Tuesday, July 3, 2018

My Favourite Author --- Jodi Picoult : A Guest Post By Mithila

I love spending time on Goodreads (And Amazon). If you're reading this, I'm sure you are a reader, and if you're a reader, you can totally relate to this. Recently, while reading reviews on Goodreads, I found a review where the reviewer said, 'I do not have a favourite author. I have favourite books.'

It made me think. It happens. Sometimes even your favourite author fails to entertain you? Even your favourite author's writing does not touch you in a special way? But then, I realized that we all have at least one author who never disappoints you (And you don't mind even if their story does not create that magic at times). You could pick her/his book without even reading the blurb. 

So, I have decided to do a series --- My Favourite Author --- on my blog. And, this is the first post in this series. I am so pleased to host Mithila, an avid reader and popular blogger, on my blog! Guest first, right? 

She writes about Jodi Picoult, her favourite author. In Mithila's words, 'Jodi Picoult is an author who melds the intellectual and emotional aspects of reading into one.'

How beautiful, isn't it? So here it goes --- A Guest Post by Mithila!

‘You don't love someone because they're perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they're not.’ --- Jodi Picoult

I read my first Jodi Picoult on my Kindle on a cold, rainy night. It was the classic “My Sister’s Keeper”, which has been adapted into a movie I have yet to watch. It is a book about siblings and the love/hate relationship they share, and how sometimes taking a certain decision can be morally correct, yet feel emotionally saddening. Or morally incorrect, yet emotionally redeeming.

This very dilemma that Picoult creates in the mind of the reader is the reason why I started hunting for more books by her.

Why is she one of my favourite authors?

As a reader, I love the intellectual and emotional challenge of understanding characters, their intentions and trying to predict what will eventually happen in the end. Picoult provides this challenge to me. As a writer, I am in awe of the way Picoult creates such highly complicated plots and conflicting interests, and yet narrate an ending that seems fitting and just. I can only imagine the feelings of the storyboards who witnessed first-hand the evolution of brilliant plots in novels like “House Rules”, “Picture Perfect”, “Change of Heart”, “Nineteen Minutes” and who carried the weight of her thoughts.

Another defining characteristic of Picoult’s writing that I have noticed is: Many characters, main and supporting, and the intricacy with which they are interconnected to each other, leading to a domino effect of scenes. For example, “Nineteen Minutes” includes the following set of characters: the ‘criminal’ Peter Houghton, his parents and brother, his ex-best friend Josie Cormier, her mother (who is also the judge) Alex Cormier, Josie’s friends who were Peter’s bullies, Josie’s boyfriend Matt, Alex’s love interest (who is also the detective) Patrick Ducharme, and many more.

Even if you haven’t had the pleasure of reading “Nineteen Minutes” yet, I would invite you to analyse how all the above characters are related and how their relatedness is the reason why the conflicting interests arise.

Oh wait, I can’t calm my fangirl mode. And hence I will analyse an example for you, trying my best not to give any spoilers. Josie, who used to be Peter’s best friend, holds knowledge of a crucial part of Peter’s life, the part of his life that may be relevant to his descent into becoming a school shooter. She has the power to speak up and tell the court and the world everything. But she also has the added pressure of being the daughter of a judge and the girlfriend of Peter’s bully. Would she be a dutiful daughter, a loving girlfriend or a supportive friend? The more important question is: Who should she choose to be? All the roles are mutually exclusive, and selecting any role may have unpredictable consequences.

Have I charmed and teased you into reading Jodi Picoult already? I hope so. I sincerely do.
If you’re a teenage reader, here’s something for you: As I was working on the research aspect of this post, I stumbled upon this fact: Jodi Picoult has also written YA Fiction novels “Between The Lines” and “Off The Page”. No prizes for guessing what my next read (and hopefully, your next read) is going to be!


Thank you so much Mithila! Yes, you've charmed and teased me into reading Jodi Picoult. I think I'd pick 'House Rules'!

So, have you read Jodi Picoult? Who is your favourite author? Would you like to share?

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