Friday, February 6, 2015

I Am a HUGE Jodi Picoult Fan. Her Latest, Leaving time - Not That Great.

For the 2nd book in a row, I have had a somewhat disappointing reading experience.  1st, it was Garth Stein's latest, A Sudden Light.  Now, it's Jodi Picoult's most recent, Leaving Time.  If you remember, Jodi's previous novel, The Storyteller, got a 4/4 from me.  In fact, I said it's my favorite Picoult ever!  But this one is just okay.  Why did I have a problem with it?  Let's start, as usual, with a synopsis.

For over a decade, Jenna Metcalf obsesses on her vanished mom Alice. Jenna searches online, rereads journals of the scientist who studied grief among elephants. Two unlikely allies are Serenity Jones, psychic for missing people who doubts her gift, and Virgil Stanhope, jaded PI who originally investigated cases of Alice and her colleague. Hard questions and answers.  

Interesting premise, right?  Yes and no.  I don't want to give any story lines away.  But I can tell you this:  Do you remember when Haley Joel Osment, in the movie Sixth Sense, said "I see dead people?"  Well, that's how I felt in Leaving Time.  But instead of it enhancing the book, it actually detracted from it - IMHO.  You'll have to read it to understand.

What other problem do I feel the book has?  The main subject of the book is elephants. And although I learn a lot about elephants, I actually learn much more than I want to know.  Wasn't it only a few books ago that Jodi focused on wolves?  In fact, it was Lone Wolf.  And now we've got elephants.  Too much for me.  And a bit boring.  2.5/4
At least there was a reference to One Direction early in the book.  This is my granddaughter Haley's (she's almost 10) favorite musical group.  She knows everything about them.  In Leaving Time, it's a 13-year old 8th grader that mentions them.  It does seem as if every book lately mentions something that I can relate to my friends or family members.  That's always fun.

Still in all, I liked it reasonably well.  I wouldn't say skip Leaving Time.  But I would suggest you lower your expectations.  This is not the typical outstanding Picoult.


  1. I generally enjoy Picoult's books as I read them but feel manipulated when I'm done. The last one I read was Lone Wolf and it was just okay for me.

  2. If you're going to try another one, go with The Storyteller. I thought it was her best. And she also introduced a character with some humor. That's not usual for her.

  3. I have a love hate relationship with Picoult's writing. Sometimes she really engages me, then the next time I find I'm skimming the book. I often think I should go back, compare the books and see what it is that makes them so different for me.

  4. Interesting. I've liked them all, to one degree or another. But The Pact, The Storyteller, and My Sister's Keeper are my favorites.

  5. I have read many books by her, but I have not read this one. It was interesting to read your thoughts and I am curious about the story line. I have liked most of her books, but a couple of them weren't my favorite. I like that she makes me think a lot after I am done with her books. Thanks for sharing. :)