The Pact is the story of six school friends at a private school in Oxford. Five of them fit in perfectly and are living the life they feel entitled to live. The sixth, Megan, is a scholarship student and whilst the others have taken her into their group there’s always a sense of her being slightly out of place. A stupid daredevil prank leaves their future lives dangling by a thread until Megan saves them, agreeing to take the blame as long as they do something for her when she is released from prison.

This premise was one that I loved. What a brilliant idea from Sharon Bolton. The five, Talitha, Xav, Amber, Felix and Daniel, go on to live successful lives and although for some of them Megan is always there in the background, others pretty much forget about her, and so when she’s released it becomes a nightmare situation for them as she starts to call in her favours.

I found The Pact to be a really thrilling read. There is brilliant plotting, a dilemma, great characters, some of whom are slightly more likeable than others, and plenty of twists and turns. I flitted between rooting for Megan to being quite scared by her, and there were some surprises in the behaviour of the characters that I just didn’t expect. If you think you know what is happening in this book then think again. I loved that about it.

Bolton is such a brilliant writer. I’d read any of her books without a thought. The Pact is a tense ride (in more ways than one). It’s a story of the power of friendship and whether it can endure, and the barriers between the over- and under-privileged of this world. I think for me it highlighted how a split second stupid decision can ruin not only your own life but others as well in a ripple effect. Think carefully before you think you are invincible. I loved this exciting and shocking book.

Review by Nicola Smith, Short Book and Scribes

Published by Trapeze (27 May 2021)
Hardback, ISBN 978-1409198307