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Second Glance by Jodi Picoult

by retrodisco666

Second Glance is a novel written by Jodi Picoult. Picoult, is in my personal opinion, one of the most talented authors of all time. Second Glance is her tenth novel and seems to be my personal favourite currently. The novel discusses themes of racism, love, pain, illness, regret, death, family values, obsession, loss, the supernatural, history and science, amongst subthemes within the book.

The book's main character is Ross. A man with long brown hair and a past he hates; a key feature to Ross is he can not die. One of the first things we learn about the character is that he has nearly died many times, and has, once, been clincally and officially dead. This is key to Ross as it plays out later in the book, in particular when an event takes place in Angel Quarry. Ross's ability to stay alive is remarkable and works in tandem with his life problem. The front of the book(At least my copy does) says; the love of your life is dead, In that moment you lost every reason to live, what would you do. We learn, as readers, that Ross has tried to commit suicide many times, due to the death of his wife Aimee, but he can not seem to die. Ross faces many issues within the book and is a perfectly created character, even with all his flaws.

Picoult, in most of her books brings to life rare disorders for the world to ackowledge and experience through the characters lives. Second glance is no different in this sense. We have a character names Ethan, a young boy with a disease known as XP, which means he is allergic to sunlight and comes out in blisters and could die. He has been told that there is a chance that he will not live til he is 15, and his mother, Shelby, tries everything in her power to prevent this. She works during the day in the library, and then stays up all night with him all night as that is when he is awake. All Ethan wants is too be in the sunlight, and does not care of the consequences as he just wants to be "Normal". He idolises his uncle, Ross, as he is one of the few males in his life as he father left due to the fact he would not accept the fact that Ethan had XP. Ethan is a really gripping character as he does not care for his illness but to be classed as what he calls normal, this illness does not get the better of him in any aspect as he will not let it and he is determined to be normal.

The entire book is based around ghosts. Ross went into ghost hunting after his wife died and started to try and track them as he wanted to see something, anything. He ends up getting a job for a company who want to open a strip mall on a site which the natives claims is an indian burial ground. When the property was bought, the owner brushed this off until supernatural things happen. The ground freezes over in places where they wanted to dig, but 200 metres away the ground is sprouting flowers; It rains rose petals and car heaters blow out a sickly smell of berries. So he ends up hiring Ross, and it's there where Ross finds a ghost, though this fact is not released to later on, and as he did not know this, Ross finds himself falling in love. A large section of the book is dedicated to the back story of this woman, and how she ended up commiting suicide due to her heritage. She finds her heritage to be against the norm of the time and as she is married into an elitest family this causes her to be in much agony in case any one finds out. She has a baby which she is told is dead, this breaks her heart and goes out to this ice shed to hang herself which she succeds in, however, as the ice is melting and the noose tightening around her neck she hears a scream; the baby is alive. I shall not disclose anymore on her story as the only way to explain it fully would be to read the book, as i can not descrive her story well enough.

Picoult has a skill for linking seamlessly unreleated stories together with a strong twist. In second glance she links together, Ross, Dr. Olive, and the native american heritage together. Dr.Olive is key as she brings the element of science to the book and her daughter claims to see ghosts. They find their way back to a woman who has a link to Dr. Olive, quite a strong link as a matter of fact and to Ross's investigation.

Picoult excels herself in every single one of her books, this is no exception. I strongly recomend this book to anyone who cares to read it and really should. It is truly an outstanding book and she deserves the upmost credit for it as she has created a piece of art with this.

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Points: 668
Reviews: 131

Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:22 pm
DukeofWonderland wrote a review...

Hehe...I'm reviewing a review. :D Newayz, I am also a Picoult fan and I read 19 minutes and Sister's keeper, amazingly beautiful stories by an awesome writer.
And you're a good writer too. As far as I've noyiced- no grammar errors or punctuation mistakes. nice flow and style. But I guess sometimes you describe either a little too much for a review or give details that don't quite suit the need. Newayz, good luck and keep on writing.:)

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277 Reviews

Points: 7061
Reviews: 277

Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:53 pm
Master_Yoda wrote a review...

Hey Retro,

This is a very comprehensive review. It is quite well written as well.

In terms of suggestions, the best I can do is offer a little advice about structure and content choice.

You review a book in order to tell people why they should read or should not read it. It is always important to keep this at the back of your mind when writing a review. You are not writing an epic in which you need to masterfully paint pictures and scenes. Thus, brevity is key. You need to say what you need to say. No more no less.

This includes: What you like about the book, what you don't like about the book, a general summary of the plot, and perhaps a comparison with other books.

Structuring the review sleekly helps a reader tremendously. Place all the themes together, all of the plot summary together, all the pros together, all the cons together. This way a reader feels much more comfortable as he can find what he wants to easily.

Most importantly, you're not here to tell the story, you're here to promote or comment on the book. This means you tell only the key information that might make a reader want to read more. No more and no less. You have a lot of irrelevant data here that I would weed out.

Remember, simplicity and clean structure really make reviews much easier to read. :) I hope this helped.

There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum.
— Arthur C. Clarke