When I was a sophomore in high school my friend Michael read a book that changed his life. He had never been a big reader, but this book opened his eyes to how gratifying and all encompassing reading a good book can be. He wanted to share his new found obsession with everyone. He came to school with the book in his bag telling any of us who would listen that the book was, “so good, but so so sad, but seriously, you don’t understand how good this book is.” Thus began his crusade to get all of our friends to read the book. He would badger us in class, in hallways, during lunch, after school, on AIM, pretty much anywhere. He NEEDED us to read this book. But whenever he tried to convince me I wanted nothing to do with it because you see, I DID NOT read sad books. No thank you.
One day in American History, Michael was talking with another friend who had just finished the book. They were both furiously whispering back and forth; oh remember this part, what did you think when this happened, yadda yadda yadda. Honestly, at this point I was annoyed, this book was all any of them were talking about! I couldn’t get a word in otherwise. I was sick of it. So that day, when Michael again had the book and was trying to foster it off on me by waving it back and forth in front of my face, I finally gave in. I figured what would it hurt? Reading the book would definitely get him (and others) to stop bothering me and I would finally be included in lunch conversation again.
So I took his precious book home with me and on the bus ride home from school I began reading it and just didn’t stop. I read it walking up the street to my house. I read it instead of doing my homework. I read it during dinner, shushing anyone who DARED to try and talk to me. And suddenly I found myself reading and sobbing because this book was, as Michael had said, “so good, but so so sad.” I was actually sobbing (not an exaggeration, there was definite chest heaving going on) so hard my mom ran into my room to see what was going on. I still remember her bewildered expression as she yelled at me because it was 3am and I was reading when I should have definitely been sleeping. Thankfully, I had just finished the book because she took it away as she stormed from my room.
The next day at school when I gave Michael back his book, he did a little dance while singing a made up I told you so song. It was annoying, but he was right and I was glad that he badgered me into reading it. To this day that book is still in my top ten list and every once in awhile I’ll read it again, crying still. The book in question was My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. If you haven’t read it, you definitely should. It’s so good, but so so sad. And when you finish it and love it, I’ll try to refrain from doing an annoying I told you so song and dance.