This is my review for The Pact by Jodi Picoult.
The Pact is a novel about a possible suicide pact between two teenagers.
Chris and Emily grow up together and as teenagers, begin a romantic relationship. Everything is seemingly perfect until one night changes both families forever. After a late night phone call, both families are called to the hospital, where they learn that Emily is dead from a gunshot wound to the head and Chris says they had intended to carry out a suicide pact.
Every other chapter is a flashback to before the pact. We see when and how their parents met, we see them as best friends playing together as children and we see them become teenagers who fall in love. The rest of the chapters are present day. We learn about the shooting and pact, we learn about the reasons behind the suicide pact, we find out what becomes of Chris and also what happens between Chris and Emily’s families.
I watched the movie adaptation of this novel years ago and I liked it, but after reading the novel, I realized just how much they left out of the movie, including some things that I thought were important for the character of Emily. I can’t go into detail because there would be way too many spoilers. They also completely left out a whole chunk of what happened the Chris after Emily’s death.
I really enjoyed this novel. It deals with a heavy topic and wasn’t always the easiest read. It was heartbreaking at times but there were also moments of lightness. There are some things that I didn’t agree with. I didn’t like the fact that Emily had all these secrets and reasons for her decisions but nobody but the reader ever knows what most of them are. I didn’t like some of the things that surrounded Chris, sometimes he wasn’t the most truthful and that didn’t help anything. I also really disliked Emily’s mother in the days after her death. I understand that she just lost her daughter and in one of the worst ways. I get that she is confused and shocked but some of the things that she does, especially when it comes to her husband, just made me want to slap her and tell her to snap out of it.
Obviously I knew how it was going to end because I watched the movie, which I wish I hadn’t done before reading the book, but I was surprised by some of the things that I learned about Chris and Emily, which were of course things that were kept out of the movie but I think were really important pieces of information that should have been included. I think that, had I not watched the movie first, I might have been a little surprised by the ending.
For the most part, I loved the characters. They were real and you felt for them. The whole novel had that real feel. Suicide happens everyday and what the characters went though and what they felt and thought are what I’m sure many of the people directly affected by suicide deal with as well.
All in all, I really liked the book. I gave it 5 stars and would recommend it to everyone. I’m looking forward to adding more Jodi Picoult novels to my reading list in the future.