©2007 Jodi Picoult; (P)2007 Recorded Books, LLC
Maybe I have been "reading" too many of her books lately, but they seem to be getting repetitive. Jodi Picoult has a way of getting in deep and telling all sides of a story, but the last three books I have gotten (Mercy, My Sister's Keeper, and now The Pact) have been all too similar.
Someone is dead (or dying). Family and loved ones are devastated. Someone has to be blamed and held responsible. Everything is portrayed in such black and white contrast that I cannot choose who is right and who is wrong. Reality is, that is life.
But Picoult holds it out there as if one has to either hate the "bad guy" or love them, not both. I don't agree.
I don't want to give up on this author, but I hope the other choices I have purchased have a different theme to them.
I am an educated Southerner, plowing through books at the speed of light. I love good stories, good coffee, and good conversation.
Although the book is beautifully written and dramatic, seamlessly going back in time and returning once again to the present, the book is lacking in several ways.
First, I do not feel as if I can really see the characters in this tale as well as I have been able to in other books by Picoult. Chris, Emile, and their parents seem very one-dimensional. Second, the substance is not there. There is lots of heart, as the teens are "soulmates," but seeing them actually live it out leaves you feeling flat and unconvinced. Third, the parents of each child are said to be overjoyed at the thought of the two teens dating and one day marrying. But Picoult also says Emily's family is Jewish and Chris' family is not. I do not know any Jewish family that would be excited for their daughter to be marrying outside their faith. In fact, some kids are disowned for doing so. Fouth, Picoult does not make a good enough argument for me to believe that suicide was Emily's only way out. It just didn't make sense, knowing what the author tells about the girl.
And fifth, my biggest issue with the book, did Picoult just get tired of the characters and not finish the book? There are so many questions left unanswered! I was an English major in college, and am all for books with loose ends, which let the reader take from it what he or she will, but Picoult signs off on an unfinished script, in my opinion.
I thought I liked the book as I was listening to it, but afterward, I feel cheated, because I did get emotionally involved, but there was no payoff for it. I was just left with an empty, hollow feeling and frustration.
Picoult asks a very good question (do we ever really know our children?) and addresses a very controversial subject (teen suicide). The problem is, she doesn't stick it out long enough for any answers to come. Move on to Picoult's "Plain Truth" or "My Sister's Keeper."
To be honest, and it seems that is what this book is all about, this book is so repetive, too long, and even though I did FINALLY FINISH it, I am sorry, I cannot recommend it.
I love George Guidell"s reading. He is a great narrater. I always look for his stories, they are usually great.
However, this book was too long, really drawn out, over and over. I really could not get into it.
I only bought this one because "My Sister's Keeper" turned out to be so good. My book club said, "I had to read it." They were right about that.
I simply cannot read anymore of Jodi's books, even though she has a tough job. She takes on the worst of cases. They are just too long. After awhile, it becomes boring. Sorry
Although the topic may seem like this book would be very depressing, I laughed through half of the text. The book kept my attention right to the end. I thoroughly enjoy Jodi Picoult's work
Jodi always writes thought provoking books and this is another one. weeks later I am still thinking about it. A difficult subject to write about (which is usually the case with this author) yet written so well, the story flips back and forth between present and past. The characters are believable and "real". I usually like to laugh when I listen so this isn't my usual,I do make an exception for Jodi Picoult since her books always keep me enthralled. heavy topic, lots of stress and sadness, as always an unexpected end and I figured worth a listen.
I like that she tackles hard topics. I like her ability to examine an issue from multiple perspective. What she does really well in this book: looks at couples struggling to stay connected who honor their marriages, but know why they might be drawn to some other person. Parent/chid relationships: looks at how little we really know about our children's personal lives, how we only imagine that we know them truly. Tough themes worth thinking about. Story only gets 3 stars because she could have edited it down a lot and still drive her story home.
This story was a heartbreaker. As a parent I would never want to go through something like this. It broke my heart. I could never imagine what I understood as depression from one girl to lead to such harsh decisions. The love of her soul mate allowed him to do something so insane. But when you love someone so much would you do anything for them? I guess that is the big question.
This book left a huge impression on me, and even years after I read it it's still fresh in my mind.
In this excessively long novel there are some very good things. The courtroom drama is highly interesting; the complexity of the plot is excellent.
Unfortunately a large part of the book is devoted to a tedious buildup of the characters, following the development of two quite unpleasant, thoughtless and irresponsible children, and to the emotions of their parents. If the author had had the good sense to leave out essentially all of the retrospective details, the book would have been half the length and twice as compelling to listen to.
Also, the voice of the narrator was often unnecessarily and falsely dramatic. It would have been easier to listen to it with a better reader.
I have enjoyed many of Jodi Picoult's works, but this one I found to be really tedious and unimaginative.
Sort-of Spoiler Alert: the girl wanting to kill herself didn't ring true at all. Her motivation remained vague at best and her character development remained sketchy. The teenagers' relationship grew pretty tiresome and their parents' relationships were uninvolving.
I was really put off by the vocal quality of George Guidall, who sounded way too old for any of the characters and was sorely miscast.
I was tempted to stop listening, but once I was halfway through, I decided to continue. A waste of time.
Oh, and to end this review on the one good note: I enjoyed the use of the lawyer and his assistant from some of the other novels. The only two characters I cared about.
Sweet story, interesting concept. Definitely keeps you wondering until the end. Jodi Piccoult seems to be consistently reliable in this way.
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