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'Handle with Care' by Jodi Picoult - Book Review

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating
User Rating 2.5 Star Rating (10 Reviews)


'Handle with Care' by Jodi Picoult

'Handle with Care'

Simon & Schuster

The Bottom Line

I have mixed feelings about Jodi Picoult. She knows how to write page turners that evoke strong emotions; however, her books sometimes remind me of Lifetime movies -- sure they can make me cry, but that doesn't mean they actually achieve depth. I was especially disappointed with Picoult's last release, Change of Heart, so I picked up Handle with Care with a good bit of skepticism. The good news: Handle with Care is one of Picoult's better books. She develops the characters better than in Change of Heart, and provides more action to keep the book moving. This is a page turner that will appeal to book clubs.


  • 'Handle with Care' is a page turner.
  • Picoult develops the characters well.
  • 'Handle with Care' raises lots of talking points for book clubs.


  • 'Handle with Care' is depressing.
  • The scenario is extreme -- not entirely believable.


  • 'Handle with Care' by Jodi Picoult was first published in March 2009.
  • Publisher: Atria
  • 496 Pages

Guide Review - 'Handle with Care' by Jodi Picoult - Book Review

All Jodi Picoult's books are a little bit like watching a train wreck -- painful yet strangely interesting to watch. Handle with Care is no different -- the plot is depressing, you'll be angry with many of the characters, and you may end up throwing your book at the end. Still, if you have read Picoult before, you know that's what you should expect. The question, then, is whether this is a train wreck worth watching. The answer: you won't want to look away.

Handle with Care is the story of a family with two daughters. The second was born with brittle bone disease, a condition that makes her bones break easily and that limits her height and movement. When Willow (the daughter with a disability) is four, her parents decide to sue their OB for "wrongful birth," claiming that Willow's condition should have been diagnosed earlier in the pregnancy so that they could have terminated the pregnancy. Sound controversial? Add to it the fact that the OB is the mother's best friend, who has remained close to the family since the birth, then throw in a neglected and bulimic older sibling, and you have classic Picoult.

Extreme as it is, Handle with Care works well because the characters are complicated and it is not clear where the plot will go. As a reader, you may find yourself unsure of what you want -- do you hope the family wins so that they can pay their medical bills and provide a better life for their daughters or do you think the parents are being selfish and that no amount of money can undo hearing that your parents may not have wanted you? This is one of many ethical questions Handle with Care raises, which is why it would be a good choice for book clubs looking for lively conversation.

Handle with Care Book Club Discussion Questions

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 2 out of 5
, Member scd16

I threw this book on the floor after reading the ending!! Although some aspects of this little girl were somewhat ""unbelievable"" ~ as another reviewer states...the educator in me rallied for her and wanted to jump up and advocate for her needs. The author totally disregarded reader emotion in this one by ending it with such disrespect. Last Picoult I read!

5 out of 5 people found this helpful.

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