Chris and Emily have been friends, and closer than friends, for as long as anyone can remember. Their parents fully expect them to get married in the near future. So something must have gone dreadfully wrong when it looks like the two have entered a suicide pact, but only one of them dies.
Well, this wasn’t what I was expecting. Or maybe it was, but I had been hoping for something else. I wanted more focus, and more information from Emily before her death. I wanted Melanie to answer some of my questions, and for her to realise there was more at stake than she thought.
I felt frustration, and an inability to connect with the characters. I didn’t want to see inside the jail. I didn’t care what happened to Chris. I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t suicidal, why he didn’t see the same ways out as his cellmate. Ugh! He frustrated me!
I did want to know what really happened that night, and drawing out knowledge of that until the end just drove me nuts. I almost skipped to the end just to find out, because I was so sick of the filler and the ‘feels’. This novel did take me on an emotional rollarcoaster for some of the time. I tend to feel deeply with characters, usually regardless of how well they are written.
Being open-minded, I like to think that Gus and Michael could have had something happening there. And the ending is just unsatisfactory. Melanie is such a cop out. It seems so unfair that Gus and James should also lose their friends, as well as their potential daughter-in-law.
Everything was set up perfectly. You could see that the story was constructed to fit a particular plan. There didn’t seem to be any spontaneity in the novel.
I guess what Picoult likes to do is draw in her readers, and then leave them wanting more at the end. I get that, but it still annoys me. The ending to this one, with the exception of the very last page which seemed to have been put in just to torment readers, is actually one of the more concrete ones.
I also bought Vanishing Acts at the same time as this one. I’ve just started into it, and can’t believe it’s another jail storyline. Seriously, it’s not my thing.
Sorry to all of you who love Jodi Picoult’s works – I’ll agree that they are well researched, and that they aren’t meant to be comfortable reads (they should be thought provoking), but I simply couldn’t love The Pact.