This is a thought-provoking, well-written and well-narrated novel. I've found myself laughing out loud (in places where laughter is appropriate). When one narrator describes a scene previously described by another, the listener gets a true sense of the the narrator's point of view. Picoult addresses issues that are important and I believe she does so fairly. But if I'd read the book, instead of listening to it, I would have had the ability to choose whether to listen to the songs at the beginning of each chapter. Listening to it on my iPhone, I have no choice (other than to take my earphones out and put them back in when I can tell the song is over. When Zoe sings, during the context of narrating the book, I don't mind at all. But the sappy women's-folk music at the beginning of each chapter, that is supposed to express Zoe's thoughts and feelings during this particular moment in her life, are as irritating as commercials through which one cannot fast forward while watching an excellent show.
I'm giving this a one star rating because I got sucked in by it's high rating and was seriously disappointed. Like the annoying music at the beginning of each chapter (a parody of mediocre "wimmins" music), I found the writing bland and annoying, I too stopped about 2/3s into the book. I just couldn't take one more predictable paragraph or cloying song.
I have really enjoyed the Jodi Picoult books in the past. This one had a decent story but the music at the beginning of each section was HORRIBLE. I don't know that I would listen to it again. It was ok, but not great.
At least the folks that buy the book have a choice if they want to listen to the music or not! I find having to fast forward through the singing so annoying that I probably will not listen to the rest of this book. I have been a big fan of Jodi Picoult until now. Sorry I wasted a credit on this one.
As usual, her story is character driven and you feel empathy towards all the characters. In the age of the changing family dynamic--same sex unions, Jody manages to challenge you to think outside the box. As a mom, I was putting myself if Zoe's shoes, but I could also see both sides of the issue--still siding with mom, of course. She always manages to throw us all for a loop towards the ends of her books, and I found myself wondering when it was coming and what was it going to be. She never lets us down. As always, a great read that challenges you and adds food for thought. Loved the story, but could have done without the awful music that accompanied the story. I know it was done for dramatic effect, but I don't think my audio books need a soundtrack to be more listenable. The songs were a terrible impression of 70s folk music--just awful--easy to fast foward through through.
Picoult develops the main characters well and the story is a good one. She does a great job presenting both sides of a very emotional issue.
I suppose someone thought putting the singing in between sections was a good idea. I found it extremely annoying and was so relieved I have a fast forward feature on my Droid x. I don't want to be mean, but the singing was not very good and the songs were long and drawn out and a bit pointless.
I do think the book was worth the credit. I was drawn back to listening to find out what would happen. The ending was a bit predictable, but satisfying. The narrators do a good job. The epilogue was too brief and disappointing. I would have liked more detail in the summation of the book.... just to feel better closure with the story.
I am always happy to keep reading with Picoult stories & no exception here. The alternating first person narration of the three main characters worked very well to convey their different perspectives on these sensitive issues.
My reservations stem from the songs & the occasional saccharine turn of phrase. Even allowing for my bias against folk music of this nature, I feel that the songs were just too sweet & detracted from my experience. I note the author's view that the songs would help readers' understanding of the characters but I would have preferred to be left with my impressions from their actions & dialogue. This criticism does not extend to the music therapy songs which were contextually appropriate.
I also found the ending a bit tidy to represent the outcome of most human affairs but in conclusion, still a worthwhile listen.
The story is a 5 as usual with Jodi, but the songs are a distraction. Whoever wrote the music put emphasis on prepositions and took liberties no songwriter can get away with. Just keep your fast forward button handy amd you will enjoy this one.
I listened to this entire book in a weekend. It ranks up there with My Sister's Keeper, which is still one of my favorite books. The narrators did a fantastic job. The music was a nice touch as well, although a few of the songs were kind of hokie.