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The Pact

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  232,398 Ratings  ·  9,161 Reviews
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-- they've grown so close it seems they have always been a part of each other's lives. Parents and children alike have been best friends, so it's no surprise that in high school Chris and Emily's friendship blossoms into somethi ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published August 29th 2006 by Avon (first published 1998)
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Ben Marcher As I remember, Chris was the only girl Emily ever had sex with. The sexual abuse came from that time the strange man in the bathroom (fingered her?) I…moreAs I remember, Chris was the only girl Emily ever had sex with. The sexual abuse came from that time the strange man in the bathroom (fingered her?) I think. But it's been a few years since I read this book so I might be off-base. Also, I think the art and the therapist's analysis can point to the fact that she felt abused by Chris, because he was always so pushy and demanded sex even though Em was never really ready.(less)

Community Reviews

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Jul 20, 2007 Jackie rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Lorelle
I am probably the only person in the world who HATED this book with such a white hot hate that you almost wonder if it was just the opposite. I'm reviewing it for the sake of Lorelle since it is the book that drew me into the lovely book club that I survived (or survived me) for several fun years.

To sum up, I wanted to tell the main character's girlfriend (I've forgotten all of their names, mercifully), to "get over yourself!!" I'm not giving anything away when I reveal that the "pact" of the ti
May 28, 2008 Stacey rated it really liked it
I liked this better than My Sister's Keeper as a whole, although I have some of the same complaints about it. This author is a master of making you believe in a story that makes exactly no sense and making you care about characters who behave like exceptional idiots*. If I thought about any of it for very long, it was all mind-numbingly stupid. But I have to admit that the story is engrossing and satisfying in the end.
PS--this is not a book for the bashful; there's a lot of sex in it, of the aw
Nov 12, 2007 Britta rated it it was amazing
"He kissed her so gently she wondered if she had imagined it."

"To say there had been a loss was ludicrous; one lost a shoe or a set of keys. You did not suffer the death of a child and say there was a loss. There was a catastrophe. A devestation. A hell."

"[He] closed his eyes. How could he convey to someone who'd never even met her the way she always smelled liek rain, or how his stomach knotted up every time he saw he shake loose her hair from its braid? How could he describe how it felt when s
Apr 24, 2008 Katherine rated it liked it
This is the first Jodi Picoult book that I have read. I admit that she is a good writer and I found myself unable to put the book down; however, I felt that there was a lot lacking to make this a solid GOOD book. In my opinion, though this book was supposed to be a drama/love story, it severely lacked drama. I felt it was worthy of three stars rather than two solely because I completely fell in love with the main character, Chris Harte. He was the only character that I felt was well-developed an ...more
Jun 10, 2013 Marcia rated it did not like it
Why do so many people seem to love/adore Jodi Picoult novels? I gave her a try with My Sister's Keeperand admittedly, I didn't hate it, although I did take issue with the plot. However, The Pact has now completely and successfully put me off all/any Picoult novels.

There are so many reasons why I hated this book; I find it hard to pick one major thing that irritated me. The things I do hate about it are...integral parts of the story.

WARNING. SPOILERS AHEAD. (Not that I even recommend you read thi
Apr 18, 2008 Jule rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gosh, I want to hate her for writing books like this...

Throughout the whole book, I was thinking about what rating to give it, because there were parts that blew my mind and others that were just very slow, yet significant for the storyline. I even caught myself thinking: "Ha, she forgot to mention that" but then it happens on the last page. ;)
The end of "The Pact" convinced me again though that I can't give this book less than 5 stars. There aren't many books where I really sympathise or feel w
Feb 28, 2007 K rated it really liked it
How did three of my friends end up reviewing this book on the same day, especially when at least two of them didn't read it that recently? Did I miss a review contest or something?

Anyway, I couldn't resist adding my opinion to the pile. This was my first Jodi Picoult book, and as I read it, I was captivated. She chooses good topics, and her writing really pulls you in. At the time, reading her can feel intellectually stimulating as her books raise interesting psychological questions.

However, the
Apr 11, 2008 Donna rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 24, 2012 Caitlin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, hated, 2012, 1-star, own
This is more of a rant than a review but this book is pure trash so I’d rather talk about its issues. While reading other reviews for The Pact I only found one person, before I gave up, that had the same problem as me. It got to the point that I wondered if I read the same book as everyone else because I don’t know how anyone could have read this book and not taken issue with a very glaring problem that happens many times throughout the story.

The Pact starts off with a boy and a girl, who are l
Aug 23, 2009 Brad rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Stephen, Marcicle
Recommended to Brad by: Chris Simkulet
***Not sure about spoilers here. I think I danced around things pretty well, but you may want reconsider your decision to read further in case I messed up.***

I am a bit disappointed. I was so close to loving this novel and its author, and I really did want to love them, but the denouement really let me down.

In the two books I've read now, Jodi Picoult sets out to deliver a big twist that will knock us on our asses. But she telegraphs the big twist in a way that removes any possibility of surpri
Nov 30, 2007 Lain rated it liked it
After you've read a few Jodi Picoult books, you come to expect certain things. A compelling, flashpoint topic (teen suicide, stigmata, school shootings, sexual abuse, etc.) that rips a small New England community apart. Courtroom drama. Finely wrought family dynamics. A maverick lawyer, a quirky judge, and a lot of angst. Tons of plot twists and turns.

All of the above were present in "The Pact," a story of the death of a teenage golden girl, with her longtime boyfriend accused of the murder --
Jan 25, 2008 Erin rated it did not like it
I hated this book. I was especially angry that I couldn't find it at the library and had to go all over looking for it, and all that effort was wasted. I'm not sure exactly why we read it for book club, because the main female character was the complete opposite of strong. She was mealy-mouthed and pathetic, but I got the feeling that we, the readers, were supposed to sympathize with her anyway. As opposed to the author implying, "here is a despicable example of a woman, one who gets pregnant an ...more
May 18, 2009 Emily rated it really liked it
I bought this book merely because a girl in a bookstore approach me and asked me if I would like to buy her copy off her. She said she loved the book and she wanted money to buy another one of Jodi Picoult's books. I hadn't ever read anything of Picoult's before, I'd only heard that if you read My Sisters Keeper you should keep a box of tissues handy. I said yes, because hey its not every day that someone approaches me in a bookstore and I like a bit of spontaneity.

It took me a while to bother
Sonya Simmons
Oct 09, 2007 Sonya Simmons rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
I picked up this book based on recommendations from friends. I already loved Jodi Picoult from My Sister's Keeper, The Tenth Circle, and Nineteen Minutes. Yet again, she did not disappoint.

I don't know what to say about the book without sounding is a great story about teen love and commitment.

I am always amazed at how deeply I feel I know Jodi's characters. Right now Chris is sticking in my mind and how often I just wanted to shake him and say "Tell someone! Don't be a hero!" But, i
Rose Ann
Oct 29, 2008 Rose Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is a well-written, gripping and thought-provoking novel. The Pact is an extremely emotional tale and it is impossible not to be moved by it. Jodi Picoult writes so well and so beautifully.

The book alternates between the past, tracing the history of the two main characters, Chris and Emma's relationship, and the present, as Chris faces an uncertain future. Due to the novel having multiple narrators, the reader gets to see all sides of the story and this adds to the intrigue of the plot. The
Jul 11, 2011 Parvathy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: sentimental book lovers,jodi picoult fans
Recommended to Parvathy by: goodreads
The Pact by Jodie Picoult is one of those rare books which made me feel so helpless that I started crying. There were parts were I wished I could just jump into the book and stop the characters from making all the wrong decisions. The story was rich and has its own charisma which made me want to read it in the first place. Granted I knew what I was getting in to provided it was a Jodie Picoult book after all but I was not prepared for the onslaught of emotions which were headed my way. The story ...more
Oct 05, 2014 Patrizia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
Es war super! Erschreckend, gut durchdacht, fesselnd, in die Irre führend, anfixend!
Nov 07, 2008 Elin rated it liked it
I'll admit that Picoult can tell a story and keep me interested, but she has some seriously annoying writing tics that almost made me stop reading. Some examples: "...,' he said softly"; "...,' she said thickly"; and (my favorite) "...,' he said, his eyes shining." Blech. Spare me! If only I had a dollar for every time I had to read one of these trite phrases. Is there not some other way to convey that someone is speaking softly than by saying "softly"?

Also, someone needs to re-edit this book b
Nov 16, 2015 Denise rated it really liked it
Jodi Picoult delivers another excellent novel about family relationships, friendships, courtroom drama, a love story, suicide and so much more. This certainly is a page turner and one that could lead to a great bookclub selection. Picoult's novels are emotionally draining because she skillfully writes about problems that exist in society. 4 stars
Jan 24, 2008 Vanessa rated it really liked it
Great book about the struggles of being a teenager. I read this with my youth book club. They loved it, but you know teens, they like the dark stuff.

The Pact: A Love Story, by Jodi Picoult

We read this book as a part of our high school book club. By far, it was one of the student’s favorite books. They really related to the content. I had about 8 students, 7 girls and one boy read this book with my co-sponsor and I. My co-sponsor finished the book first and when I finally finished it, I called he
Mar 13, 2013 Vasia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
For me her best book. Loved the way she split the story between the girl's side of view and the boy's and how even if she shows you in the end what really happened you still walk away unsure of who was right.
Mar 08, 2016 Katie rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down. It was actually a pretty sad book. Talks about suicide pretty much the whole book. But its definitely a page turner. My favorite murder mystery/love story. It has great twists and a great story line. I loved it.

2017 Side note update- I was thinking about this book today and how much I loved it. So I wanted to update my review and add this below.

“You know, the mind is a remarkable thing. Just because you can't see the wound doesn't mean it isn't hurting. It scars a
Mar 30, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: not-too-shabby
This book, as my favorite of Jodi's, stands in for the whole Picoult oeuvre, which I read mostly over the course of one summer and which is the proving ground for the split in my reading personality -- snob vs. storylover. Picoult is sentimental, always takes on at least one Issue, and pretty much smacks you at the end of each chapter, if not each section, with pithy Theme Sentences, but she manages to avoid after-school specialiness almost totally (no, I don't know how that's possible). She als ...more
Rebecca McNutt
This book wasn't as good as I'd expected, but what disappointed me more than anything was how much of a jerk Emily was to Chris. Through memories, it's seen that Emily used Chris as a scapegoat for all her wrongdoings in childhood, like stealing a sex book from the local library and drinking alcohol. And then she kills herself and gets Chris implicated in her murder... and it's implied that she hates just about everyone and everything, and that perhaps Chris was just her escape, not her friend.

Liza Fireman
May 28, 2016 Liza Fireman rated it it was amazing
Jodi Picoult is a storyteller, a masterful one. She has everything to create the perfect story: the language, the plot, the developed characters, the relationships. A bit like Liane Moriarty, her mysteries are unconventional, domestic. But she is more on the dramatic, tragic side, while Liane Moriarty takes it with much more humor.
In this book, Picoult touches so many important issues, the strength of love, between lovers, between parents and children. But also, the notion of truth, in court, an
Apr 17, 2014 Christine rated it liked it
Shelves: chick-lit, audiobook
After you've read a few Jodi Picoult books, you come to expect certain things. A compelling, flash point topic (teen suicide, stigmata, school shootings, sexual abuse, etc.) that rips a small New England community apart. Courtroom drama. Finely wrought family dynamics. A maverick lawyer, a quirky judge, and a lot of angst. Tons of plot twists and turns.

All of the above were present in "The Pact," a story of the death of a teenage golden girl, with her longtime boyfriend accused of the murder --
By far my favorite book of Jodi Picoult's. I thought Plain Truth was my number one, but after reading The Pact, I've found a new number one! At first I wasn't sure that I would like the way the book was laid out with the "Now" & "Then", switching back and forth. But I came to realize after I was continuing to read and finished the book, thats what made the book so great. I loved going back "Then" because it gave you the truth and a walk through their life and how they became to where they ar ...more
May 05, 2008 Brandie rated it really liked it
Recommended to Brandie by: TheReadingKnitter/ Kasey
Shelves: read-2009
Wow. This story was intense. Had me on the edge of my seat until the very end. I'm gonna say this is my favorite Picoult book so far. And a great book club choice - can't wait to discuss at our meeting!
Sep 20, 2015 Barbara rated it liked it

Melanie and Michael Gold and Gus and James Harte have been neighbors and friends from the time Melanie and Gus were pregnant with their first children. The kids, Emily Gold and Chris Harte, grew up together, became a couple, and are now high school seniors preparing for college. As the story opens Emily and Chris are on a date at a local carousel when a shot is fired. Cut to the hospital: Emily, shot in the head, is dead; Chris is disoriented with 70 stitches for a scalp laceration. When the pol
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Mentor Texts 1 2 May 10, 2017 08:22PM  
HMSA Reads: Book Review: The Pact 1 4 Jan 08, 2017 10:58PM  
Play Book Tag: The Pact; 3 Stars 1 12 Nov 14, 2016 03:31PM  
Kindle Book Club ...: SPOILER ALERT, The Pact, Reading Complete 4 18 Jun 10, 2016 07:44PM  
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Play Book Tag: The Pact / Jodi Picoult. 4 stars 7 25 Mar 23, 2016 05:44PM  
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Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-three novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Leaving Time, The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Between the Lines, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister’s Keeper. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

Her new novel, SMALL GREAT THINGS, is available in hardcover, ebook, and aud
More about Jodi Picoult...

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“I, um, I have this problem. I broke up with my boyfriend, you see. And I'm pretty upset about it, so I wanted to talk to my best friend. [...] The thing is, they're both you.” 1692 likes
“I love you," he whispered, and that was the moment he knew what he was going to do. When you loved someone, you put their needs before your own. No matter how inconceivable those needs were; no matter how fucked up; no matter how much it made you feel like you were ripping yourself into pieces.” 979 likes
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