This is one of those popular books that is so popular you don't want to read it, and then it turns out to be as good as the hype. It's a sort of biography/history/science story about the cancer cells of a poor, black mother-of-five who got cancer in a time when medical ethics were more highly evolved for animals than for humans.
Skloot researched the hell out of this book, talking to everyone she possibly could and getting close to the immortal Henrietta's mortal offspring. Some might think, as I did at first, that she got too close. You sometimes feel like she's overly identifying with Henrietta Lacks's daughter Deborah, and that what she includes and how she presents it is a little subjective. I got over that, though, deciding that I was conditioned by thousands of books I've read in my life to think that nonfiction has to be a certain way. I've also read thousands of zines, so I have been exposed to multiple styles of creative nonfiction and storytelling. I hope you'll be able to relax your expectations, too.
Extra points for a whole paragraph of librarian and archivist acknowledgments. Then again her acknowledgments are nine pages long, so perhaps a paragraph is the least my people can expect. There are also notes and an eleven-page index. Skloot is thorough and patient--someone a person can really trust with their mother's story.
PS There are race issues aplenty with a white woman writing this story, but I feel like I'd fumble about trying to take them on. There doesn't seem to have been an internet shitstorm over it, so perhaps Skloot really was as respectful as she needed to be.