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review 2017-07-25 20:24
Arc Review: The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond
The Marriage Pact: A Novel - Michelle Richmond

I found this story frightfully intriguing with a fascinating concept at its core.
Jake the therapist and Alice the lawyer, both successful in their own careers, receive a gift on their wedding day that will change their lives forever.

The concept of the story and “The Pact” itself is jarring at times, intriguing at others. It draws the question does the perfect model of marriage exist? Once the couple joins the Pact, it becomes the overseer that makes sure each couple succeeds at being perfect. If they “choose” not to follow its rules then they will face the consequences.

As newly weds, Jake and Alice weren’t sure what to expect of marriage but had a fairly good idea due to their own past history with their parents. The way I see it, one of the two became more content with the idea of the Pact because it became a sort of guide to accomplish what was wanted out of the marriage. The other partner was more reluctant to accept it because of fear that anything could change what they had already built together.

Alice appeared as a cold and distant person yet content with the role of a wife and I found that contradicting. As the story progressed and she got herself in deep waters with The Pact, Alice herself makes a confession that puts her in a better light and her role starts making more sense. Perhaps it’s the fact that the story is told from Jake’s perspective but I found him more likable and more relatable. There was a time in the story that I actually wondered if they were meant for each other or if the marriage was just an illusion they created for themselves because they didn’t seem to be in love.

To be honest, the book started a bit slow for my taste, so much so that I had to put it down several times and then come back to it. By almost 45% of the book, it was just ok but nothing out of the ordinary. And then it started to pick up and that was when I was unable to put it down and everything started to click and fall into place.

The book is full of quotes and facts that albeit provided an insight into Jake’s mind I thought at the time were somewhat random. It was later that I realized they were there to help me understand the underlying idea and helped tied up all events together. It took me a while to understand the full notion of the plot and tie up the knots once I finished reading the book (blame it on my slow-working brain) but all in all it was an enjoyable read.

I received this book from Netgalley at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.

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review 2017-07-25 18:03
The Marriage Pact: A Novel - Michelle Richmond

This was one crazy cult. It was designed to bring couples closer together and make marriage their number one priority. The founder and executives that ran this cult had some pretty good ideas. However, I think that they were going a little overboard in their "punishments" for people not following the rules. Infidelity was punished severely and shamefully, and I mean shamefully.

That being said, this was definitely an entertaining read. I spent a lot of the book asking the couple, Alice and Jake, what were they thinking and why they were going along with it. Then I realized that if you didn't go along with it, the penalties were VERY severe.

A very interesting premise that had me yelling and screaming at the characters, a lot! 

Thanks to Random House-Ballantine and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-07-17 04:24
The Iliad of Homer
The Iliad of Homer - Homer,Richmond Lattimore

The cover of this book looks like Jewels: A Secret History if you're not paying attention. Which I often wasn't, so I kept grabbing this book when I wanted that one.


I spent way too long deciding which translation I would read of The Iliad. Basically just decide if you want prose or poetry and then pick one. I don't think it really matters.* Maybe check the footnotes if you're not reading this as part of a class. But it's probably best read in a class with a professor who knows way more about Homer than I do. Then they could explain Book 23 to me... seriously the whole time I was reading it I was like, I don't understand the Greeks. What is this? 


I will say that the word nipple showed up way more than I expected, and some of the big events I was expecting were glossed over very quickly (basically anything to do with women). I found all the parts where the women were included (goddesses or mortals) to be the most interesting, and I can't believe that's where the poem ends.


I was planning on reading the Odyssey immediately after this, but then I needed a break so that will have to wait until later. I'm going to read the Fitzgerald translation most likely, in case anyone was wondering. But I might go with Fagles because I think that edition has better footnotes. We'll see what's available from the library at the time.


*Although I did read part of Pope's translation, and I couldn't do 24 books of that. Very impressive to think he did the whole thing though.

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review 2017-07-14 03:47
Talented writer
The Marriage Pact: A Novel - Michelle Richmond

Michelle Richmond is, without a doubt, a talented writer with a gift for storytelling. That said, I did have some problems with this particular tale.


The Marriage Pact started out well enough, it was suspenseful and gripping. The problem was that I kept feeling like I had read something similar. Then, it hit me. The idea of the marriage pact was different, but the fundamentals, the lengths the people behind the pact would go to achieve their goals, were very reminiscent of a Stephen King short story from the late 70's, one that was also featured later in a movie anthology. 

I decided to let that go and just enjoy the story for what it was, but again, much like King's work from around that same period, the story veers off several times with extraneous details that, in my opinion, were nothing more than a distraction. 

As mentioned, the story is a Psychological Thriller and as I said earlier, it does require quite the suspension of belief. It is certainly creepy at times will have a reader's heart racing, but once the people behind the pact take action, there isn't much in the way of realism. 

Jake and Alice are both educated people in their 30's. He's a therapist and she's a lawyer. To say too much would give spoilers, but I found myself unable to envision any circumstance that would have these two educated adults succumbing to the dictates of pact rules and punishment - a fact that had me rolling my eyes through much of the story. 

That said, there was a interesting twist at the end that I certainly didn't see coming, one that is the reason for that third star in my rating. 

Of course, this is just one person's opinion, so if you enjoy Psychological Thrillers, by all means, check this one out. I will say that the author's writing style and talent are such that this one book will not deter me from reading future books by her. 

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url 2017-07-13 13:42
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