Book Reviews

Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

Thinking of a coherent first line is exceedingly difficult right now. I do not know how I can express what an emotional roller coaster of a book this was succinctly.

Brace yourself, the rambling will commence after the synopsis.

Goodreads synopsis:

3390246The acclaimed #1 New York Times bestselling author presents a spellbinding tale of a mother’s tragic loss and one man’s last chance at gaining salvation.

Can we save ourselves, or do we rely on others to do it? Is what we believe always the truth?

One moment June Nealon was happily looking forward to years full of laughter and adventure with her family, and the next, she was staring into a future that was as empty as her heart. Now her life is a waiting game. Waiting for time to heal her wounds, waiting for justice. In short, waiting for a miracle to happen.

For Shay Bourne, life holds no more surprises. The world has given him nothing, and he has nothing to offer the world. In a heartbeat, though, something happens that changes everything for him. Now, he has one last chance for salvation, and it lies with June’s eleven-year-old daughter, Claire. But between Shay and Claire stretches an ocean of bitter regrets, past crimes, and the rage of a mother who has lost her child.

Would you give up your vengeance against someone you hate if it meant saving someone you love? Would you want your dreams to come true if it meant granting your enemy’s dying wish?

Once again, Jodi Picoult mesmerizes and enthralls readers with this story of redemption, justice, and love.


If I could react to this book entirely in fangirl speak, it would be with “asdfasdfasdfasdf”. There. The review is done.

For the uninitiated, the review would go somewhat like this:

This was such an intense read! In typical Picoult fashion, the book raises several questions that us mortals don’t have the answer to. It’ll make the reader question everything they’ve ever felt before about capital punishment, justice, and religion. The basic premise of the book is in itself outstanding. She further adds layer upon layer of complexity, all wrapped up beautifully for the reader to slowly open up as the story progresses.

The characters were very compelling. The book has multiple POVs and the reader will be able to connect with every character. Shay Bourne doesn’t get his own POV. Rather, we see him through the eyes of others and we make our decisions based on what the others see. Lucius, a fellow inmate of Shay’s at I-tier, was written the best of them all. The ACLU lawyer, Maggie, was also written brilliantly. The reader will definitely connect with her. Isn’t she so right when she says this:

The problem was, you never heard anyone say,”wow, check out the brain on that babe.”

The writing was top notch. I always hoard quotes from Picoult’s books and it was no different with this one. I mean, look at this:

In the space between yes and no, there’s a lifetime. It’s the difference between the path you walk and the one you leave behind; it’s the gap between who you thought you could be and who you really are; it’s the legroom for the lies you’ll tell yourself in the future.

Phew. She just GETS it, you know?

As a person who doesn’t believe in organized religion, there were several other quotes that I loved too. Like this one:

You know what I believe? That religion served its historical purpose- it was a set of laws to live by, before we had a justice system. But even when it starts out with the best of intentions, things get screwed up, don’t they? A group bands together because they believe the same things, and then somehow that gets perverted so that anyone who doesn’t believe those things is wrong.

And this:

Religion’s the reason the world’s falling apart. That’s what religion does. It points a finger. It causes wars. It breaks apart countries. It’s a petridish for stereotypes to grow in. Religion’s not about being holy, just holier-than-thou.

One last quote, I swear:

Religion was supposed to be a blanket drawn up to your chin to keep you warm, a promise that when it came to the end, you wouldn’t die alone – but it could just as easily leave you shivering out in the cold, if what you believed became more important than the fact that you believed.

With excellent writing, a brilliant plot, and compelling characters, this is a book that everyone should read.

Rating: 5 out of 5


Why are you still here? Go read the book! 😀

~ Shruti

6 thoughts on “Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

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