The Pact by Jodi Picoult
After living in side by side houses for the past eighteen years, the Harte and Gold families could never have imagined there would come a time where a tragedy would strike that would rip apart the bond they shared. Their children, Chris Harte and Emily Gold, had grown up together only 3 months apart in ag; both sets of parents had high hopes for the relationship that was beginning to form between the two and there was no doubt in anyone's mind that Chris and Emily would marry once they were older. All those hopes and dreams were dashed in an instant and lives were changed forever on the night that the two families were called down to the hospital - the Hartes, to take their injured son home; the Golds, to identify the body of their daughter. Now it is up to the courts to find out what really happened that night at the carousel, and it's up to the parents to figure out what signs they could have missed that led their children to make the decisions they made on that evening.
She has done it again, folks! I have read a few reviews from others who have read this novel, most of which were quite negative. I can understand that people might find this book hard to swallow, but isn't that one of the contributing factors to its greatness? In my mind, if a book has you so riled up and you continue to think about it long after you've set it back on the shelf, it is a great book. This novel is exactly that. While the topic of teen suicide and adolescent relationships may not sit well with most, it is a fact of life. Jodi Picoult has done an excellent job of reminding readers what it was like to be a teenager - how everything seemed life or death and decisions were made based on emotions rather than rationale; unfortunately in some circumstances this leads to tragic outcomes, as is the case in this novel.
Jodi Picoult is, in my opinion, one of the most talented authors out there right now (I can't claim to have read novels by all the authors out there, so I base that statement strictly off of the authors I am familiar with). Jodi is able time and time again to create characters that you can connect with, and that you almost miss once you've finished the book. Her plots are so intricate, full of such rich detail and background that there are times I feel like I've watched a movie, I can picture everything so clearly. I cannot wait to read more of her work and I hope she will continue to write for a long time to come. If you haven't given her novels a chance yet, start now!