The positives: it was a good story, it drew me in fast, I wanted to keep reading especially as the story progressed. The negatives: Naming a main character Gus, JUST DIDN'T WORK. Every single time this name was mentioned, it was jarring. It is a man's name. I have NEVER heard of a woman named Gus. My brain thought of a man, then had to remember, NO, Gus is a woman. Very weird. I hated this. Gus and James. Who on earth would name a couple this? PLUS a prosecutor named Barrie. What does this author have with man names for women?
More weirdness: in her efforts to write creatively, and probably using a thesaurus a lot, the author uses verbs (????) like spooned, as in, "her body spooned his". Again, I found this jarring. It just didn't flow. It sounded....awkward. And this wasn't the only weird verb that broke the spell, and made me screw up my face and go, "What???" I'm an accomplished reader, a former English major, a reader of just about everything - but this doesn't work for me.
I also thought the author expected too many willing suspensions of disbelief from the reader. In real life, seriously, would a high schooler have gone along with aiding his supposedly beloved girlfriend to kill herself, just because she wants it? Come on. The kids are too smart these days for that. OK, you argue he DIDN't aid her. But bringing out Daddy's gun, and Daddy's bullets, just to NOT help his girlfriend commit suicide....it's a little far fetched. I think only a zombie would have complied with these kinds of requests.
The novel was thought provoking, and that seems to be what J. Picoult writes.
In my opinion, not the best Jodi Picoult, but good. Interesting topic and worth reading
Excellent story of a great love