knew the characters before it even started: sick child, resentful but ultimately caring older sibling, Mother who’s heart is in the right place but who’s priorities are not, overworked Father who just wants the best for all his family,a lawyer with problems of their own. We’ve been there, done that and have several t-shirts in the same colour. Sadly that does not work in the favour of this book. Granted, it made me teary when I started (late on a Sunday night when I couldn’t sleep for thinking about work) but I’d already decided by chapter three just how it was all going to end. In that respect Picoult didn’t disappoint but, whereas the ending to My Sister’s Keeper knocked me for six, this just made me sigh and roll my eyes and I realised that knowing how it was all going to end had only resulted in preventing me from forming any attachment to the characters. It’s learned behaviour: if someone slaps you every day of your life then eventually they only have to raise a hand to make you cower. I wasn’t going to risk caring about these people because it was only going to hurt me in the end.
I sound like I hated it. I didn’t: the idea was good, and the plot relatively well crafted. The characters were deep enough for them to be real – you related to them at the same time as you were shocked by them, and as is often the case with Picoult’s writing, the courtroom scenes were riveting. I didn’t dislike it, I’d just already read it….