Reviewed by Taylor Rector for TeensReadToo.com
Chris and Emily have been good friends since they were born. Their parents have always been friends, and they were destined to become a couple once they entered their teenage years. They are always together and are seemingly very in love.
Until Emily ends up dead, and Chris was the only other person there when she died.
What happens? Will the kids that always seemed so happy rip these families apart? Did Chris really kill Emily? What really happened the night of her death?
Too much cannot be said without giving away the ending of the story. This is another book from Jodi Picoult that makes you think. There are a few predicable scenes, but still enough twists and turns to keep the reader interested. A good read for someone who is curious about how lives that seem so perfect can change so fast.
A very touching love story.
Another thought provoking book by Jodi Picoult. She has become one of my favorite authors. This is a story of two teens, raised as neighbors, and nearly brother and sister for years. What happens when one of them wants to commit suicide? Picoult brings out the personalities of all the characters involved in this tale. I could not stop reading!
The positives: it was a good story, it drew me in fast, I wanted to keep reading especially as the story progressed. The negatives: Naming a main character Gus, JUST DIDN'T WORK. Every single time this name was mentioned, it was jarring. It is a man's name. I have NEVER heard of a woman named Gus. My brain thought of a man, then had to remember, NO, Gus is a woman. Very weird. I hated this. Gus and James. Who on earth would name a couple this? PLUS a prosecutor named Barrie. What does this author have with man names for women?
More weirdness: in her efforts to write creatively, and probably using a thesaurus a lot, the author uses verbs (????) like spooned, as in, "her body spooned his". Again, I found this jarring. It just didn't flow. It sounded....awkward. And this wasn't the only weird verb that broke the spell, and made me screw up my face and go, "What???" I'm an accomplished reader, a former English major, a reader of just about everything - but this doesn't work for me.
I also thought the author expected too many willing suspensions of disbelief from the reader. In real life, seriously, would a high schooler have gone along with aiding his supposedly beloved girlfriend to kill herself, just because she wants it? Come on. The kids are too smart these days for that. OK, you argue he DIDN't aid her. But bringing out Daddy's gun, and Daddy's bullets, just to NOT help his girlfriend commit suicide....it's a little far fetched. I think only a zombie would have complied with these kinds of requests.
The novel was thought provoking, and that seems to be what J. Picoult writes.
In my opinion, not the best Jodi Picoult, but good. Interesting topic and worth reading
This one had me hooked in the beginning, but in the middle i was forcing myself to pick it up. But the end was very good. I would not recommend it if you have trouble with a dry book.
The tale focuses on Chris Harte and Emily Gold, whose bond began when they were babies. Their mothers were such close friends that the babies shared a bassinet. The effect of this closeness on Chris and Emily is psychologically interesting. Always together, they were best friends who shared everything. As they grew, each begins to feel pain when the other is injured and they finish one another's thoughts and sentences. Romance blooms at 15 and 14.
Eighteen-year old Chris is caring, devoted and sensitive very much in love with Emily. He is an accomplished athlete and she is an extremely talented artist. His character was well-developed while Emily Gold and her mother seem less so. Emily seems more self-centered and withdraws into herself. By 17, she is dead. Authorities believe that Chris killed her. It seems that they had a suicide pact but Chris was unable to complete his part when he saw Emily gone. Evidence found at the scene indicates that Chris murdered Emily and an emotionally gripping trial ensues.
The plot draws strength from the autheor's writing and the story she created. There's awkward teenage sex and Emily as a child is molested-in-a-McDonalds bathroom. Suspense builds with alternating chapters reflecting on the past to explain how the suicide pact emerged. Her mother is an interesting character who can't believe that her daughter committed suicide, ready to blame someone, obviously Chris, for her death. Some parts were slow, particularly details about childhood and adolescence and sections about the parents sex added little. Nevertheless, this is a good read that gives the reader much food for thought. From experience, I know that parents don't always recognize when a child is anticipating suicide.
This was my first book from Picoult and I loved it. I got to know the characters and share in their joys, confusion, memories, and sadness. I have recommended this to several friends.
I loved this book, it was really exciting to try to figure out what had actually happened. At the same time it was sad that because of a secret a 17 year old had to die over it.
This story had so much. Characters you could relate to, relationships you could see change, a horrible situation, and a tragedy that was very real in today's world. Jodi Picoult is a one-of-a-kind author who has a true gift for portraying emotions that leaves you thinking long after the last page.
This was the third Picoult book I read.
Picoult's books always leave you thoughtful even as you wipe away the tears.