Monday, June 4, 2012

Book #15 - The Pact

BOOK #15: The Pact by Jodi Picoult
5/5 stars

I read this novel in mid-April, and I was hooked soon after I began it. I had read a few of Picoult's books before, including Salem Falls, a favorite. I was originally very against reading anything by Picoult because the first book of her's that I had heard about was My Sister's Keeper. My older sister described it to me, and not only did the plot sound depressing but it hit way too close to home, and I swore that I'd never read her novels. However, after I was convinced to read Salem Falls because of my love for the history surrounding the Salem Witch Trials, I fell in love with Jodi Picoult's storytelling skills and her courtroom drama. I still refuse to read My Sister's Keeper (sorry Kate haha) but after reading The Pact, I was eager to read more by this author.

The Pact is about a teenaged couple, Chris and Emily, who have known one another basically since before they were born. They grew up together, fell in love, and became inseparable. Their families were delighted, as the parents were all friends. Everything seemed perfect, until the illusion was shattered by a gunshot. Seventeen-year-old Emily is rushed to the hospital after being shot in the head, and dies of complications. (Don't worry this is not a spoiler! It happens right in the beginning!) Chris is the only known witness to his girlfriend, Emily's, death, making him the top suspect. His story is that the two lovers had formed a suicide pact, detailing that they both wanted to die and so they would die together. However, since Chris is left alive, not everyone believes his story. The aftermath of this tragedy tears families apart as they question how well they knew Chris and Emily, and if either of them were capable of taking a life.

This novel was absolutely wrenching but so incredible. I was drawn into the story: the flashbacks to  before that fateful night, and the aftermath of Emily's tragic death. Picoult crafted a beautiful narrative about how people deal with grief, and the secrets that people of all ages keep from those they love most. As she does with all of her novels, Picoult leaves the reader in suspense up until the very last page, and one cannot help but continue to think about it long after. I remember the day I finished this book, I sat and read it hungrily as I ate breakfast, tore myself away from the pages long enough to run to the gym for a Zumba class, then raced back home to sit for almost two more hours until I finished the book. I just had to know what happened. Surely, this is a sign of a book worth reading.

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