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A novel by Jodi Picoult. Chris Harte and Emily Gold are teenagers from two neighbored and very close families in a small New England town. As teenagers their relationship develops into a romance. When they are seniors in high school, however, both families are called to the hospital: Emily is dead at seventeen from a gunshot to the head, and Chris says the two had intended to carry out a suicide pact. Chris is arrested for murder. The book spans from when Emily is found dead to the end of Chris' court case. During the case, the Harte and Gold families break apart. The autopsy reveals that Emily was pregnant with Chris' child. We also find out, through flashbacks in Emily's point of view, that Emily was molested as a child in a Mc Donald's men's bathroom as a result of a dare by Chris. Because of this, Emily feels uncomfortable engaging in sexual activity with Chris. It is revealed that there was not an official suicide pact. Emily had told Chris that she wanted to kill herself, and Chris decided he would go with her. After shooting her in the head, he passes out before he can kill himself. This book has a lot of pregnancy tropes, obviously.
Contains examples of:
- Amoral Attorney - Barrie Delaney
- Auto Erotica- Chris and Emily
- Driven to Suicide - Emily
- Embarrassing First Name - Sue Barrett "Barrie" Delaney, the prosecutor.
- Fish Out of Water - Chris when he is in jail. Since he is 18, he goes to adult jail instead of juvenile hall. Also, to a lesser extent, Chris when he leaves jail, since he was jailed for almost a year.
- Good Girls Avoid Abortion - Emily. Because of the fact that she was molested, she doesn't want the doctor touching her. This would be a Justified Trope, but people avoiding or regretting abortion is a common theme in Jodi Picoult's stories.
- Gossipy Hens - the women Gus (Chris' mother) sees in the grocery store.
- High School Sweethearts - Emily and Chris, of course.
- Like Brother and Sister- Emily and Chris, until high school. Emily still felt that way, which was why she was uncomfortable with Chris.
- The Lost Lenore - Emily
- My Secret Pregnancy- Emily, literally until she died.
- Not What It Looks Like - Arguably the entire point of the book.
- Parental Favoritism - As in almost all of Jodi Picoult's books. Gus forgets about her daughter Kate while Chris is on trial. Kate wakes her up on Christmas day with a Christmas tree and gifts she bought with her own money. Gus, having forgotten it was Christmas, is shocked. Kate realizes her mother has forgotten about her and says "What do I have to do to make you see me? Kill someone?" Gus, realizing the significance of this (Chris is on trial for the murder of Emily), slaps her.
- Rape as Backstory
- Single-Target Sexuality- Chris, though he does have an affair with another girl, he only ever loves Emily. Emily was a bit more apprehensive.
- Sympathetic Adulterer- James Harte, Chris' father, becomes more distant, and Melanie Gold, Emily's mother, goes into denial about Emily's death. So, their spouses, Augusta "Gus" Harte and Michael Gold respectively, start seeing each other and share a kiss, though it doesn't lead to anything.
- Teen Pregnancy - Emily, albeit she was only a few weeks along when she killed herself.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible - The painting Emily made shortly before she died.
- Why Did You Make Me Hit You?- see Parental Favoritism above.