I have always been a huge reader. In my senior year I worked as an aide in the library and saw one author crop up over and over, Jodi Picoult. On a whim I checked out one of her books and it rocked my world. I read it in three days, staying up into the middle of the night bawling so I hard I could barely see the pages. It changed how I read. Not only that, it reinspired me to follow my dreams as a writer.
She is not only a fantastic writer, she researches her novels very intimately so you have a chance to see the world through her characters eyes. I have learned so much and had the opportunity to try on so many different jobs and lives. Reading is amazing in that it lets you escape and become someone else for a little while. Through Jodi I have heard whales sing, I have cross examined murder suspects, and I have contemplated my faith as I learned about being Amish. Start on these three books and become addicted for life.
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1.) The Pact-1998
This was the first Jodi Picoult book I ever read. It’s about two families dealing with the aftermath of a double suicide gone wrong. Jodi has only written one sequel, however a few characters are later reprised and you get to follow their journey. This book introduces you to Jordan MacAfee, who is one of my favorite characters. I love this book more than any book in the whole world. No other book has quite caught how intricate your feelings about family and first love can truly be, Jodi Picoult is incredibly insightful. Every time I read it, it feels different. My different place in life lets me hear the characters in a new way. It forces me to think about how delicate the bonds of family are and what it really means to be in love. What it means to have your future already written and not be able to break the mold.
2.) Sing You Home- 2011
Sing You Home is about a woman dealing with infertility falling in love with another woman after a failed marriage. When she wants to start a family with her new wife, her ex-husband spearheads a legal battle with his faith backing him up. This is a consuming story that will change your ideas about faith, the setting of gay rights, and the rights of the unborn. The best part about this book though is that it’s paired with an amazing CD. Jodi is friends with a very talented song writer and together they wrote songs for pivotal parts of the book. It’s meant to be read and listened to in tandem. Such a unique but beautiful experience.
I received this book for my very first Mother’s Day. Reading it as an expectant mother definitely colored my reading experience. The music was very touching and made me want to read certain passages over and over.
3.) Leaving Time- 2014
This novel has three parallel story lines that come together in a very shocking way. Jenna Metcalf has been looking for her mother Alice ever seen she disappeared when she was a baby. In past flashbacks we read about Alice’s life and her work as a scientist studying the effects of grief on elephants. These parts were so engrossing. You learn so much about the elephants in a way that feels very personal.
In Jenna’s story we are also introduced to Serenity Jones, a failed psychic that she enlists to help her. I borrowed this from the library last summer and read it in two days. I haven’t been affected by a book in this way in a long time, since that very first time with the Pact. It brought back so much for me, that feeling of needing to devour a book and it affecting every single part of who you were. Being changed by a book. I stayed up until 1:30 in the morning, reading and crying so hard I had to take breaks so I could see the pages. One scene in particular just destroyed me and I wanted to stay up all night watching Mason sleep to make sure he was safe. It was a book of grief and an incredible love. I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed this. My Grandma Pat just bought it for me for Christmas and I can’t wait to read it again.