The Pact

The Pact: A Love Story

By Jodi Picoult

I’m torn about how many stars to give this one. On one hand, it was well-written and engaging. At no point did I consider not finishing it. On the other hand, it was not a very realistic or believeable story. There was one aspect of the ending that was ridiculously unbelievable and in the “discussion with the author” part at the end of my book, Jodi admitted she didn’t like the ending, but thought readers would hate her if she did something different. I can definitely see that she has matured because I’m sure she would go with her original ending had she written the book now.

Chris Harte and Emily Gold have grown up together their whole lives. No one is surprised when they start dating. When Chris is injured and Emily killed from a gunshot wound to the head, Chris says they made a suicide pact. Emily’s mother believes that Chris killed Emily, while her father believes he’s innocent. We don’t know what really happened until the end (although it’s not a surprise) at Chris’s murder trial.

I found it unbelievable that Emily showed zero signs of suicide and didn’t confide in anyone except Chris. The characters bothered me with their decisions, especially Chris and Emily. I really don’t like the subtitle “A Love Story” because Chris even admits at one point that Emily didn’t love him to do what she did. She didn’t consider the after effects for him. Chris’s story, when the truth was finally revealed, seemed like quite a stretch. I would recommend a different Picoult novel instead. 2 out of 5 chickadees singing.

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Picture Perfect Review

Picture Perfect

By Jodi Picoult

Genre: Women’s Fiction

3 out of 5 stars. This review contains slight spoilers. This is NOT the typical Jodi Picoult book. The story begins with a woman stumbling about in the snow. Will, a half Native American police officer, finds her and takes her home. She has amnesia. Will works to help her find out who she is. It turns out that she is Cassie, an anthropologist, who met a movie star and fell in love with him. They got married and from the outside, things look picture perfect. However, after Cassie goes back home, she realizes she was wandering around in the snow because she was leaving her famous husband, Alex Rivers, who sometimes beats her. He had a traumatizing childhood and Cassie feels like it is her job to heal him.

This book shows us the Cassie and Alex love story from the beginning. The amazing thing that this book did was it made you want to root for them, even though Alex was abusive. I think Picoult was trying to make the reader understand why a wife would stay with an abusive husband. There were a lot of good parts to their life together. But there were also dark moments. This is the only book about domestic abuse that I’ve read where I actually felt sorry for the abuser and understood why the wife was with him and didn’t feel like she could leave. (Even though there is no excuse for abuse ever.)

This book also shows the reader some of Will’s Native American heritage. Honestly, Will’s part of the story was just not that interesting to me. Another critique of this book is that it moved along at a very slow pace. There was no point where I felt like I couldn’t put the book down. It wasn’t full of the typical Picoult twists and turns.

I appreciate Picoult bringing awareness to domestic abuse. However, if you’re looking for a typical Picoult read, I would choose another of her books.

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Happy Birthday Book Tuesday! 10/14/14

Happy Birthday Book Tuesday! 10/14/14

Happy Birthday to all the books coming out this week!

1. I love Christmas-themed books! This one is about a family, where each child has their secrets, reuniting for Christmas.

2. This book was last week’s Waiting on Wednesday post! It’s a new Jodi Picoult novel about a woman investigating her mother’s disappearance.

3. Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography is an adult-version of a “choose your own adventure” book. I’m a big fan of Neil Patrick Harris so I’m looking forward to this book.

4. As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride is a look at the behind-the-scenes making of the iconic movie, written by the actor who played Westley. This movie is SUCH a classic!

***The photos and links above are from Amazon.com. I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews- they are 100% my personal, honest opinion! I do, however, receive a small commission when you purchase a book through Amazon by clicking one of the links above. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way.***

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Waiting on Wednesday- Leaving Time

Waiting on Wednesday- Leaving Time

Another Jodi Picoult book is coming out! I have mixed feelings on Picoult- her books suck me in, but they always end up being so similar to each other and formulaic. See a review of her Handle with Care book here. I can’t really help but keep reading them, though! The subject matter and premise of her books are just so interesting. Her new book is about a woman investigating the disappearance of her mother.

“Throughout her blockbuster career, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult has seamlessly blended nuanced characters, riveting plots, and rich prose, brilliantly creating stories that “not only provoke the mind but touch the flawed souls in all of us” (The Boston Globe). Now, in her highly anticipated new novel, she has delivered her most affecting work yet—a book unlike anything she’s written before.

For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident. Refusing to believe she was abandoned, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice’s old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts.

Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest: Serenity Jones, a psychic who rose to fame finding missing persons, only to later doubt her gifts, and Virgil Stanhope, the jaded private detective who’d originally investigated Alice’s case along with the strange, possibly linked death of one of her colleagues. As the three work together to uncover what happened to Alice, they realize that in asking hard questions, they’ll have to face even harder answers.

As Jenna’s memories dovetail with the events in her mother’s journals, the story races to a mesmerizing finish. A deeply moving, gripping, and intelligent page-turner, Leaving Time is Jodi Picoult at the height of her powers.” (Description from Amazon.com)

***The link and description are from Amazon.com. I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews- they are 100% my personal, honest opinion! I do, however, receive a small commission when you purchase a book through Amazon by clicking one of the links above. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way.***

Tell me in the comments what YOU think of Jodi Picoult and whether or not you’re looking forward to this novel!

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Handle With Care Review

Handle with Care

By Jodi Picoult

Published by Washington Square Press in 2009

Genre: Legal drama, adult fiction, contemporary fiction

Pages: 477

2.5 chickadees singing. Handle With Care is a typical Jodi Picoult book, although it’s my least favorite of hers so far. This book has multiple first person narrators. It centers around the O’Keefe family. The youngest daughter, Willow, has a disorder that causes her bones to be fragile and break often and easily. Willow’s mother is Charlotte, a former pastry chef, who had older daughter, Amelia, before marrying husband Sean, Willow’s father. Each of these characters is also a narrator in the story (besides Willow). Willow’s disability was diagnosed in utero by Charlotte’s best friend and gynecologist, Piper, who is another narrator.

The O’Keefe family goes on a trip to Walt Disney World when Willow has a fall. The Florida doctors notice how many breaks she has had and take Willow and Amelia away from
their parents until they get a hold of Willow’s regular doctor, who explains her condition. Charlotte and Sean go to a lawyer to sue about that situation and are told they have no grounds for a case, but that they may have a wrongful birth suit. Sean is disgusted by the idea of telling a jury that if Willow had been diagnosed earlier, they would have aborted her. In a wrongful birth suit, the claim is that doctors failed to notice the problem as early as they could have, and given the parents the option to abort. The underlying tone is that the child shouldn’t have been born.

Charlotte, however, can’t stop thinking how the money from the lawsuit could greatly improve Willow’s life. Hospital and equipment costs have added up over the years. Charlotte ends up deciding to pursue the wrongful birth suit against her best friend and OB-GYN, Piper. The last narrator is Charlotte’s lawyer, who is searching for her birth mother.

Even though this was my least favorite of Picoult’s books, I’m giving it some stars because it was an interesting premise and the story did suck me in. I loved the multiple viewpoints and I wanted to find out what happened. I also really liked the story of Marin (the lawyer) searching for her birth mother and coming to terms with her adoption.

However, most of this book was tough to like, mostly because I hated the main character, Charlotte. She tried to justify her actions by saying she was doing everything possible for help her daughter, even if it meant lying about wanting her born. What she never seemed to understand was that the price of a better life for Willow had to be paid by someone and that someone was her best friend. She ruined Piper’s life and lost her best (and only, it seemed) friend over this. I felt that Piper’s oversight was minimal at worst. I don’t like the idea of a wrongful birth suit anyway, as one who works with kids with disabilities, because it’s saying their life is less valuable than others’ lives. But the fact that Charlotte was suing not a near stranger, but her best friend, made it even worse. Charlotte also nearly ruined her own family with the suit, going against her husband’s wishes in filing the suit, completely neglecting her children, and making Willow feel like she wasn’t wanted and shouldn’t have been born. I really couldn’t see any justification for her actions and didn’t feel like she had changed at all by the end of the book. This was very disappointing to me.

Usually Jodi’s characters blur the lines between right and wrong, but Charlotte seemed all wrong to me.

***The photo directly above is from Amazon.com. I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews- they are 100% my personal, honest opinion! I do, however, receive a small commission when you purchase a book through Amazon by clicking one of the links above. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way.***

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