Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Review: The Pact by Jodi Picoult

Title: The Pact

Author: Jodi Picoult

For eighteen years the Hartes and the Golds have lived next door to each other, sharing everything from Chinese food to chicken pox to carpool duty-- they've grown so close it seems they have always been a part of each other's lives. Parents and children alike have been best friends, so it's no surprise that in high school Chris and Emily's friendship blossoms into something more. They've been soul mates since they were born.

So when midnight calls from the hospital come in, no one is ready for the appalling truth: Emily is dead at seventeen from a gunshot wound to the head. There's a single unspent bullet in the gun that Chris took from his father's cabinet-- a bullet that Chris tells police he intended for himself. But a local detective has doubts about the suicide pact that Chris has described.


a.) Characters: 4/5 score.  When you first meet the family, they are a group of four (Augusta and James Harte (mother and father of Christopher); and Melanie and Michael Gold (mother and father of Emily)) that have been friends since their children were born eighteen years ago.  Emily and Christopher are three months apart in age and have spent their whole lives with each other.  You witness many scenes through their years, progressing forward to the present time.  Secondary characters are added in as the story grows, but from the first paragraph until the final line, the story revolves around Em and Chris’s relationship.  

b.) Plot: 2/5 score. In the beginning you are gripped with the loss of Emily and with the mystery of what happened.  As more is revealed, things become clear.  Eventually you are either with or against Chris by the time his truth comes out.  It has “adult” scenes and is not recommended for a younger audience.  It was, in all, a good read.  I myself didn’t care for the courtroom drama.

c.) Writing style: 4/5 score.  It is set in third person, jumping from each character’s point of view.  You really get inside the head of Em and Chris.  You do experience others, seeing the two main characters through their eyes.  It is an adult novel, a strong and compelling story showing both sides of suicide- the never-ending depression of before and the aftermath of leaving.  

Rating: 10/15 total

I actually really enjoyed this book.  I guess I wasn't expecting to since it isn't normally what I reach for, and it was a nice surprise when I was gripped by the story's plot.  The courtroom drama is what brought the score down so low.  Other than that it was an enticing tale of depression and the aftermath of suicide.  I read a couple of reviews on goodreads that had stated Emily needed to "get over herself" and to "grow a pair and get help".  And while I agree that suicide isn't the way to go, I know depression, and I know the darkness that comes down on you.  It doesn't even feel like the world will ever be right again. 

No comments:

Post a Comment