Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Book Synopsis

(taken from blurb of book)

Sterling is a small, ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens - until a student enters the local high school with an arsenal of guns and starts shooting, changing the lives of everyone, inside and out.

The daughter of the judge sitting on the case should be the state's best witness - but with her boyfriend dead and her childhood friend charged with murder, she's struggling to remember what happened in front of her own eyes....

Number one bestselling author Jodi Picoult brings us her hardest-hitting and most involving novel yet. NINETEEN MINUTES asks what it means to be different in our society, who has the right to judge someone else - and whether a person is ever whom they seem to be...

Nadia's Rating

Nadia's Review

The style of narration was very good, and as always Jodi Picoult managed to hook me with her theme. I particularly like the alternating chapters between the present and the past. The plot and characters were complex, leaving me unable to pinpoint exactly how the story or each character would turn out.

For those who love court dramas and complex themes, Jodi Picoult’s novel “Nineteen Minutes” will not disappoint. A story based around the nineteen-minute school massacre by Peter Houghton, a seventeen-year-old, bullied victim, “Nineteen Minutes” explore the themes of love, change and revenge through the eyes of several different narrators.

Peter Houghton had been the target of bullying ever since his first day at kindergarten. He made it through most of elementary school with the help of his best friend, Josie Cormier. But things got worse for Peter as Josie abandoned him in the fifth grade.

But the story between the Houghtons and the Cormiers went back further than that. Peter’s mom, Lacy Houghton, was once best friends with Josie’s mom, Alex Cormier. Lacy was Alex’s midwife when she gave birth to Josie, and their children were great friends until that day when Alex found a five-year-old Peter showing Josie how to hold a gun. “Nineteen Minutes” showed the point of view of both of these women as well as others, such as Peter, Josie, Patrick Durcharme (avid Picoult fan will recognise him from “Perfect Match”) and Jordan McAfee (again, Picoult fan will remember him from “The Pact”).

As always, Picoult has provided an excellent court drama with witty twists and turns and surprisingly detailed witness testimony. Although there were a few errors with the computer language (pressing “ctrl-alt-delete” will not allow Peter to turn his computer screen blank), Picoult had managed once again to provide a gripping read. When Picoult puts ordinary life under a microscope, she winds up with life that is still ordinary. It's just bigger.

Disclaimer: Not recommended for children due to violence and sex.