Friday, August 17, 2012

Review: The Pact

I read The Pact as the first book for a new book club my best friend and I started. We're hoping this gets of the ground!

I chose this book. I wanted a light read that touched on difficult subject matter. I got what I wished for.

Here is the summary from Amazon:
Until the phone calls came at 3:00 a.m. on a November morning, the Golds and their neighbors, the Hartes, had been inseparable. It was no surprise to anyone when their teenage children, Chris and Emily, began showing signs that their relationship was moving beyond that of lifelong friends. But now seventeen-year-old Emily has been shot to death by her beloved and devoted Chris as part of an apparent suicide pact—leaving two devastated families stranded in the dark and dense predawn, desperate for answers about an unthinkable act and the children they never really knew.

I'm very picky about dialogue and, in that regard, the book was incredibly disappointing. On another negative note, I couldn't bring myself to like the adults in the book or empathize with them in any way. I would have liked the book a lot more if the main focus remained on Chris and Emily.

Other than those things, I loved it. The book made me think. Of course, teen suicide and depression aren't upbeat things so don't read this if you're looking to be cheerful.

While the story was about families and growing up, what I kept coming back to was how Emily and Chris didn't know a world in which they didn't share everything. When they could no longer do that, things came unglued.

This book is a reminder that life can fall apart quickly when one person is everything to us. Chris is Emily's boyfriend, best friend and, in some ways, like a sibling... and vice versa.

At one point, Emily says to Chris “I have this problem. I broke up with my boyfriend. And I'm pretty upset about it, so I wanted to talk to my best friend. The thing is, they're both you.”

Yep. That is a problem.

In the end, Chris is left with anger when he realizes, despite Emily being his whole world, he didn't know her inside and out like he thought he did. Some things can't be shared, even with our other half. In Chris and Emily's confusion, they made choices they wouldn't have made if all the facts were on the table.

And, we're left with questions to ponder.

How much should we risk for those we love? How close have we all been to coming undone? And, if someone we loved was, would we know it?


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