Throwback Book Review of The Pact by Jodi Picoult (Nora)

November 10, 2011 at 9:59 pm Leave a comment

This is a book review of The Pact by Jodi Picoult that I wrote in 2008 for an English assignment. Enjoy!

Convicted of his girlfriend’s death, seventeen-year-old Christopher Harte has to face cruel hardships as he spends time in jail and goes to court. The Pact, by Jodi Picoult, chronicles the chilling story of Chris’s trial. Tensions run high with Chris’s lawyer, Jordan McAfee, as he tries desperately to win a seemingly impossible case.

The novel jumps back and forth between past and present. In the past, Chris Harte and Emily Gold are growing up and so is their relationship. The segments of the story in the past take the reader from when Chris and Emily were born all the way up until the night of Emily’s death. In the present, Chris is in court, he has been accused of the murder of Emily Gold, his best friend and girlfriend of many years. Also, The Pact is told from many different points of view. The story is seen through the eyes of Melanie Gold, the mother of Emily; Gus Harte, the mother of Chris; Chris, the boy on trial; Jordan McAfee, Chris’s lawyer; as well as other characters. The interchanging views of the story give it much more depth and make the story easier to understand. Another interesting aspect of the book was the story’s basis on a topical issue. Picoult is known for writing books that are “ripped from the headlines”, meaning she takes news articles and turns them into fictional stories. The themes explored in The Pact are decidedly relevant to current news stories.

The book has a strong legal element and the scenes that take place in the courtroom are often technical and lengthy. At times it is hard to understand what is happening because of the legal terminology. There are also some scenes in the book where the snappy dialog between the opposing lawyers and the judge is hard to follow. Besides that, the writing is easy to understand and the story is engaging. The use of more than one point of view is similar to the books Breaking Dawn and the Gossip Girl series where the story is also told through more than one set of eyes. The Pact is definitely worth the time; its confusing and changing themes are portrayed with eloquence and simplicity and the story is unforgettable.

 

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