Skip to main content

The Storyteller | Jodi Picoult

“It’s amazing what you can convince yourself of, if you buy into the lie.”

Genre: Historical Fiction
Number of Pages: 460
Perspective: Alternating First
Location: New England, Germany, and other parts of Europe

The Storyteller is about a girl, Sage, that is asked to partake in assisted suicide and to forgive an ex-Nazi. Her grandma was a survivor of the Holocaust, so she has to decide what is the right thing to do. For a complete summary, you can go here.

Let me start off by saying that I am not a Jodi Picoult fan. She has written so many books, and many of them become very well known. I have read two of her books and I was not impressed. They were boring and drawn out. But all of her books, including this one, have to do with some sort of ethical dilemma. More on that later. After reading her book Change of Heart, I vowed to never read one of her books again. But my book club happened to choose The Storyteller this month, so I had to suck it up and give her another chance. Honestly, I am very grateful that I did. 

If you’ve read any of my other reviews, you probably know that I hate knowing anything about a book before reading it. I don’t even read the summary on the back. I usually go based on recommendations or—gasp—the cover. The cover of this book looks sweet and innocent. I had NO idea that this was a book about the Holocaust. Boy, was I in of a surprise. I normally hate historical fiction novels. I have never been good at history and find it to be rather boring. So everything was against this book before I started reading it, but it really was a great book. 

If you are looking for a feel-good, light read, this is not the one for you. It is sad, brutal, and really difficult to get through. But it is definitely a book worth reading. It gives a new perspective on Nazis and the effects of clumping the actions of an individual into the actions of a group. The main theme is forgiveness: who can give it and who deserves it? Like many of Jodi’s books, it is sorting through an ethical dilemma. We are taken through the perspectives of many different people so the main character can decide what’s right and what’s wrong. And we can also make our own decisions about that. At least in my book club, everyone has a different opinion about what the main character should do, including the opposite of what actually happens in the story—I can’t say more than that without ruining the story.

The best books are ones where you walk away from them with a whole new idea about something or feeling deeply about an issue that you’ve never really cared about before. I could see this as a great book to complement a history class talking about World War II. If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it hereAfter you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think! 

“In my own room, I looked around. What you grab, if you had to pack up your life in only minutes?”

4/5 Stars

o Amber Gregg o

Popular posts from this blog

El Deafo | Cece Bell

And being different? That turned out to the best part of all. I found that with a little creativity, and a lot of dedication, any difference can be turned into something amazing. Our differences are our superpowers.”
Genre: Middle Grade Graphic Novel/Memoir. Number of Pages: 233. Perspective: First. Location: Virginia.
This graphic novel follows the author throughout her time as a young girl in the 1970s and her experiences losing her hearing from meningitis at the age of four. She learns how to make friends and accept herself. For a complete summary, you can go here.
This was a beautiful story about someone who copes with becoming deaf. I took an American Sign Language course in college and we talked a lot about the deaf culture; it was interesting to learn about some of the daily challenges that someone who is deaf faces. This book explains those challenges in a way that children can understand and relate to. We have come a long way with accessibility since the 70s, but we all could use …

5 Reasons Why I Hate Book Series

Many of you know that I hate book series. If at all possible, I try to stick to stand-alone novels. A few rare trilogies land on my bookshelf and an even rarer few get a good review. Here are my reasons why I hate trilogies: 

1. The first book is perfected.

Authors have an unlimited amount of time to perfect the first book. They may have many rewrites and rejections before it is finally accepted by a publisher. By that point, the book should be pristine. The author may not have a deal with the publisher for a series yet, but once the first book proves its worth, the publisher will definitely ask for the rest of the series. Depending on the popularity, the author will be forced to get the next books out quickly—unless you are George R.R. Martin. There will be less time to perfect the story and it will be sent out without many rewrites, as to appease the fan-base. As a result, the rest of the series suffers in comparison to the debut. 
2. The waiting is torture. 

Part of the reason why the …

Hex | Thomas Olde Heuvelt

“Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay 'til death. Whoever settles, never leaves."
Genre: Horror. Number of Pages: 384. Perspective: Third. Location: New York.
Hex is the story of a town that is cursed by a witch with her eyes and mouth sewn shut. She shows up in houses and just stands and stares for days at a time. The people of the town can never leave and are plagued by the fear of what would happen if the witch’s eyes and mouth are ever opened. For a complete summary, you can go here.
This book started off kind of funny and light-hearted. The middle starts to get a little creepy and suspenseful, and the end is downright strange. It was an enjoyable book, but you’ll have to wait a long time for the climax. The bulk of the action happens in the last 50 pages. For me, that felt rushed and left me with more questions than answers. 
Hex was originally written in Dutch and translated to English. With that in mind, I am utterly impressed with the flow and readability of the story. Th…

Ten Things Writers Need to Know

This is a guest post by Heather Weidner. I was asked recently what advice I would give to someone who wants to write. Here’s my list…
1. Read. Read. Read. 

Read everything you can get your hands on. Learn about the genre. Learn about techniques and style. See what works and what doesn't.

2. Seek out writers like you. 

Find a writers' group. I write mysteries, so Sisters in Crime was a perfect fit. I am also in the online community, Guppies. They have tons of resources and advice. And they are so supportive and helpful. 
3. There are a lot of books out there on the craft of writing. 
My favorite is Stephen King's On Writing. Invest in books that help you. But use your library too. FREE is good.

4. If you are serious about writing, find a critique group. 
It's an investment in your time to read the submissions. Make sure that the feedback is helpful. Critiques need to be constructive and not personal. My critique group specializes in mysteries and crime fiction. And that works fo…

5 Things I Would Have Done Differently Before Self-Publishing

This is a guest post by Mark Benjamin. 
About three-quarters into 2015, I decided to self-publish. My novel was stuck in that phase of completed / nearly done, and I had been agent shopping for three years prior, and the brief thought (if at all) of self-publishing had been pushed out of my mind by the traditional method. That is, until my wife, Lucy, sent me the Amazon Kindle Publishing link. At the end of May 2016, my debut novel, A CHANGE OF HEART, Book One of The Royal Blood Chronicles, was released, an urban fantasy novel bringing back vampires from whence I first found them, cue in Lestat and Louis. There was a lot to learn throughout the entire self-publishing process; emotions ranging from doubt to hope, anxiety to determination, fear to belief. I would like to share my experiences, then and now, and how I would have done things differently.

1. Just Do It
Those three words are the beginning and end of it all. The story hit me and I ran with it. I could have waited until I thought …

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required