Review: The Pact

Author: Jodi Picoult

Genre: Contemporary

Goodreads rating: 4/5

I did not plan on reading this book. How I came to read the book is a pretty weird story involving me getting locked out of my room and hanging out in the library. I did not expect to like this too much, as I am not really into contemporary, except for YA contemporary. However, I did find this a pretty interesting read.

First of all, the cover, which says A Love Story underneath the title is misleading. Though  it has romance in it, it definitely cannot be called a love story.

It is about two families, the Hartes and the Golds, who used to be great friends till seventeen year old Emily Gold is found with a bullet through her head. Her boyfriend Chris Harte who was with her at that time, is accused of murder.  He claims, that the two of them were planning to kill themselves as a part of a suicide pact.

As the story progressed, there were many parts I loved. I felt that the dynamic between the two families was very well written, as were the courtroom scenes. The scenes written from Chris’s perspective were also really good.

However, the one thing that bothered me throughout the story was Emily’s perspective. While I can understand that Emily had been through hell and back, the writing didn’t do her justice. 

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!

I felt that the detail of Emily being sexually abused as a child was quite unnecessary. I know that sexual abuse is a major issue that needs to be discussed etc, but it did not seem to fit in with the plot. I felt that the relationship between Emily and Chris being close to incest in Emily’s eyes is reason enough for her fear of intimacy. The effect of sexual abuse on her had anyways not been very well explained, in my opinion.

I also felt Emily’s depression could have had been better explained. It was not clear whether it was a consequence of abuse, and unwanted pregnancy, or not. The trauma Emily faces does not feel believable at all.

As for Chris, I felt that the his actions were characteristic of a rather immature teenager, and towards the end, it had been rather falsely glorified as love.

In spite of those, there were several scenes I loved. The dynamic between the families, and especially the way the tragedy brought Gus and Michael together was interesting. I also loved the courtroom scenes, in particular the scene with the art therapist. The prison scenes were also interesting, especially the concept of honor among thieves, and Steve Vernon’s character.

Before reading this, I wasn’t particularly interested in reading any of Jodi Picoult’s books. However, now I am interested in trying out more of her books, especially My sister’s keeper.

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