Nineteen Minutes (Paperback)
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DescriptionSterling 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 is the state's best witness - but she can't remember what happened in front of her own eyes. Or can she?
- Published: 03 April 2008
- Format: Paperback 608 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780340935798 ISBN 10: 0340935790
- Sales rank: 12,402
Reviews for Nineteen Minutes
Lukewarm & disappointing
Personally, I didn't enjoy reading this book very much.
After I reading "My Sister's Keeper" already a while ago and liking it I thought that "Nineteen Minutes" sounded like an interesting book to read, too. I expected to read a boo which looks at the topic of rampages in a differentiated yet sensible way - but it turned out to be nothing like it.
The flashback's toPeter's past a rather obvious and pure cliché. None of them were surprising or at least much different from the "social victim that was always picked on bursts with anger" picture many have of students that run amok anyways. Which would be okay, since I, too, find it important to pay attention to the ordeal some, even though rather young, people are put through in school.
But I think that Jodi Picoult doesn't stress the position of the victims - she wants people to have sympathy for Peter but as for my taste she's taking it one step too far. She does mention that many of Peter's victims are those who never had anything to do with him - yet one feels at times that she, even though I'm sure she didn't mean to do so, has created a justification rather than an explanation for the commited murders.
The writing is okay -neither particularly sophisticated nor disappointing- and I'd say it's a quick read (it took me two nights to finish). So I guess the style is okay, but the content disappointed me a lot, which is why I'm giving this book such a low rating. by Astrid Juckenack
I absolutely loved this book!! perhaps even more than My Sister's keeper! I could not put it down and perhaps the best jodi picoult book so far!
If you do enjoy Jodi's books, or are interest in family, relationship, adolescence, love etc then believe me you have to read this!!! by Chang Sun
- Top review
Difficult but worth it
None of Picoult’s novels can be described as easy reads, but Nineteen Minutes may have been the hardest yet. A master of taking controversial topics and revealing the grey areas to us, Picoult takes our emotions on a rollercoaster ride and doesn’t leave them – or us – quite the same at the end.
Peter Houghton has been bullied his entire life, and Nineteen Minutes shows us what happens when he finally snaps. The beginning certainly grabs the readers’ attention as Peter goes on a shooting rampage in his high school, and the resulting conflicts keep it. As usual, there are numerous subplots linking into the main narrative which help give the story depth. At times they also take attention way from the main character. Peter’s transition from victim to murderer could have been explored more, but the way in which Picoult makes us feel so much for Peter, regardless of what he’s done, makes her oversight forgivable.
The plot is not a new one but the way she tells it is classic Picoult. Starting in the present with the massacre and the aftermath, the story frequently jumps back in time to significant periods that give a deeper insight into the characters and their actions, slowly unravelling the whole picture. The flashbacks allow the story and our understanding to grow over time as we realise not everything is back and white.
Nineteen Minutes was one of our book groups last February. A fantastic novel for discussing as there are so many questions and points to make that really made us think. We had a great discussion which, for me at least, allowed me to enjoy the book even more as I took away other people’s points of view on certain topics and broadened my opinions. I think we all learned something from the discussion and the novel, and had fun doing so. Parts were difficult to discuss but it made the experience richer and was worth the hard read. I think it is safe to say we all thoroughly enjoyed it, but were ready to read something lighter after it. by Fiona Connolly