Book Review: The Pact

The PactThe Pact by Jodi Picoult

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have read a large number of Jodi Picoult novels. I am usually fairly impressed by her well planned and exceptionally researched novels. However, this was not the case with The Pact. I should have known to stay clear when I saw the cover read “Now a Lifetime Network Movie!”

This story was a painfully slow read. I will admit, I was so unmoved by this book that I remember the plot, I remember the beginning, and the ending, but the details – the names of the characters and the locations – elude me.

Most of the story focuses on an event that took place when playmates Emily and Chris were young kids. Emily winds up so traumatized by this haunting memory that she seems to cease to function after losing her virginity to Chris as teenagers. After growing more and more depressed, Emily forces Chris into a suicide pact. Surprise, surprise, Chris lives. In true Picoult style there is courtroom drama, families and friends ripped apart, and a predictable verdict. Yada, yada, yada.

Out of everything in the whole book, I remember the ending most clearly. Picoult has a way of leaving the reader guessing at the end of a novel. I will not give away the ending but I will say I was not left wondering so much as an initial “What the…” and then I didn’t care that much. The ending was so ambiguous that I put down the book even more confused that when I started. I didn’t even try to figure out what was meant.

This story had great promise. I am sure the die-hard Picoult fans will still enjoy it. I, however, found the plot to be poor executed with one-dimensional characters that I just could not connect with whatsoever. The story just got lost in the details but at the same time did not have enough details to be engaging. It was a quick (yet so slow), mindless read and once it was over it was difficult to recall even major character names and places. Read it at your own risk – or if you just like to waste time.

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