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March 03, 2010

Picoult-a-thon: Before We Begin


My friend Rachel and I are going to be reading the Jodi Picoult book that came out yesterday, and liveblogging it more or less as we go. I'm going to just quote her here:

Why this book? Well, it's almost kind of an inside joke between Katie and myself, but not quite: Picoult is an author with whom we each have a kind of love/loathe relationship (I could be wrong but I think on my part it's more love than loathe, and on Katie's it's more the reverse), and one day not long ago we were chatting about how we should read Picoult's next book together and blog about our predictions for the obligatory Twist Ending (if you've ever read Picoult, you know that every ending must twist; it's the first law of Picoultdynamics)
Well, on my part, it's more that I adore some of Picoult's books (Plain Truth, Salem Falls, most of Nineteen Minutes) but others leave me wanting to throw them across the room. (I'm looking at you, My Sister's Keeper.) And the Twist Endings sort of drive me nuts at this point, because she does them so often that they're just predictable. What would REALLY be a twist at this point would be if there WERE NO TWIST. (Just an idea!)

We're both fairly busy (okay, Rachel's really busy), but we're going to try to read this in a week - 76 pages a day - because I inconsiderately planned a vacation starting next Wednesday, and I don't want to lug a great big hardcover with me, especially if I'm mostly done with it anyway. Since I set up my blog posts for the upcoming day in the evening or early morning, I'll probably look like I'm a day behind, but I'm not. (I hope.) So I'll read through page 76 today, Wednesday, but the post about it will go up on Thursday. (Hey, Rachel? Since the sections are so short, do we want to finish whichever little section we're in rather than stopping exactly on the designated page?)

Rachel summarizes the book so I don't have to:

The jacket blurb tells me that this is a book about a mother of two sons: Jacob, who has Aspergers and is SERIOUSLY into crime-scene analysis, and Theo, who, reading between the lines, been completely neglected and shunted to the side by his single mother in favor of his older brother's issues. Somebody kills somebody, and some people think that the older crime-obsessed son with Aspergers did it.
I would just like to point out that Picoult seems to have a son named Jake, so I find it hard to believe that she's going to have a murderer named Jacob. BUT MAYBE THIS IS PART OF HER OBFUSCATION.

And now, predictions! Rachel:

Without further ado, my first prediction re: the twist ending, based on my not-insubstantial experience with Picoult's previous works: We will be set up to believe that Jacob is innocent and that his brother Theo is the killer, but in fact Jacob will be GUILTY.
I am TORN. My first thought was that the mother will be so focused on clearing Jacob that it won't even OCCUR to her that it could be Theo, so obviously it will be him. My second theory is that Rachel is right, but that Theo will somehow be trying to protect Jacob. Oh! OR it could be the opposite: it IS Theo but Jacob is making it LOOK like it's himself, so our Big Moral Lesson can be something about how Kids With Asperger's Care About People Too. (My dark horse candidate is someone entirely unrelated who the mom thinks is on their side, leading to some sort of dramatic conclusion in which she realizes She Has Trusted The Killer With Her Children.) At this point I suppose I have basically accused everyone, so I guess I'm not really predicting. Oops.

Posted by Kat at March 3, 2010 11:00 AM
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