My Sister's Keeper finished with me blowing my nose and dabbing the moisture from my eyes. I don't want to give anything away, and at first I was feeling that the ending was a bit contrived. It definitely headed in a direction I didn't anticipate. And on more reflective thought, I still think it was contrived. But that doesn't negate the fact that it tore open a few heartstrings and made me sniffle.
SPOILER AHEAD - (skip this paragraph if you plan to read the book. Come back and read it when you're done, and then let me know if you agree or disagree.)....
....I also think the storyline with Jesse, the son, was resolved in a hash-job kind of way. The father in the story is a fireman, and Jesse's reaction to the impact of a sibling with a chronic serious illness is to become an arsonist. (This IS a spoiler, but that information is revealed fairly early in the story, so I only feel a twinge of guilt.) At the end of the book, there's a very simplistic and disappointing resolution to this conflict.
But these flaws are minor to the overall impact of the story, and to the power of Picoult's narration.
THE KITE RUNNER
I'm loving this book, although it is not a comfortable story to read. The setting opens in Afghanistan of the late 60's/early 70's. Hosseini slowly and carefully reveals the close, but conflicted friendship between two boys. He leads us to a traumatic episode that has huge consequences for the boys, both as individuals, and for their relationship. In the second part of the book, the setting changes to California in the 80's, and that's where I am now. The author is skillfully peeling each layer of relationship dynamics....peer to peer, and father to son....away. To reveal what.....? I'm eager to find out.