Review: The Pact by Jodi Picoult

The Pact – Jodi Picoult – 4 stars

The Pact (JP)

Didn’t cry. HA.

This is basically the story of two life-long best friends (Chris and Emily) who get caught up in a suicide/suicide pact/murder. It’s complicated. The event happens right at the beginning of the book, but that’s not to say we know exactly what occurs.

The book alternates between flashbacks (more on those later) and ‘the course of justice’, as Chris, being the only survivor, is immediately under suspicion.

I think that what makes this book special is the way the character relationships develop, and not just Chris and Emily’s, but their parents’. While the characters were generally very strong and believable, there were a number of times that cliché dialogue really lowered the credibility for me. NO ONE SPEAKS LIKE THAT.

The flashbacks were crammed with symbolism and – does it count as foreshadowing if we already know what happens? At times the symbolism was a little heavy and clumsy, but there were a couple of incidents that really helped clarify Chris’ reasoning, and added the layer of tenderness and personal attachment that the book really needed. Also – the shooting of the dog? Really? As if half of your readers haven’t heard of Of Mice and Men, Jodi. Shame on you.

Another thing was the excessive amount of sex included. This isn’t just Chris and Emily; this is practically every character we meet (including both their parents!). What makes it a little awkward is that I’m reading about people twice my age and hearing about their lives to a huge degree of intimacy. WE JUST MET. I don’t want to know!

The ending left many strings left untied, many side-stories incomplete, and that was something I really loved. We got our main, satisfactory ending, providing just enough closure without rendering the whole book completely incredible.

This was actually my first Jodi Picoult book, and although I feel that I may need a short recuperation period to drag me out of the depression I shared with these characters, I will definitely be revisiting her writing.

Has anyone else read this? What were your thoughts?

Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!

~Dani

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