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Review ? Girl fights to choose her own destiny

November 30, 1999|By CHRISTINE BRUGH

In "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult, Anna was born for only one reason: to save her sister's life.

Kate, Anna's big sister, was diagnosed at age 3 with acute promyelocytic leukemia, a disease in which white blood cells are unable to function or carry out their duties in the human body.

Because of this, Kate needs frequent blood and bone marrow transfusions in order to live. Anna, a perfect genetic match for Kate ? designed to be a match by scientists ? is the only person who can give these.

But everything changes when Anna decides that she no longer wishes to be a donor for Kate. Kate is at a critical stage in her illness and will need a kidney transplant, a major operation that Anna does not want to undergo. Anna hires a lawyer and files a lawsuit against her parents. She wants to be in control of her body. She wants the power to make medical decisions for herself. She wants her voice to be heard.

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Unexpected twists and turns along the way will keep the reader captivated. Although, at some points the medical terminology is slightly confusing. The characters' realistic attitudes make you feel as though you actually know them.

Good as it is, I hesitate to recommend this 423-page book to some readers due to its strong language and intense subject matter.

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