Title: The Marriage Pact
Author: Michelle Richmond
Start date: July 9, 2017
Finish date: July 12, 2017
Note: I won a copy of The Marriage Pact from a Goodreads giveaway.
✧ ✧ ✧/ 5
What a wild ride. I quite enjoyed this one up until the tragically plotted ending. There were many good things about The Marriage Pact though, so let’s focus on that first.
In Michelle Richmond’s new psychological suspense, we meet newlyweds Jake and Alice who are offered to join a mysterious and exclusive group. The only catch? They must follow the rules of The Pact or face the consequences. Much like their fresh marriage it’s all very new and exciting, however the enthralment can only last so long until the oddities of the secretive organization become more apparent.
I was on board with this story the minute I started it. I loved how quickly I was sucked in, and how invested I became in Jake and Alice’s relationship. I believed them as the picture perfect couple who were made for each other, and who made one another so damn happy it would make others puke. This opinion wouldn’t last long as the story continues and that’s perfectly okay because it is what Richmond wants you to feel. It was an actual roller coaster ride of emotions and backtrack of initial thoughts.
The story is fast-paced and there were some unpredictable plot points I couldn’t figure out up until it actually happened. I think that is extremely hard to do well because we’ve pretty much seen it all and can detect a twist coming a mile away. The only qualm I had was the very last “twist” at the end (which I won’t reveal); that was what brought the rating down from a 4/5 to a 3/5. I’ll discuss this later on in my review.
Sometimes, a story can be moving on a little too quickly for my liking or too slowly to the point you lose interest, but I didn’t find this happening at all with The Marriage Pact. Richmond really keeps you on your toes and keeps you wanting more and more. I would find myself reading until 2a.m and still not wanting to stop because I just knew the next chapter would reveal more about the mysterious Pact. That is how engrossed I was. It’s a real shame that the plot fell apart at the end.
Before I get to that, I wanted to share my dislike for Alice who fell a little flat for my liking. As she is the one who interacts the most with the Pact at the start, readers would expect to be full immersed in her experience and I was so disappointed when I wasn’t. Everything that happened to her was told in long-winded paragraphs of dialogue to Jake instead of detailing it and allowing readers to envision it clearly; we were just simply told “Hey, this horrible thing happened and here’s what happened. It was bad. Okay, that’s it.” That turned me off her experience when she of all characters could have explained it the best. It also occurred during crucial parts of the story too that could have given us so much insight to the exclusive group. This detached description of what happened just didn’t cut it for me.
Then EVERYTHING fell apart at the end.
It really sucks because you have invested all this time in rooting for Alice and Jake as a couple as well as for the other troubled characters, but we’re simply fed this bullshit of an ending as a pretence to tie up loose ends.
Click here for spoiler
I was not convinced at all by Neil and JoAnne’s ulterior motive and the amount of Pact members that were willing to go along with it. I mean to control an entire prison with guards, helpers, AND lawyers to purposely deceive the great and mighty founder, Orla? They also managed to enlist the help of catchers to nab and spy on Alice and Jake all the time all without Orla noticing or other members ratting them out? I didn’t believe it for one second, so for this plot twist to suddenly spring up last second was useless to me and I found that it added nothing to the story.
Was it a surprise? Yes, it was. Was it a shitty and not very well-plotted surprise? Yes to that too. This could have been handled so much better.
I did enjoy the book overall and I think it is worth reading. I also learned that the film rights have been optioned and I hope it gets turned into a flick. It would be interesting to watch it on screen even if it does have the usual tropes we’ve all already seen. It was a good summer read, so let’s just put it at that.
My search for the best summer read continues.
On a side note, I am well aware this is an uncorrected proof but I’ve never come across so many spelling errors in an ARC before. It became extremely distracting when I came across some words that were so horribly misspelled that I couldn’t even guess what the intended word was supposed to be.