Review: "Lone Wolf" by Jodi Picoult

Lone WolfLone Wolf by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have quite a few thoughts on this book… For starters, this book takes me back to Picoult’s earlier bestseller, “My Sister’s Keeper” – yet another teenage girl getting involved in a lawsuit in the medical world. I saw lots of parallels between “Lone Wolf” and “My Sister’s Keeper” and began to think that Picoult may be running out of ideas. (Not so fast!!) I also saw a pattern that was actually quite annoying, even though I enjoyed it in her other books – how every section (the book shifts perspective from each of the main characters, which I happen to like and which aids the flow of her books quite well) ends on such a pat statement. (And just like [insert metaphor here], [insert dramatic closing here].) It’s like, OK, we know you have a flare for the dramatic, but come on…

Despite some of these (IMHO) somewhat minor shortcomings, I did particularly like this book because of the ending (if you choose to read the book or have already read it, I think you will agree) and the stylistic changes (“dirty” pages with illustrations of nature and paw prints) when the book shifted to Luke’s perspective. Knowing Picoult, this was something she was adamant about with the publisher. Furthermore, I really liked how Picoult weaved Luke’s narration of wolves into the rest of the novel to drive the plot forward – good storytelling right there!!

More importantly, the subject matter and writing was obviously compelling enough for me to finish this book in less than a week (which is OMG for me). Because, who knows? We never know when we might be faced with the decision of “when to pull the plug.” It’s a decision I hope I never have to make, and that’s why it’s interesting that Picoult has made an interesting conflict between a man’s daughter and son to fight for the privilege of making that decision. (This is, of course, a boiled down look at it; for more info about the storyline, just google the book.)

I straddled between three and four stars for “Lone Wolf,” for some of the reasons I mentioned above and others. However, I decided to go with four because of the ending, which was not as abrupt and much more fitting to the story than that of “My Sister’s Keeper.” Perhaps it was unfair of me to compare the two as they are separate works, but the similarities were, in several instances, quite striking.

It’s not Picoult’s best work, but it is still a good, quick read that will leave you wondering and questioning… a talent Picoult is rightfully known for.

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