It wasn’t difficult for me to decide to put Jodi Picoult on my list of people who inspire me. She is the author I aspire to be. Early in my high school career, I started reading a random book that I picked up at Target called My Sister’s Keeper. I distinctly remember that, the first time I read it, I was sitting at one of my sister’s all-day volleyball tournaments. I couldn’t put it down. It was mesmerizing and horrifying and completely captivating, all at the same time. And I hated the ending. But I loved that I hated the ending, because it meant that I had strong enough feelings about the book as a whole to feel that strongly about the ending. And I have loved her ever since.
Of the 24 books listed on her website, I think I’ve read 18 of them. I’ve heard complaints from people that the endings are becoming predictable and all of that, and part of me understands. But there’s another part of me that disagrees completely. She puts so much time and effort into each story, and does so much research, and I think each of her books is so different that they can’t really be compared to each other. She is a storytelling master. When I have a new one of her books, I read it until it’s done. It doesn’t matter if I sleep or that nothing gets done. I just need to finish the book. And that’s why I love her writing so much.
I want to be able to write books that keep people from eating and sleeping. I want to be able to write books that will keep people buying each new title, just to see what crazy thing I’m going to do next. I want that for my writing career. And I never would have thought of that if I hadn’t been a Jodi Picoult fan.
I haven’t read her latest (The Storyteller) yet, but it’s near the top of my long list of books to read in the near future. But all of the others I have read? I’d recommend each and every one of them. -A.