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The Pact [Paperback]

Jodi Picoult
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (422 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Mar 2008

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 that in high school Chris and Emily's friendship blossoms into something more. They've been soul mates since they were born.

When the midnight calls come in from the hospital, no one is prepared for the appalling truth: Emily is dead at seventeen from a gunshot wound to the head as part of an apparent suicide pact. The gun holds a single unspent bullet that Chris tells police he intended for himself, but a local detective has doubts. And the Hartes and Golds, in a single terrifying moment, must face every parent's worst fear: do we ever really know our children at all?


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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (20 Mar 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340963859
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340963852
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (422 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 151,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jodi Picoult received an A.B. in creative writing from Princeton University and a master's degree in education from Harvard. She is the author of seventeen novels including MY SISTER'S KEEPER(now a major film starring Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin), NINETEEN MINUTES, CHANGE OF HEART and HANDLE WITH CARE. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. Learn more at www.jodipicoult.co.uk.

Product Description

Review

The novelist displays an almost uncanny ability to enter the skins of her troubled young protagonists. (New York Times)

Picoult has become a master . . . It is impossible not to be held spellbound by the way she forces us to think, hard, about right and wrong. (Washington Post)

Jodi Picoult's fifth novel, THE PACT, is so good that we can't put it down . . . It is suspenseful, intelligently written, topical. (Detroit Free Press)

Picoult's characters are so compelling that the reader hopes this won't be the last time we meet. (USA Today)

Picoult is a writer of high energy and conviction, who has, in [THE PACT], brought to life a cast of subtly drawn characters caught up in a tragedy as timeless and resonant as those of the Greeks or Shakespeare . . . She forges a finely honed, commanding, and cathartic drama. (Booklist)

Anyone who doubts that there is any more vivid, original fiction being written must read THE PACT. Jodi Picoult has written a truly fine book, a piece of total contemporary America. (Anne River Siddons)

Engrossing . . . Picoult has a remarkable ability to make us share her characters' feelings of confusion and horror . . . THE PACT is compelling reading (People)

You will find this novel impossible to put down - and if you take it on holiday with you, just don't plan on doing any sightseeing until you've finished it! (Daily Mail)

'If you haven't yet read any of Picoult's novels get your hands on one . . . This story will make you wonder whether we ever know the people we love'. (You Magazine, South Africa)

Book Description

Emily and Chris mean to die together. But one of them is left alive. Jodi Picoult explores the heartbreaking issue of teen suicide in this deeply moving and impossible to put down novel.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
66 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Pact' with Interest 5 April 2009
By imla
Format:Paperback
There seems to me to be a lot of hype about Jodi Picoult. I forever see her books sold in bookstores and languishing in the bestseller lists. Being a serious reader and a lover of books I decided it was only right I read a book by Jodi Picoult.

I bought The Pact, a story about Chris and Emily, two teenage lovers who agree on a suicide pact but Emily dies and Chris survives. Was there a suicide pact though or is Chris lying? Was it really a murder that occured?

The story is written by alternating tellings of "then" and "now". The "then" deals with Chris and Emily's birth and the happy lives their families led. The now deals with the incident after the gunshot was fired and Emily died.

It is a cleverly written story and intrigues the reader. What really happened? Why did it happen? Who is guily? Who is innocent? What will happen next? The characters are deep and very realistic. I found myself really caring for them, caught up in their dramas and desperate for the right outcome of the trial to happen.

This is an interesting book and I would recommend it. I now look forward to reading other novels by the author.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Emotional and thought provoking 26 Aug 2007
By Molly
Format:Paperback
This is the second Jodi Picoult novel I have read.
After reading 'My Sister's Keeper' a friend recommended 'The Pact and I was not disappointed.

I read this book over 3 days in a busy holiday.
It kept me gripped from start to finish and I have since recommended it to a couple of people and am awaiting their feedback.
I am sure it will be positive :)

This story is very emotional and it is impossible not to be moved by it.
The novel tells the story of a suicide pact between 2 teenage lovers.
However, the suicide goes wrong and Emily dies, yet Chris survives.
Following this he is put on trial for murder.
There are several versions of that fateful evening drifting around, but only Chris knows the truth.
What really happened? And what will happen to Chris?

The characterisation is very strong, but I didn't feel for Chris as much as I expected I would.
This may be something to do with him being a teenage boy and me being a teenage girl, as opposed to the author's skill.
I also felt let down by the ending.
I predicted the outcome very early on, however I was surprised by a twist which occured leading to the end.

I would recommend this to older teenagers and adults who are looking for an intriguing and emotional read.
However, I would not suggest under 15s/16s reading it as there are some sexual scenes that may be unsuitable for that age.

Thanks for reading this review.
I hope it helped you decide whether to read 'The Pact' or not.
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87 of 92 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect 14 May 2006
Format:Paperback
The story of the pact is about a girl (emily) and a boy (chris) that have been together their whole life; they are next door neighbours. The story begins with the two of them found lying on a carousel, chris unconcious and emily shot through the head with a gun holding two bullets. It is fairly easy to draw your own conclusions from this situation, yet is it really as it seems? It it, as chris so valiantly claims, a suicide pact? As the story progresses we follow Chris's battle with the courts and his concience, whilst recieving snatches of Emily's past alone and with Chris that lead her to be possibly scuicidal. In addition to this the story follows the effect on the two families left behind; their guilt, separation and love. I found this book brilliantly written, the story and mystery beautiful. The relationship between Emily and Chris was passionate and I could feel it radiating off the page. My only complaints are that the court case was rather long, however compeling, and the ending, though satisfactory, does seem a little unlikely. Despite this it felt that these were small problems in comparison to the rest of the book. The book was almost perfect, reflecting well upon the way in which Emily's life is explained.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've just finished this book, which I've been reading for about a week. This is my 2nd Picoult book (the first was My Sister's Keeper, which btw was outstanding) and I have to say I love her writing style.

I disagree with one of the other reviewers who said that her characters and plots were not believeable - ok so there has been a scandal and a court case in the 2 I've read, and apparently most of her other books, but this doesnt make the characters seem less real. I would go to bed thinking "What is really wrong with Emily?" and "I can't believe that, poor Chris!". It was a bit like a mystery in the fact that you had to piece together what really happened between Chris and Emily and what their (Emily's, mostly) thoughts/motives were behind their actions. You are constantly assessing whether Chris was guilty, and what was going on with Em.

I also loved how Picoult went back and fourth from past to present and explored Chris and Emily's relationship from start to finish - its a real page turner as, on page one, you're immediately confronted with the death of a seemingly happy-go-lucky teenage girl. So by reverting between the lead up to Em's death and the continuing trial you are really kept on the edge of your seat. I'd have finished it much faster if I could have kept reading past 2am! Read this book!

I was unsure whether to give it 4 or 5 stars.
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