Title: The Pact
Author: Jodi Picoult
Published: (first) 1998
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. After all, they’ve been soul mates since they were born.
So when midnight calls from the hospital come in, no one is prepared: Emily is dead at seventeen from a gunshot wound to the head, inflicted by Chris as part of an apparent suicide pact. He tells police the next bullet was meant for himself. A local detective has her doubts. And the Hartes and Golds must face every parent’s worst nightmare and question: do we ever really know our children at all?
Five stars isn’t enough for a book that has the power to make a reader believe so intensely. It’s a testament to Picoult’s talent when you can create a favourite book only to be topped by a latter book by the same author, and then again and so forth.
This is one of those rare books you need to read carefully because if you miss a word, you’re excluding yourself from witnessing one of life’s pure beauties.
Despite my continual praises that Jodi is my favourite author, I think I’ve put down all her books at some point and come back to it weeks or months later. Her books are literally double the size of a normal novel and with the types of storylines, writing, and characters she produces, I’ve struggled to read it in a continual gulp over the course of a few days.
The Pact, however, I read bit-by-bit and chunk-by-chunk every day and it totally absorbed me, every step of the way.
Like most of her stuff, I don’t always admire the characters because I can relate to them or they seem like me, or something I’ve done, etc. Sometimes I feel so strongly about her characters because I can, yet cannot understand them. She brings such rich flavour, like she’s cooking up a grand dish with herbs and spices and sauces from here and there and creates something you can’t explain but appreciate. The focus of the story — the death of Emily — is how I’d describe that. Her boyfriend, best friend, and soul mate is the one I connected and understood. Both wowed me.
I don’t like revising the book description in my reviews — after all you can just read the blurb for that. I do love expressing just how much I feel for a book and this one, my Novel Girl readers, went straight to my Best Everrr shelf. Let me point out between books I’ve finished reading and couldn’t finish I sit somewhere around 300 overall. Only 47 have made it to this shelf. This book is incredible, and anyone who loves drama, crime shows, family dynamics, but most importantly those rare love stories like The Notebook or Titanic where it’s so pure and rich you pine after it for years afterward, will fall for the outstanding power of this read.
5+ stars! Mandatory reading.
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