My Sister's Keeper

My Sister's Keeper Description:

Anna is not sick but she might as well be By age thirteen she has undergone countless surgeries transfusions and shots so that her older sister Kate can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate a life and a role that she has never challenged until now Like most teenagers Anna is beginning to question who she truly is But unlike most teenagers she has always been defined in terms of her sister and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves br br A provocative novel that raises some important ethical issues i My Sister s Keeper i is the story of one family s struggle for survival at all human costs and a stunning parable for all time

Rating: 3.63 out of 5

Nineteen Minutes

Nineteen Minutes Description:

In nineteen minutes you can mow the front lawn color your hair watch a third of a hockey game In nineteen minutes you can bake scones or get a tooth filled by a dentist you can fold laundry for a family of five In nineteen minutes you can stop the world or you can just jump off it In nineteen minutes you can get revenge br br Sterling is a small ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens until the day its complacency is shattered by a shocking act of violence In the aftermath the town s residents must not only seek justice in order to begin healing but also come to terms with the role they played in the tragedy For them the lines between truth and fiction right and wrong insider and outsider have been obscured forever Josie Cormier the teenage daughter of the judge sitting on the case could be the state s best witness but she can t remember what happened in front of her own eyes And as the trial progresses fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show destroying the closest of friendships and families br br Nineteen Minutes is New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult s most raw honest and important novel yet Told with the straightforward style for which she has become known it asks simple questions that have no easy answers Can your own child become a mystery to you What does it mean to be different in our society Is it ever okay for a victim to strike back And who if anyone has the right to judge someone else

Rating: 3.77 out of 5

The Pact

The Pact Description:

For eighteen years the Hartes and the Golds have lived next door to each other sharing everything from Chinese food to chicken pox to carpool duty they ve grown so close it seems they have always been a part of each other s lives Parents and children alike have been best friends so it s no surprise that in high school Chris and Emily s friendship blossoms into something more They ve been soul mates since they were born br br So when midnight calls from the hospital come in no one is ready for the appalling truth Emily is dead at seventeen from a gunshot wound to the head There s a single unspent bullet in the gun that Chris took from his father s cabinet a bullet that Chris tells police he intended for himself But a local detective has doubts about the suicide pact that Chris has described

Rating: 3.45 out of 5

Plain Truth

Plain Truth Description:

The small town of Paradise Pennsylvania is a jewel in Lancaster County known for its picture postcard landscapes and bucolic lifestyle But that peace is shattered by the discovery of a dead infant in the barn of an Amish farmer A police investigation quickly leads to two startling disclosures the newborn s mother is an unmarried Amish woman eighteen year old Katie Fisher And the infant did not die of natural causes Although Katie denies the medical proof that she gave birth to the child circumstantial evidence leads to her arrest for the murder of her baby br br One hundred miles away Philadelphia defense attorney Ellie Hathaway has achieved an enviable high profile career But her latest court victory has set the sands shifting beneath her Single at thirty nine and unsatisfied with her relationship Ellie doesn t look back when she turns down her chance to make partner and takes off for an open ended stay at her great aunt s home in Paradise Fate brings her to Katie Fisher Suddenly Ellie sees the chance to defend a client who truly needs her not just one who can afford her br br But taking on this case challenges Ellie in more ways than one She finds herself not only in a clash of wills with a client who does not want to be defended but also in a clash of cultures with a people whose channels of justice are markedly different from her own Immersing herself in Katie Fisher s life and in a world founded on faith humility duty and honesty Ellie begins to understand the pressures and sacrifices of those who to live plain As she peels away the layers of fact and fantasy Ellie calls on an old friend for guidance Now just as this man from Ellie s past reenters her life she must uncover the truth about a complex case a tragic loss the bonds of love and her own deepest fears and desires

Rating: 3.48 out of 5

The Storyteller

The Storyteller Description:

Sage Singer befriends an old man who s particularly beloved in her community Josef Weber is everyone s favorite retired teacher and Little League coach They strike up a friendship at the bakery where Sage works One day he asks Sage for a favor to kill him Shocked Sage refuses and then he confesses his darkest secret he deserves to die because he was a Nazi SS guard Complicating the matter Sage s grandmother is a Holocaust survivor br br What do you do when evil lives next door Can someone who s committed a truly heinous act ever atone for it with subsequent good behavior Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you aren t the party who was wronged And most of all if Sage even considers his request is it murder or justice

Rating: 3.67 out of 5

House Rules

House Rules Description:

b i When your son can t look you in the eye does that mean he s guilty i b br br Jacob Hunt is a teen with Asperger s syndrome He s hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others though he is brilliant in many ways But he has a special focus on one subject forensic analysis A police scanner in his room clues him in to crime scenes and he s always showing up and telling the cops what to do And he s usually right br br But when Jacob s small hometown is rocked by a terrible murder law enforcement comes to him Jacob s behaviors are hallmark Asperger s but they look a lot like guilt to the local police Suddenly the Hunt family who only want to fit in are directly in the spotlight For Jacob s mother Emma it s a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family For his brother Theo it s another indication why nothing is normal because of Jacob br br And over this small family the soul searing question looms i b Did Jacob commit murder b i

Rating: 3.68 out of 5

Small Great Things

Small Great Things Description:

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years experience During her shift Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn only to be told a few minutes later that she s been reassigned to another patient The parents are white supremacists and don t want Ruth who is African American to touch their child The hospital complies with their request but the next day the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery Does she obey orders or does she intervene br br Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and as a result is charged with a serious crime Kennedy McQuarrie a white public defender takes her case but gives unexpected advice Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy Conflicted by Kennedy s counsel Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family especially her teenage son as the case becomes a media sensation As the trial moves forward Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other s trust and come to see that what they ve been taught their whole lives about others and themselves might be wrong br br With incredible empathy intelligence and candor Jodi Picoult tackles race privilege prejudice justice and compassion and doesn t offer easy answers Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game

Rating: 3.64 out of 5

Handle with Care

Handle with Care Description:

When Willow is born with severe osteogenesis imperfecta her parents are devastated she will suffer hundreds of broken bones as she grows a lifetime of pain Every expectant parent will tell you that they don t want a perfect baby just a healthy one Charlotte and Sean O Keefe would have asked for a healthy baby too if they d been given the choice Instead their lives are made up of sleepless nights mounting bills the pitying stares of luckier parents and maybe worst of all the what ifs What if their child had been born healthy But it s all worth it because Willow is funny as it seems perfect She s smart as a whip on her way to being as pretty as her mother kind brave and for a five year old an unexpectedly deep source of wisdom Willow is Willow in sickness and in health br br Everything changes though after a series of events forces Charlotte and her husband to confront the most serious what ifs of all What if Charlotte had known earlier of Willow s illness What if things could have been different What if their beloved Willow had never been born To do Willow justice Charlotte must ask herself these questions and one more What constitutes a valuable life

Rating: 3.67 out of 5

The Tenth Circle

The Tenth Circle Description:

Fourteen year old Trixie Stone is in love for the first time She s also the light of her father Daniel s life a straight A student a pretty popular freshman in high school a girl who s always seen her father as a hero That is until her world is turned upside down with a single act of violence Suddenly everything Trixie has believed about her family and herself seems to be a lie Could the boyfriend who once made Trixie wild with happiness have been the one to end her childhood forever She says that he is and that is all it takes to make Daniel a seemingly mild mannered comic book artist with a secret tumultuous past he has hidden even from his family venture to hell and back to protect his daughter p With i The Tenth Circle i Jodi Picoult offers her most powerful chronicle yet as she explores the unbreakable bond between parent and child and questions whether you can reinvent yourself in the course of a lifetime or if your mistakes are carried forever p

Rating: 3.71 out of 5

Change of Heart

Change of Heart Description:

The acclaimed New York Times bestselling author presents a spellbinding tale of a mother s tragic loss and one man s last chance at gaining salvation Can we save ourselves or do we rely on others to do it Is what we believe always the truth br br One moment June Nealon was happily looking forward to years full of laughter and adventure with her family and the next she was staring into a future that was as empty as her heart Now her life is a waiting game Waiting for time to heal her wounds waiting for justice In short waiting for a miracle to happen br br For Shay Bourne life holds no more surprises The world has given him nothing and he has nothing to offer the world In a heartbeat though something happens that changes everything for him Now he has one last chance for salvation and it lies with June s eleven year old daughter Claire But between Shay and Claire stretches an ocean of bitter regrets past crimes and the rage of a mother who has lost her child br br Would you give up your vengeance against someone you hate if it meant saving someone you love Would you want your dreams to come true if it meant granting your enemy s dying wish br br Once again Jodi Picoult mesmerizes and enthralls readers with this story of redemption justice and love

Rating: 3.64 out of 5