Book Reviews of The Pact: A Love Story

The Pact: A Love Story
The Pact A Love Story
Author: Jodi Picoult
ISBN-13: 9780688170523
ISBN-10: 0688170528
Publication Date: 5/5/1999
Pages: 400
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 743

4 stars, based on 743 ratings
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

117 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 239 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
How well do you know your child? How many parents knew their child was suicidal before they killed themselves? As parents, we like to believe we know our children, that we are close to them and that they tell us everything. Those of that remember being teenagers ourselves, know that isn't actually true ;)

I was up until 3am finishing this book. I could not put it down. In typical Picoult style, there's the "shocking twist", but the deeper levels of the book - how much you really know about your kids - is what kept me interested. I have a 4 and 6 year old. The fact that they will one day be teenagers scares the heck out of me.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 60 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I'm glad I read this book. I almost didn't because of the teen suicide subject. But it was an excellent story. I did have a few issues with the things the character did but as usual Ms. Picoult made me love her characters and gave me a lot to think about. The story did not bore me at all and I couldn't wait to find out how it ended.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Clear some time to read this book, you will NOT want to put it down. My poor house, husband, and children were neglected while I read this book. I COULDNT STOP!! Ah, my stomach turned, and my hands were white knuckled till the very end. I LOVED IT!!! Love it when a book can have that kind of effect.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I may be the only person here who did not like this book as much as I had hoped I would. I think it was the idea that the idea was actually more interesting than the delivery.

The subtitle "A love story" is grossly understated. It seems everyone from the kids' parents down to the PI working for the defense is trying to get a little action from somewhere. It gets kind of ridiculous after awhile.

The beginning is interesting enough to get you into the story, the middle flounders, and by the end the poor misrepresented teenager who is on trial for the murder of his lifelong friend/girlfriend seems like an annoying wretch you're just kind of hoping gets locked away. I also had little sympathy for Emily (the girl who committed suicide), being it just ended up feeling like two spoiled kids gone wrong.

In the discussion part of the book Ms. Picoult said that it was just as much of a love story about Gus and Chris (mother and son) than anyone else. Really? It was hard to even really see that between Emily's parents forsaking their own marriage with hopes of trying to woo their neighbors away from their respective spouse. Chris' father, James, was also portrayed as an unbelievably cold hearted jerk but he redeems himself at the end so you feel that he got the short end of the stick in all this which I didn't like. If James was a victim, give me more than the last 3 pages of the book to say "Oh hey, he's really not so bad" which was pretty much what ended up happening.

I gave this book a 3 out of 5 because there were some qualities of the book such I liked. The emotions the parents were feeling on both sides (except Melanie Gold, Emily's mother, she just went psychotic) feasible and at some parts you kind of forgot about the 2nd rate soap opera going on and really felt your heart strings tug for them.

If you don't go into this wanting a compelling read on the subject of suicide, but a book about everyone else's drama that just somehow revolved around a suicide you can get something out of it.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
A wonderful book that delves into how little you can really know another person, even if that person is your best friend, husband, even child. Makes you question how much influence we really have over our children's lives, and how strong our relationships with our friends really are.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 203 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Jodi Picoult does indeed write well. Her prose and character development make it easy to get drawn into her books, however I simply did not like these people, except for the defense attorney. I finished the book because of the talented writing technique of Ms. Picoult, however, I am not inspired to pick up another of her books. Ms. Picoult prides herself on her research prior to writing, but along the way her editors missed 3 glaring errors that had me stopping and searching back among the chapters to make sure that what I had read earlier was indeed the correct point Ms. Picoult was attempting to make. If the errors were just slight, it would not have been so irksome, however one of the errors constitutes a major point in the defense's case.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Hard to put down. I also had a hard time with the ending but I guess it goes along with the story line...it doesn't always turn out the way you plan. Enjoy!
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book was okay, but not one of Jodi Piccoult's better ones. I found it predictable, although one of the things I do love about Jodi Piccoult's writing is how close you get to the characters. I find her books slow in the beginning and this one followed that path. There were things touched on in the book that never really developed, and I'm not sure why. True to form, however, Jodi Piccoult puts a twist on things at the end, which makes her one of my favorite writers. Even if it doesn't turn out to be one of your favorite Piccoult books, it's a good read.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was just "okay" for me. I found that it was easily predictable, however my heart was racing towards the end just wondering what would happen. Jodi Picoult books always have a great ending, but when I went to bed after just finishing the book I kept thinking about the vivid descriptions of the sucicide. Needless to say, I didn't sleep well and while this was a great read, it just didn't sit with me well afterwards.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on
Helpful Score: 2
Amazing book. I wasn't sure if I would like it because I don't usually read drama love stories, but this was great. I didn't want to put it down.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Wow! This book was awesome. The characters became a part of my life. I thought about them in the morning. I thought about them at night. I couldn't put the book down. This book is so captivating. Read it!
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 110 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Jodi Picoult is a favorite of mine. I think this is one of her better books. Once I started, I couldn't put it down. Even when I'd finished reading it, I carried it with me for days, it's a compelling story.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 151 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
It's an interesting read -- not the best Jodi Picoult book that I've read. There were some parts of the story the author held back on revealing and I don't know why -- the reader knew the information long before the details were revealed. I was also disappointed in the ending -- although I felt the fall-out from the ending was realistic.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 330 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Popular high-school swimming star Chris Harte and talented artist Em Gold bonded as infants; their parents have been next-door neighbors and best friends for 18 years. When they fall in love, everyone is ecstatic. Everyone, it turns out, except for Em, who finds that sex with Chris feels almost incestuous. Her emotional turmoil, compounded by pregnancy, which she keeps secret, leads to depression, despair and a desire for suicide, and she insists that Chris prove his love by pulling the trigger.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very good book. Towards the end, I could not put it down. Especially if you are into Court Room debates, you will enjoy this book. Pulls at the heartstrings and hold technicalities one would not expect.
Great Read.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 636 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The first time I read this book, it was in one sitting. And even though I remembered more-or-less how it would end, it still made for an exciting re-read.

It follows the time-skipping format, concluding in the same court room drama as _Mercy_ and _Nineteen Minutes_. It is a very realistic novel and more true-to-heart and it's no coincidence that the cover of my copy advertises that it's going to be made into a Lifetime movie. I wonder if it ever did...

It also introduces the recurring character, defense attorney Jordan McAfee who is quite likable in each of his sporadic appearances, especially his close relationship with his son.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Excellent Story.
It can be hard to read at times (in terms of subject matter) but most good novels are when well written.
You will truly feel the joy & pain each character feels throughout.
Awesome writer!
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 31 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
If you like Picoult, you will enjoy this book. It's very within character of other books she writes. Not one of my favorites, but it was a nice read. Didn't leave me really pondering anything like I have with some of her other books. If you've never read books by Jodi Picoult, I suggest starting with another title - Nineteen Minutes is better and still has teenagers as the subject.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a great book. A terribly sad plot but great story none the less. Another home run for Jodi Picoult.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was my second Picoult book. I think she does an excellent job dealing with the feelings and emotions of all characters involved. I can't imagine having to go through something like this from any perspective, and I hope I never do. This book was hard to put down, and I found myself getting wrapped up in the whirlwind of emotions throughout. I was very near tears a few times. And like the Picoult book I read right before this one, you never know quite how it's going to end up until the very end.

On the other hand, I did find some of it somewhat unrealistic, but I won't go into detail at the risk of being a spoiler.

That being said, I highly recommend the book. Definitely a tear jerker.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I did like this book, but I didn't LOVE it that way that I had hoped I would. I ended up not liking the characters Emily and Chris and really didn't understand why they did what they did (seemed very extreme). I like Jodi Picoult's novels quite a bit, this is not one of her best.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 53 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Not that hard to put down. Pretty predictable but still a decent book. Not JP's best.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on
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. Parents and children alike are best friends--so it's no surprise when Chris and Emily's friendship blossoms into something more. Read this book and enjoy the story of what happens when Emily is dead at seventeen with a gunshot wound inflicted by Chris as part of an apparent suicide pact.

Great book and a fast read.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 4 more book reviews
Enjoyed this book alot. It was the first Jodi Picoult book I have read and I have since read everyone she has put out. It is a deeply moving story of two families and the bonds they shared.
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A wonderful love story that captivates and is difficult to put down.
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Great story, my first of Picoult (have read most of them since.) Very sad, but moving story. As bad of a tragedy as the main story line is, the love between the two main characters is still somehow uplifting.
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Riveting tale of tragic young love and the consequences of having to live up to other people's expectations- especially people you love.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 18 more book reviews
Excellent book - both sad and thought provoking. Full of interesting chacacters and plot lines.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 6 more book reviews
In my opinion, not the best Jodi Picoult, but good. Interesting topic and worth reading
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my favorite author, haven't read one yet that disappointed
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 8 more book reviews
Page turner!! A very compelling story that forces you to see the point of view of each character.
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This was my first Jodi Picoult book, and I thought it was OK. I wasn't crazy about it, but I did like the fact that she tackled difficult subject matter. I'm hoping other Picoult books are better as I've hear great things about her work.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 450 more book reviews
A beautifully written tale of loss, not only death but the kind of paradigm shift that sends you spinning loose from all you thought your life was about. Picoult describes emotions with subtle, honest complexity. I look forward to reading more from this brave author. Don't miss this book.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 4 more book reviews
This is a wonderful novel. It made for a great discussion at my book club.
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I love all here books and this one is just as gripping
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 40 more book reviews
Chris Harte and Emily Gold have been made for each other since birth -their families have lived next to each other all their lives, Chris and Emily played together as children, and now, in high school, they've become the perfect couple. Which makes it all the more shocking when Emily winds up dead, apparently as part of a suicide pact she and Chris made. The book goes back and forth between the past, showing how everything developed, and the present, as Chris goes to jail and prepares to be tried for murder, and as both families are irreparably torn apart.
This is a book that I'm glad to have read, but wouldn't want to read again, because it is so wrenching and heartbreaking. It provoked a lot of discussion at a book club, for sure.
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This book was a page-turner. I really was engrossed in the story and the way in which the author really brought the characters to life!
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Just never finished reading this one...for some reason it sounded to depressing to me ..I hear it was great...I just must not have been in the right frame of mind to read it.I really do like all of her books.
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 33 more book reviews
A suicide pact between two teenage lovers. Did he do it? Can you really know what happens during intense emotional crisis.
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It's sad, but I think this book is more timely than I would care to guess. Have you seen the movie on the Lifetime movie network? I haven't! I'm just resting in the belief that the book is always better!
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I thought this book was a great read. Although I was confused as to why Emily was so depressed.
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This book is as usual, a very good Jodi book. It makes the reader want to continually read to get to the bottom of what really happened. It is about true love that most of us could not comprehend.
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A book that twisted and turned it's way through love, betrayal, and sadness. Amazing Picoult seems to write every angle of the story.
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The book was very enjoyable with its twists and turns and it was a quick read! However, this being the second Jodi Picoult novel I've read, I've found the characters and the roles of each character rather formulaic and recylced. I also didn't enjoy the ending; it didn't tie together well enough and there were quite a few characters that simply just "walked out" of the book without any idea of how the outcome of the trial affected them.
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Never thought I'd say "what a great book" about a story about teenage suicide, but this is a great book! I was addicted from page 1. It was the second Picoult I read, with Sisters Keeper the first & it was awesome. Intriguing, plot twists, the unexpected all woven into a love story of two teenagers. Fabulous without being too depressing. Recommended!!
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on + 11 more book reviews
Depressing but really good. Picoult is one of my favorites.
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I couldn't put it down! I read this book in a day! Excellent book, with every page drawing you in until you are certain you know the outcome... but do you? I really recommend this book!
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This is one of the best books i have read recently. It was my first book read that was writen by Picoult. Anyone can relate to the love that Emily and Chris had.
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great read
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on
Good book filled with twists and turns. However, not one of my favorite.
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It caught me from the beginning all the way to the end!
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Great book, I couldn't put it down
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Unbelieveably good story! You won't be able to put it down!
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If you are a Jodi Picoult fan, this is just another one of her marvelous books... if not, you should read it. She's a wonderful author.
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hard to put down...
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This one had me hooked in the beginning, but in the middle i was forcing myself to pick it up. But the end was very good. I would not recommend it if you have trouble with a dry book.
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Excellent novel!
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This is a riveting story about 2 families. It's a real page turner. Another great Picoult book!
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All of Jodi Picoult's books are so good. She is a wonderful writer.
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Excellent! Could hardly put it down!
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I loved reading this book. It's one of those special finds that makes you laugh and cry and really feel. Picoult wrote the love between Chris and Emily perfectly from the time they were newborns to the turmoil of high school. The heartbreak, anger, and confusion between the two families is so real that the characters seem more like real people than fiction. Another perfect book from Jodi Picoult.
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This is a book that I absolutely could not put down. If you read and liked any of Jodi Picoult's books including "My Sister's Keeper" you won't be disappointed with this one.
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superb read, I couldn't put it down last nite till I finished it!, I am so... tired this a.m.
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Another great read from Jodi Picoult!
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Another beautifully written page-turner from Jodi Picoult.
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Eh..

I wasn't very thrilled with this book. It was very predictable, and I could give a crud about the characters, they never seemed "real" to me.
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This was one of those books that I didn't want to stop reading until I got to the end, but paced myself because I didn't want it to end too soon. Great read. The characters are still on my mind.
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Love this author. Another one that is hard to put down.
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Great story! I just discovered this author, but am currently reading My Sister's Keeper and love it too!
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From the back of the book: "Jodi Picoult paints an incredible portrait of families in anguis, culminating in an astonishingly suspenseful courtroom drama as Chris finds himself on trial for murder. The Pact is storytelling at its best: wonderfully observed, deeply moving, and utterly impossible to put down." I whole-heartedly agree.
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excellent book. couldn't put it down
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AWESOME book. The best I have read in a while.
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Good story, started to read it, realized I had read it before!
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An engrossing story. Sometimes predictable, but still, a great read.
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An amazing, heart-wrenching story of love in many forms.
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A cast of subtly drawn characters caught up in a tradgy as timeless and resonant as those of the Greeks or Shakespeare.
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I though the book was OK, but I wasn't completely enamored with it. The story is like other books I have read such as "A Map of the World"... two couples are best friends, one of their children dies, parents of dead child blame other parents. Picoult has created some sympathetic characters, but as a whole the book's plot was somewhat contrived and hard to believe.
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Excellent... as all her books are!
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I thought I would like this book more. It took me a while to get me into it and I was never fully interested.
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Friendship, loyalty, lifelong love -- and teenage suicide. A riveting, timely, and terrifying novel from an acclaimed writer who skillfully intertwines the intimate perceptions of Anne Tyler with the dramatic tension of John Grisham
The Golds and the Hartes, neighbors for eighteen years, have always been inseparable. So have their children-and it's no surprise that in high school Chris and Emily's friendship blossoms into something more. But the bonds of family, friendship, and passion-which had seemed so indestructible -- suddenly threaten to unravel in the wake of unexpected tragedy.
When midnight calls from the hospital come in, no one is ready for the truth. Emily is dead at seventeen from a gunshot wound to the head. There's a single unspent bullet in the gun that Chris pilfered from his father's cabinet-a bullet that Chris tells police he intended for himself. But a local detective has doubts about the suicide pact that Chris describes.
This extraordinary, heart-rending novel asks questions that every parent faces: How much do we know about our children? Our friends?
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This book is great! I cant imagine having to go through what these friends went through. Fantastic. My favorite of Picoults books so far!
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Another interesting book by Jodi Picoult.
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Jodi Picoult has a knack for writing heart-wrenching, emotional stories that will have a lasting effect on the reader long after they have read the last page. This book is no exception. The lives of the Hartes and the Golds, neighbors and best friends for 18 years, is thrown into turmoil when 17-year-old Emily Gold is killed in the presence of her boyfriend, 18-year-old Chris Harte. Was it suicide, as Chris maintains, or murder? Riveting reading.
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This is the first Jodi Picoult novel I have read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and will definitely be reading more of her work.
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For eighteen years, the Hartes and the Golds have liverd next door to each other, sharing everything from Chinese food to chicken pox to carpool duty. Parents and children alike are best friends... so it's no surprise that in High School Chris and Emily's friendship blossoms into something more. They've been soul mates since they were born....
I really enjoyed reading this author...
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Super book. I found it hard to put down.
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Got four stars on Amazon and this is one of their reviews:
Teenage suicide is the provocative topic that Picoult plumbs, with mixed results, in her fifth novel. Popular high-school swimming star Chris Harte and talented artist Em Gold bonded as infants; their parents have been next-door neighbors and best friends for 18 years. When they fall in love, everyone is ecstatic. Everyone, it turns out, except for Em, who finds that sex with Chris feels almost incestuous. Her emotional turmoil, compounded by pregnancy, which she keeps secret, leads to depression, despair and a desire for suicide, and she insists that Chris prove his love by pulling the trigger...
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An incredibly moving story. It was a page turner right fromt he beginning, I couldn't put it down.
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This story is a disturbing and realistic tale of a suicide pact between two teens. Becomes mired in legal scenery the last half of the book.
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As usual with her books I finished it in a matter of days but the ending was disappointing, I'm used to endings from her that completley throw me off from what I expected. Not my favorite by Picoult but still good.
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I found the first half of the book a little slow. I did not agree with the ending, but it was still an enjoyable book.
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I'm still sobbing...!
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One of Picoult's best. For 18 yrs the Hartes and the Golds have lived next door to each other, sharing everything. Parents and children alike are best friends--so it's no surprise that in high school Chris and Emily's friendship blossoms into something more. They've been soul mates since birth. When the midnight calls come in from the hospital, no one is prepared for the appalling truth: Emily is dead at 17 from a gunshot wound to the head, inflicted by Chris as part of an apparent suicide pact. Suspenseful story.
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My first encounter with Jodi Picoult. Though the story was somewhat dark, I was caught up by her amazing writing and now I'm addicted!
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Another great read by J PIcoult!
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Jodi Picoult is the most phenomenal writer. This was the first book I read by her, and I could not put it down. I immediately went and got every single other one of her books. This book is a difficult one to read for a parent, regardless of whether or not they are the same age. Jodi really makes the reader feel for every character.
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A super engaging read! A cliff hanger ending with a somewhat unfinished feeling ending. Also a very serious subject that is deeply explored.
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Well written; a great story! I really got involved with the characters, so much so, that at one point I had to put the book down and ponder what just happened. I was stunned, and had to reprocess the whole situation before I could go on. I will not get more specific because I don't want to spoil it, but this is a book most anybody will enjoy.
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Another great Picoult novel!
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Once again Ms. Picoult has written a completely mesmerizing tale of a sensitive subject, suicide. I simply cannot put her books down & this one was no exception!
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An amazing story...I read this for a book group I was in and we all LOVED it and had quite a good discussion about it. This book really stayed with me long after I was done reading it.
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Excellent, engrossing book. I'd definitely give it 5 stars.
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Wonderful book.
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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.
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A love story. A heartache. The truth.
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Loved IT!!
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Excellent story of a great love
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As always a great read
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A good story line, but I must say that I was disappointed in the endingNot the usual Jodi Picoult twist at the end.
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good story
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Completely engrossing. I found myself wanting to peak at the end of the book because I just had to know. Great book!
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Friendship, loyalty, lifelong love -- and teenage suicide. A riveting, timely, and terrifying novel from an acclaimed writer who skillfully intertwines the intimate perceptions of Anne Tyler with the dramatic tension of John Grisham

The Golds and the Hartes, neighbors for eighteen years, have always been inseparable. So have their children-and it's no surprise that in high school Chris and Emily's friendship blossoms into something more. But the bonds of family, friendship, and passion-which had seemed so indestructible -- suddenly threaten to unravel in the wake of unexpected tragedy.

When midnight calls from the hospital come in, no one is ready for the truth. Emily is dead at seventeen from a gunshot wound to the head. There's a single unspent bullet in the gun that Chris pilfered from his father's cabinet-a bullet that Chris tells police he intended for himself. But a local detective has doubts about the suicide pact that Chris describes.

This extraordinary, heart-rending novel asks questions that every parent faces: How much do we know about our children? Our friends?
What if . . .? As its chapters unfold, alternating between an idyllic past and an unthinkable present, The Pact paints an indelible portrait of families in anguish . . . and creates an astonishingly suspenseful courtroom drama, as Chris finds himself on trial for murder.

It's rare to find a writer who combines Alice Hoffman's gift for evoking everyday life in pellucid prose with a remarkable ability to create a legal page-turner that will keep you up all night reading, but this is such a book. The Pact rings true: wonderfully observed, truly moving, frightening, and utterly impossible to put down.
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Vivid and original tale. Well told, suspenseful and engaging.
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LOVE Jodi Picoult. LOVE. Great Romeo & Juliet story.
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Excellent Read
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One teen is dead another survives an apparent suicide pact
reviewed The Pact: A Love Story on
My first Picoult book! Great story.