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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading but not her best
Change of Heart, like many of Picoult's other works, deals with an ethical dilemma told through the subjective accounts of several characters in the story. Add in a twist at the end and you get Picoult's formula for success. The story focuses on Shay Bourne, a man on death row convicted of murdering Policeman Kurt Nealon and his Step-daughter, seven-year-old Elizabeth...
Published on 8 May 2008 by Amzieday

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars First and last Picoult
I spotted this in a charity shop after hearing the author interviewed on Radio 4, and took it on holiday with me.

What a waste of time. Nothing about this book worked for me. From the ridiculously contrived premise, through the stereotypical characters, past the rammed-down-your-throat religion to the appalling oh-yeah-now-you-mention-it ending, this was a...
Published on 8 Nov 2010 by S. Cryer


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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading but not her best, 8 May 2008
This review is from: Change of Heart (Hardcover)
Change of Heart, like many of Picoult's other works, deals with an ethical dilemma told through the subjective accounts of several characters in the story. Add in a twist at the end and you get Picoult's formula for success. The story focuses on Shay Bourne, a man on death row convicted of murdering Policeman Kurt Nealon and his Step-daughter, seven-year-old Elizabeth. After watching a piece on the news, Shay requests to donate his heart to eleven-year-old Claire, a girl desperately in need of a transplant, and the sister of Elizabeth.

The story is told through the voices of each of the main characters from June Nealon, Claire and Elizabeth's mother, to Lucius, an AIDs sufferer in prison with Shay. As ever, Picoult's ability to make each character relatable displays a sensitive and sympathetic understanding of the many issues involved in the story delivering a thought-provoking, captivating read guaranteed to keep the reader hooked to the finish. Fans of Picoult's books will not be disappointed and should look out for a small reappearance of some character's from Keeping Faith. This being said, the book never quite reaches the heights of brilliance displayed in some of her previous works such as My Sister's Keeper and her current bestseller on the paperback charts, Nineteen Minutes. One cannot help feeling that, having exhausted scenarios that are not outside the realms of possibilty, the author has moved on to scenarios that are, at best, highly implausible and therefore less socially relevant. Despite this, it's an easy read with substance - perfect for bedtime reading
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars First and last Picoult, 8 Nov 2010
By 
S. Cryer (Cardiff, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Change of Heart (Paperback)
I spotted this in a charity shop after hearing the author interviewed on Radio 4, and took it on holiday with me.

What a waste of time. Nothing about this book worked for me. From the ridiculously contrived premise, through the stereotypical characters, past the rammed-down-your-throat religion to the appalling oh-yeah-now-you-mention-it ending, this was a dreadful read. I only bothered to finish it out of curiosity at how far the author would stretch credulity. Way too far, was the answer.

Picoult treats anecdote as evidence in the supposed 'residue of personality in a donated organ' issue, and attempts to make this a plank of the story. For any parent who wasn't a superstitious simpleton, there wouldn't be any question of whether to take an organ or not. And I'm not even going to start on the 'miracles', breezing in and out of Death Row, and Green Mile ripoff.

I'm only glad it was a charity shop that got my money for this, not the author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Have a Change of Heart and buy The Green Mile (book or DVD - no matter!!), 28 Jun 2009
By 
J. Sharp "Hobo" (Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Change of Heart (Paperback)
A quarter of the way into this book (on a long train back to uni) I texted my friend to find out if this was going to go the way I thought. She said yes!! She was wrong!

It was worse!

There were echoes of 'The Green Mile' right from the beginning - and like anyone who's seen/read the classic Stephen King story, I was in love with it!

But the story continued to be almost a complete carbon copy of The Green Mile - there were strong elements of the characters within the Picoult book - she basically stole her storyline, characters and action.

Do yourself a favour and stick 'The Green Mile Stephen King' into your Amazon search bar and I promise you a much more entertaining read!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Would you give up your vengeance against someone you hate if it meant saving someone you love?", 18 May 2008
By 
Brida "izumi" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Change of Heart (Hardcover)
This is about the fourth book by Picoult that I have read, the first being MY SISTER'S KEEPER. Although I loved MY SISTER'S KEEPER, a couple of her others fell a little flat with me, so I was not sure whether I would enjoy CHANGE OF HEART or not. Now that I have finished it, whilst I cannot say that it is one of the best books that I have read, it is certainly one which makes you think.

The story follows Shay Bourne, a young man who is on death row. The crime that got him there is the double murder of a police man and his step-daughter. June Nealon, the wife and mother who has her life ripped apart by Shay's action is pregnant at the time of their deaths; she has a little girl called Claire.
While Shay is on death row, he sees on T.V that Claire needs a heart transplant. In this instance, Shay decides that he wants to donate his heart to Claire. He sees it as the only way he can 'make up' for what he has done and what he has taken from Claire and June.
But for Shay to do this it would mean that he would have to be executed not by lethal injection but by hanging, so that the heart could be used. This of course throws up moral / ehtical dilemmas; does Shay have the right to change the course of his execution? Should he be allowed to donate his heart? And, perhaps most importantly for June, should she accept the heart from the man who killed the other two members of her family?

As with most of Picoult's books, the story is narrated by various characters - although you never get to 'hear' Shay's voice. And, as with her other books that I have read, while she may not be the best writer of prose around, she does manage to put just enough in to make the book worth taking the time for. The above quote, used as the title for this review, is illustration of this.
Other reviewers have said that they felt CHANGE OF HEART had echoes of "The Green Mile" - well, this is true. A prisoner who seemingly can perform miracles, who just so happens to be on death row, is defintiely an echo of the aforesaid novel/film. But, in CHANGE OF HEART, Picoult has used this to underpin the religious overtones that the book has. While you may think that this either gives something else or takes away something from the book, will largely be down to your way of seeing the world. While it gave some more interest, for me, I am not sure what it really brought to the novel.

Recommended as a quick read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Change of Heart by Jodi Piccoult, 29 Dec 2009
This review is from: Change of Heart (Hardcover)
I got this book for Christmas and am about half way through and have to say I am really disappointed. It seems to be a blatant rip off of Stephen Kings The Green Mile with bits of the Shawshank Redemption put in for good measure. Feel that its hardly worth finishing the book to be perfectly honest because I am finding myself getting more and more annoyed with the similarities between the Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear., 25 July 2010
This review is from: Change of Heart (Paperback)
I found this book to be enjoyable and catching but if i am honest it was a little too alike to the Stephen King classic 'The Green Mile.' Even down to magic and miracles!

I did enjoy it, it is a very heart renching book at times. But the parallells with the green mile made is pradictable and less motivating.

Would recommend this to anyone who enjoys Jodi Picoult, however, if your not a fan or this is the first book my her that you have read then I suggest you try another by this other, or 'The Green Mile'
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Complete rip-off, 28 April 2010
By 
This review is from: Change of Heart (Hardcover)
I can't believe that Miss. Picault had the nerve to rip-off Stephen King's Green Mile so obviously. As soon as I got to the bit when the robin died I thought that it sounded very familiar indeed despite the fact that The Green Mile had a mouse instead! I've just reached the bit (secretly hoping that I wasn't going to read what I thought I was going to) where it seems as if Shay is innocent of the murders and I gasped out loud as it was just the same as Green Mile with the circumstances changed a bit here and there -nevertheless I shall carry on now I've got this far - what a disappointment and such blatant plagiarism, i really feel like emailing Miss. Picault and telling her so!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Change of Heart, 24 Mar 2009
By 
Paul Hanratty (Tyne and Wear) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Change of Heart (Paperback)
I read Nineteen Minutes a year ago and quite enjoyed it. So I was looking forward to this offering when it came my way. I was very disappointed. The plot was silly,the characters unbelievable and the ending just plain nonsense. I thought "death row" was a highly secure environment where movement was strictly controlled. In this story anyone and everyone seemed free to wander around. The juror come priest seemed to lack any conviction and was easily led and I found Maggie the lawyer irritating. Shay was clearly mad although not as mad as the masses waiting at the gates who thought he was Jesus and the only person with a semblance of commonsense was the unfortunate child who clearly wanted to die rather than be stuck in this crazy tale. However,even she ultimately succombed to the nonsense at the end.

I've not read Green Mile but it surely can't be as bad as this so follow the advice of other reviewers and opt for that.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Emotional Read, 21 April 2008
By 
Lincs Reader (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Change of Heart (Hardcover)
This has been a roller-coaster of an emotional read. There were times when I felt bogged down by it, and times when I felt uplifted by it.

Shay Bourne the death row inmate is portrayed as almost angel like at times, his only wish before he dies is to donate his heart to the sister of his victim.

But to be killed by lethal injection would make his heart useless for transplant. Here is where Jodi seems to pay tribute to Stephen King in that I really could not stop thinking that I had somehow wandered into 'The Green Mile' by mistake.

Shay Bourne apparantly performs miracles, the press cotton on and people start camping outside the prison. Is Shay the new Messiah? Can the mother of the girl bring herself to accept the heart of the man who killed her daughter, or will she let her remaining daughter die?

As in most of Jodi's books, the chapters are brief and are narrated by different characters involved in the story - except for Shay Bourne - whose own voice and feelings are never really known.

The novel tackles, again, as usual for Jodi several moral dilemmas. There is the court room scenes, a touch of romance and another of her trademarks, the twist at the end, although I have to be honest and say that I guessed one of the twists, but the ending is left extremely open. Jodi likes her readers to make up their own minds as to what really happened.

There must have been an incredible amount of religious research done whilst writing the book. You dont have to be religious or have any particular beliefs to enjoy the story, but if you do wonder why people believe what they do and how their beliefs affect their lives you will be fascinated by some of the points made. I did think that some of the religious references got a bit heavy in the middle of the book - but were necessary for the story.

There are some parts of the story that I think Jodi has just made fit, without thinking it through - how could a grown man donate his heart to a teenage girl - but I may be wrong, maybe that is possible? The spiritual advisor / priest is another great coincidence - but lets face it, this is a work of fiction.

I do wonder where the character of Maggie came from, I didnt recognise her as a typical Jodi Picoult character, she seemed more in keeping with a chick lit novel, although I did actually like the character, which is more than I can say about the bereaved mother who I felt no empathy towards at all.
All in all, I enjoyed this book. I found the storyline fascinating, if a little unbelieveable - not her best book by far, on a par with The Pact and Salems Falls and better than Vanishing Acts.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Change of Mind, 6 July 2009
By 
Anne Davis (Gloucester UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Change of Heart (Paperback)
Whatever else Jodi Picoult does, she certainly makes you think. And this book is no exception. It tells the story of Shay Bourne who is sentenced to death for the double murder of a seven-year old girl and her step-father, a policeman. After 11 years on death row he has the date of his execution set and decides he wants to donate his heart to the sister of his victim who is dying. This entails changing the method of execution from lethal injection to hanging and to do this his lawyer has to convince the authorities that he is practising his own religious beliefs and therefore has the right to die in the way he wishes. As always Jodi Picoult has done an enormous amount of research into her subjects - there were times when I thought I was in theology college reading her in-depth histories of various religions! I was not overkeen on the book to start with but by the end was totally gripped and the end had me in floods of tears. There is the question of whether Shay Bourne is guilty or not, of whether he is a second Messiah or not and whether it is right or wrong for the child to receive the heart of her dead sister and father's supposed killer, but most of all is the question of the death penalty - and having read this book I find myself seriously wondering whether anyone has the right to take a life in such a cold and clinical fashion after 11 years on death row. Once again jodi Picould has found a subject to really get you thinking and wondering what is right and what is wrong.
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Change of Heart
Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult (Hardcover - 4 Mar 2008)
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