“Salem Falls” is probably the last Jodi Picoult novel I plan on reading for a very long time. Of all three books that I have reviewed, I would have to give this one 2 out of 5 stars, and here is why.
First of all, I didn’t understand why she chose to switch back and forth by year. It was extremely difficult to follow, and so many of the flashbacks were unnecessary. Take the one back to 1969 when Jack was born as an example. That subplot had absolutely no bearing on the story. Picoult crammed too much into one story, and it made me wonder if the book was really worth finishing. I would recommend that readers skim the flashbacks, but pay close attention to story happening in Salem Falls, and prior to that when Jack was a teacher.
Secondly, teenage witches? It almost seemed as though she was inspired by an episode of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” The topic of false accusations and rape made such a good story, I wish she had more realistic teenage characters so the story could be more logical.
On the plus side, I give Picoult 5 stars for effective research on DNA testing. It was obvious she knew what she was writing about, with all those tables and complicated scientific explanations during the court case. Also, Jack, Addie, Roy, Catherine, Jordan, and Selena were so three dimensional, and so perfectly described, the reader almost feels like they know the characters personally.
Final verdict: Salem Falls is worth a read if you are patient enough and like a good thriller.
“Sing You Home” was the first of Jodi Picoult’s novels that I read. After hearing rave reviews about her other novels like “My Sister’s Keeper” I decided to give her one of her newer ones a go. I must say, I was very impressed with how easy it was to read, and how many facts she managed to intertwine into the story. Having said that, as my blog is called on the flip side, I think I have to comment on the flip side of this novel.
Picoult addresses many controversial issues such as gay rights and the church’s opinion on them, and I admire her for this. However, I must say that overall, she did not fairly explore the pros and cons of of each topic. While I absolutely support gay rights, I feel like the whole concept of the story was very bias towards them. She didn’t put the church in a positive light, and I can understand how this would offend some readers. What Picoult failed to address was that even in our time, some people are less open minded and more orthodox. These people do not support gay rights, whatever their reasons may be. I think she didn’t respect their opinion enough, and painted their characters in such a negative way. In all fairness to both parties, there was no “right or wrong” person to get the embryos, but Picoult wrote the entire argument in such a way that only the church could be wrong for disagreeing with modern day practices. This is hypocritical- if the whole point of the novel is to respect people for who they are, then why was she not respectful of the church’s opinion? There are people who follow religious teachings, but are not extremists. Had she added some characters like this, the novel would have had more depth.
Overall, this is a great feel good read;it sends an encouraging “don’t give up” message. If you haven’t already read it,I highly recommend you do and form your own opinion.