Jodi Picoult is an American author who writes novels targeted at both adolescents and adults, choosing themes and language that will allow a wide audience to connect with the story. The Pact, Picoult's fifth book, does exactly this. The plot centers around the death of a teenage girl named Emily and the controversial trial that follows. In this heartbreaking tale of close relationships and hidden emotions, the reader must solve clues along with the jury and Emily's loved ones to decide whether her death should be ruled a suicide or murder.
The Pact, published in 1998, is one of Picoult's most successful books. Following its popularity upon release, it was made into a Lifetime movie in 2002. Some controversy surrounds the book, as it was banned in some areas; Picoult has spoken out about this in a podcast called "Big Brother is Watching What You Read."