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Guilty Pleasures and Life Lessons

If YA fiction is my comfort-novel, Jodi Picoult must be my dirty little secret. I have read 7 of her books in the past, and I have two more on my Kindle, waiting. Usually, I hate all that courtroom-drama lawyer faff and "bookclub books" which are written to be discussed. (Of course all books spark discussion, but you know what I mean... the ones that drop symbology as a requirement, not as an artform...) but JP has me cracked. In all honesty, I can't wait to see what she's got to say every time.

The first book of Jodi's I ever read was a gift from a friend. She was leaving to live in South Africa and she gave me Second Glance with a lovely inscription in the cover. I love recieving books as gifts. You are usually presented with something you would never pick for yourself - and that very thing can be said for Second Glance. If I had seen it on a shop's bookshelf, I wouldn't have even read the blurb.


The trouble is, as much as the old adage "never judge a book by it's cover" is true, I do judge. And the swirly writing and light blue hues would scream "your mum would read this with a tea" at me.
However, there was a reason I was given this book. There was a reason my friend went as far as to inscribe a message and recommend the story.
So I began to read...

I have to say, the friend was clever. Of all of Jodi Picoult's many novels, she had given me the least "Jodi-ish" but the one that would spark my interest the most. This one had ghosts.

Even Jodi Picoult writes in the back of Second Glance that it is the book she never imagined she would write, but man, am I glad she did. I was hooked from the word go, and I cannot thank my friend enough for introducing me. Following that, I read Keeping Faith and harrassed my other friends for any other stories of her's they owned. I ended up with My Sister's Keeper, Nineteen Minutes, Handle with Care and Vanishing Acts. I pretty much devoured them.

There's just something about an even sided account of a moral dilemma that I love, apparently. (We have already established in previous posts that I get enthralled by the stangest of things). And I think it's also the great depiction of female characters she presents that I enjoy; the the strength of them. Also the mother/daughter relationships are pretty relateable for me. God knows I caused my own mum enough grief growing up, and I wasn't always the well-adjusted lady you see before you now (ha!) Growing up, and in hindsight reading the novels now, Jodi Picoult has helped me see things from my mum's side. I saw why parents do the things they do. I learnt that they have hearts of gold and glass in equal meaure. And she told me all this without patronising me, at a time of my life when I needed it, and would have run the other way at a "serious" conversation.

Books can have the strangest effect on you. They carry worldly views and life lessons. You can make your mistakes through them and right them before they ever make it into your own life. This is what Jodi Picoult offers. This is why I will always read her books.

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