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My Favorite Books From Jodi Picoult

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Virginia Tech chapter.

I have always loved to read; it has consistently been an activity that brings me peace and helps me to decompress from the stress that life can bring. I have certainly been through phases where the book I’m reading becomes my number one priority, and there are other times when I fall out of my reading routine for a while. However, one thing has always remained true; Jodi Picoult is my favorite author. When I’m struggling to find a book that piques my interest, I always find myself turning to Picoult’s impressive collection of novels. She writes timeless stories that fall into many genres, including literary fiction, thrillers and romance. I have never read a book by Picoult that I didn’t love; here are a few of my favorites.

“My Sister’s Keeper”

This book is arguably Picoult’s most well-known work. It follows the story of a young girl, Anna, who was basically born with the sole purpose of providing medical aid to her older sister who was living with leukemia. Anna is practically forced to undergo whatever is necessary for her sister Kate’s survival, which includes fairly invasive procedures such as surgeries and transfusions. Anna finally decides she has had enough and ends up suing her parents for medical emancipation at the age of 13. It is an incredible novel, packed full of emotion, tension and questions of ethics. It was also made into a film, but I personally believe that the book is much better. This was the first of Picoult’s novels that I read, and it absolutely left me wanting to read more of her work. 

“Nineteen Minutes”

Nineteen Minutes is an intense story that centers around a shooting at a high school. It touches on the events that lead up to the shooting, as well as the aftermath, and also switches points of view within the story. Picoult jumps around from present tense and flashbacks in the novel, which really adds to the suspense. The book explores themes of love, loss, bullying and grief in a truly artful way. It is a gripping story that continues to become increasingly relevant to the current state of world, despite the fact that it was published in 2007. I highly recommend this book if you’re looking for chilling realistic fiction that takes quite a few twists and turns.

“The Book of Two Ways”

This is one of Picoult’s more recent works, and also the latest book that I read by her. It follows the life of a woman named Dawn, who has unresolved issues and feelings from her past that need to be addressed in order to decide how her future will look. It is written in such an interesting way because, as the title suggests, it follows two separate narratives, and the reader is unsure of the chronology of events until the end. I was incredibly impressed with the writing in this novel, as the main character has a passion for Egyptology, and Picoult offers quite a bit of history on the topic within the book. It is an emotional story of lost love and parenthood, and really shows the depth and ability of Picoult as an author.

“The Pact”

The Pact is one of my favorite books of all time, period. It is the story of a suicide pact between two teenagers in love, which ends with one of them dead and one of them on trial for murder for the other’s death. Picoult utilizes flashbacks to give the reader insight to the relationship between the two teens, as well as the close relationship between their families. The dynamics between the teens and their parents are complex and only become further complicated with the death and the trial. This story is fascinating, heartbreaking and shocking all at once; every time you think you know where it’s going, it catches you by surprise. It is an incredible work by Picoult, and I will always recommend it to as many people as I can. 

Mackenzie Foltz

Virginia Tech '25

Mackenzie is a junior at Virginia Tech majoring in Communication with a double minor in Women's and Gender Studies, and Peace Studies and Social Justice. She is from Chesterfield, VA and loves to dance, read and hang out with her pet bunny.