Wow,what a great but tragic story. A boy who is picked on from the first day of kindergarden until high school. What being bullied really does to a child day after day. The tragedy of Columbine and all the other school rolled into one. this story made me feel such pity for the boy who felt he had no other recourse but to do what he did.The results were tragic, the outcome shattered lives forever but it made you really think of what kids go through and what they do to others. I know I thought of my own two grown children who were treated in very similar ways. In my opinion this is Jodi Picoults best book.
This was not my favorite Picoult book. While I connected with the characters (she has a gift for making everyone sympathetic), for some reason I couldn't completely connect with Peter, the school shooter. I understood his motives and felt his shame, but Picoult doesn't let you into his head quite enough. The Pact was much better at making me feel everything the two teens went through.
If you like Picoult, you'll like this one, but I don't think it's her best. Even the huge revelation in the courtroom falls flat. She set it up well, but I just didn't feel the shock that I've felt while reading her other books.
Enough happens in this book it could be a two-part miniseries. The chapters shift back and forth from past to the present to add important background info and I found it annoying.
Nineteen Minutes has much more depth than My Sister's Keeper in character development and story structure. Picoult's ability to fabricate events surrounding an entire school community that is so hauntingly real is amazing.
It was difficult to get this book out of my mind. The topic is way too timely and gives insight into what may be going on in our society today in the world of high school students.
"Nineteen Minutes" was very well written and I liked the way the author switched between the present and the past. It was a very interesting way to present the events that could lead up to such a tragic day. My only disappointment was with the ending. While the ending was unexpected, the reader is left with the impression the " twist " Ms. Picoult is known for was added just to be controversial.
I love the way Jodi Picoult tackles controversial issues. This book was an emotional roller coaster ride for me, but most of hers effect me that way. I love her way with words. She's truly a wonderful writer.
This is my second favorite Jodi Picoult novel. Very intense, very deep, very scary. She delves deep into emotions of all involved in a high school shooting spree, including the shooter himself. This is very touching, and brought tears as I read it. She tells a great story and makes you feel the anguish, fear and anger of these people involved, and someone makes the shooter even seem pitiful. This could be anyone's son! Very deep novel, I thought.
Fantastic. It's really unbelievable just how deeply Picoult delves into the human psyche. This is a "Columbine" syle school shooting, told by a few different views - and the sad part it, teenagers today (I have two, so I KNOW) can be JUST like this on a daily basis. It's sad.
I am a huge Jodi Picoult fan having read most of her books. While I think this was a very good book, it was very uncomfortable reading because the subject matter is so difficult and I was disappointed with the ending.
Peter Houghton is the kid probably all of us can remember from our school days. He doesn't quite fit in, he's always trying but somehow he is always an outsider. While small children Peter and Josie were the best of friends, but as the years go on Josie becomes one of the popular kids while Peter becomes the perennial âloser'. One beautiful spring morning Peter finally snaps and in nineteen minutes destroys the lives of almost everyone in his town when he takes revenge by shooting ten students and teachers dead and wounding scores of others.
The book opens with the shooting and then tells the story in alternating chapters, from what happened before the shooting and what happened after. The chapters are seen from many view points, but most often that of Peter, Josie and their mothers. It is an often harrowing tale of what happens when a child endures years of bullying, teasing and never quite living up to expectations. It is also a view of what lengths kids will go to become, and stay, one of the âcool' kids. Having a child still in high school and one who just left I was very saddened by this book and the behavior of the kids, the adults, the teachers who let this torment continue. It was at times so difficult to read I had to put the book down and walk away from it, in order to empty my mind of the sadness.
The ending is one of Picoult's typical twists, although this time I suspected what would happen almost from the start, and there were little clues scattered throughout the story. I was however disappointed with the ending, it seemed wrong or out of tune with the rest of the book, it does give you much to think about however.
Kudos to Picoult for writing a book that hopefully gets some dialogue started, and brings a spotlight to a very difficult topic.
Jodi Picoult never fails to write an amazing book!!!! This one is no exception!!!!
Having children of my own (even though they are still very young) I find this book hits close to home. It's a story that has happened, and could happen again. Picoult is a riveting storyteller who never ceases to capture and hold your attention with a controversial plot.
Out of the handful of Picoult books I have read, I would put this one in the "it was pretty good" pile. I think she handled an issue such as a school shooting in a way that explored all facets of the situation, and really made you look at it from different viewpoints. Overall, I think if you like Jodi Picoult, you will not be disappointed by this book.
This is one of my favorite contemporary books. I have recommended it to everyone in my life that reads - friends, family, and some of my students. It is more violent than Picoult's typical stories, but there is still the expected character development and flaws not to mention plenty of tear-jerker moments throughout.
As a high school teacher, I think Picoult nailed the social hierarchy of teens today and she did a great job of making even the less likable characters into a good approximation of real people. I wish every teacher would read this book and perhaps react differently to the "teasing" that happens in hallways and lunchrooms every day - it certainly made me see teen interactions with a little less of a rosy tint.
A little predictable towards the end, but with a few twists and turns in the road, this is a great read by a talented author. There were times where it could have felt so contrived and fake, but Picoult really did a nice job of building the characters and the scenes both in present and past settings.
This is only the second of Jodi Picoult's books that I've read (other was My Sister's Keeper) and I really like both. Her writing style is easygoing and the plot has good twist and turns. It really keeps you reading and wondering. I knew from My Sister's Keeper that this book might have a surprise ending, and it certainly did. Picoult is good at taking stories right from the newspapers and putting her own spin on them. Really good book.
I really enjoy reading Jodi Picoult, however I often feel like I am reading the same story over & over if I read them too closely together....but that is not so in "Nineteen Minutes". Wonderfully written, with twists & turns you wouldn't expect and the best part is actually getting to read the school shooter's side of story. It really makes you think about today's youth and the effect society's expectations have on children. This is an excellent book, one of Jodi's best! I highly recommend.
Jodi Picoult's stories are full of action, reaction, mystery and always, a surprise ending. I have enjoyed her writing for the last couple of years and Nineteen Minutes is no exception. You feel anguish and cameraderie, happiness and sadness, the gamut of emotions among her characters. Her writing is very fluid, making you want to keep reading to find out what happens next. I am following through with all of her titles!
Love the books by Jodi Picoult. They make you stop and think about the social situation that is the subject of the book. This book certainly did not disappoint. Check out all of her books. She is a very unique writer.
I gave this 4 out of 5 stars because of the ridiculous ending. I thought she did such a nice job with all of the characters, so the ending she chose was a major letdown. I think I judge her endings a little harshly, because her stories usually have surprising and fantastic endings. This one ... not so much.
Wonderfully written story of a troubled boy and how the bullies in his life from childhood to adolescence mold him to what he is.
A very hard story to read b/c of the truth ringing from it's pages but a story I think most people should read if for no other reason than to open their eyes to the traumas our children face and how we as parents tend to overlook things we should catch.
Again a novel that changes back and forth in time periods....skips all around! I mention this b/c it bothers a lot of readers...if this is you, do NOT read this book.
I was a fan of this book...until the end. For some reason, the ending just didn't make sense to me, and it didn't seem to fit the rest of the entire book. I wasn't a huge fan of Josie, particularly because I thought she was fake and weak. But I did want the best for her because I did like Alex. So at the end..I felt like that piece just didn't fit right because it seemed kind of hard to believe, based on the characters personalities.
This was an easy read and very similar to some of her other books. I did find myself more interested in the subject of this book. It was interesting to see this topic attacked from a different perspective.
I was a little irritated with the ending as well. I found it to be too quick and unrealistic. However, I also saw it coming having read several of her other books!
My favorite story so far by Jodi Picoult. The topic was difficult to deal with, a school shooting, but the way the author told the story was great. She went back and forth between the past and the future and really made me think what I would do if I were put into the situations of the characters
This is the first Jodi Picoult book I've read, and I'm sure it won't be the last. Unsettling story of a school shooting in which the shooter survives & stands trial. Interesting points of view with emphasis on the shooter's family and close childhood friend. Surprise ending! Good read!
Extremely powerful book. If you have school age children, certainly gives you a lot to think about. It's about a shooting at a school, because this boy, Peter, was bullied his entire life. Sad, as you know this can & does happen. With a complete twist at the end, that I did not see coming. After I was done reading it, I wanted to go hug my boys & never let them go.
What an intense and well written book - it was tough to put it down at times and I found myself thinking this was real life at some points. The storyline is SO similar to what we have experienced and heard on the news in the past - and hopefully this type of situation never comes to light again. VERY good book!
Jodi Picoult's characters have a way of staying with you long after you've turned the last page, and "Nineteen Minutes" is no exception. I was happy to see Patrick DuCharme return, and was glad to see him move on after "Perfect Match" (I have to admit I don't like Nina Frost very much, and was frustrated by Patrick's seemingly hopeless love for her). It was also great to see Jordan McAfee back -- he's a wonderful character and I hope we haven't seen the last of him, either!
This book was so absolutely gripping, that I had to force myself to take breaks to get back to reality. It really makes you question how schools and teenagers co-exist and unfortunately, how extreme violent acts such as school shootings can take place in our world today. The characters were real and complex, and the plot full of surprises and twists. I read any Jodi Picoult book that I can get my hands on and am a huge fan of My Sister's Keeper and The Pact, but this one far surpasses both. I highly recommend this book!
A good new Picoult novel. It has quite a few similarities to "The Tenth Circle," although I liked this better. And it DOES NOT have the comic book thing, which for me was a plus! If you like Picoult's books, you will like this one.
This is a GREAT book! I just couldn't put it down...although it is a sad story Picoult does her finest at telling the story of a young high school boy who feels unworthy and unloved. Get ready to read, oh, and have your tissues handy.
I'm not sure where to start on this one.. Excellent book but at times I wasn't sure I would finish it as the subject matter is SO painful.. I experienced a wide spectrum of emotions with this one.. From hating the victims to empathizing with the "villain" - but as a parent of small children mostly my heart breaking for the parents of all the children involved.. Actually, I had to make myself stop reading before bed, as I would end up thinking about the book & not sleeping. I finished it last night & cried for a while. ncredibly well written - but does take a bit to get used to the jumping back & forth between past & present. Highly recommended but not for the squeamish!!
I really enjoy books by this author...this was the first that I read and it was enthralling! Picoult really gets into analyzing her charactors, and always gives a bit of a surprize ending. She does not disappoint in this book to surprize you. Once you start this book it will definitely be hard to put down until you have finished.
This book was absolutely rivetting- Picoult takes a modern topic that is every parents nightmare and creates a story that is mesmerizing taking us into the mind and motivation of the teen shooter. She paints the story with many shades of grey and nuances are explored that are lost in the newspapers reporting of such incidents in our society.
Plots with school shootings and bullying have been rampant in the past 10 or so years, but I think this was one of the first. It's a thoughtful book and emotionally taxing but worth the read. Not a big fan of the author myself, but this was a moving story.
This is the first Jodi Picoult book I've read, I was disappointed. It just didn't ring true to me, especially the media and legal aspects. She did lots of flashbacks, which to me made the story disjointed. She added some aspects that didn't necessarily improve on the story and made it less believable (the older brother would have been much more of a part of a life, he and his fate was barely touched on.) My jaw didn't drop at the ending. The author does better at micro- than she does at macro-.
There's a lot of good stuff in this book, but it has it's flaws. So many characters are introduced in the beginning chapters that I stopped even trying to keep track of them all. The scenes flip back and forth in time often enough that you're not sure at the beginning of each one whether you're continuing the linear timeline from the last scene or if you've jumped again. She makes the shooter such a sympathetic character that I started feeling like I was being beaten over the head with it, which only reinforces my feeling that this 400 page book could have been 100 pages shorter, since I was often feeling like I wanted the story to move faster.
I much prefer Frank Turner Hollon's Blood and Circumstances.
Even though it barely glosses the surface, I really like that an author tried to take the time to write a story about how, even just a little, it is for kids who get picked on when they're young. It's definitely something that needs to start at home (like put a baby monitor in your kids room until they're 18, especially if they talk to ANYONE online--seriously, trolls start young) and parents need to stop raising bullies (and realize all kids aren't angels).
My big complaint is the ending. It's getting to be a thing for Picoult when she can't figure out what to do with a character's future.
I am a Picoult fan and I thought this one was a bit slow and the characters were not quite developed in the first half of the book as they became later in the book. I still enjoyed it and would recommend it but just not one of my favorites.
Anything by Jodi Picoult is great. And this is no exception. I find myself looking at issues that I have felt so stronly about, from a completely different perspective, and realizing that nothing is as simple as it seems. Wonderful book.
For the topic, this book was just too long for me, and it became tedious. Every possible angle was examined. But Picoult is an excellent writer, and I enjoy her writing in general. Great study from a victim's viewpoint. D.
Not at all what I expected turns out to be a really fantastic book.
First let me tell you why I read this book. The book was assigned to a high school English class and parents rebelled, a wire service picked up the story and a conservative blog reprinted it. Commenters on the blog more or less ranted about how awful the book is, and wanted to virtually toss it on a bonfire. If a bunch of parents and conservatives hate the book, that means I have to read it.
I got the book, but wasnt in any hurry to read it, it sort of felt like an assignment. I started reading and got hooked on the story and the characters. My conclusion is that the parents who protested this book and those that commented on the blog obviously hadnt read it and didnt know much about it. The book was not an a chore to read, in fact much the opposite. I should have read it sooner as I really enjoyed it.
Although the shooting is a plot device, the book really isnt about the shooting. Its about relationships. The story opens with a high school shooting in which ten kids are killed and a bunch wounded. As a plot device, this one gets your attention and rubs your nose in the sometimes awfulness and often emptiness of relationships. The book is organized around the shooting the shooting, the investigation into the shooting, the trial and the verdict, with lots of flashbacks.
The real story is about the backstory of the shooter and one of the students who survived plus their moms. I felt that the author did a first rate job developing these characters and sharing their pain. Each of these characters is written in three dimensions, you can see their struggles and ultimately their acceptance.
About now you are thinking that the book is probably not something you want to read because you may be squeamish about the shooting. Get over it and read it, its an excellent book. The author takes the reader on a journey of growth and gently leads the reader to a place that is far different than expected. As I said, the book isnt about the school shooting, its about the characters and their struggles and growth. The real relationship under the microscope is friendship, it's betrayal and weird twists of fate. Romantic love is sparse in this book, most of the love is about the love mothers have for their children, even when the children turn out to not be the children of each mothers dreams.
I think it's well suited to high school and up.
Violence warning: As you would expect, in a book about a school shooting, parts can be violent. The descriptions of some of the investigation as well as some of the wounds suffered are brief, but intense. Surprisingly, more of the violence is about the bullying that goes on in school. A minor theme is domestic abuse or more correctly abuse within a relationship.
Adult situations: Yes. Some straight sex between one of the main characters and her boyfriend which is tastefully done. This is not a romance novel. Some other sexual situations occur, but they are mostly innuendo. Some adult language
When its all said and done, is this really a book suitable for teenagers? I say yes. Its no worse than prime time television show when it comes to sex, violence and adult situations, and it is certainly has less sex, violence and adult themes than a cable television channel or an NC-17 movie.
I recommend this book, very well written, very real characters and the book is not about what you think it might be about not so much a surprise as an evolution.
It should be five stars, but I was frustrated with the ending so I took a star away. The ending was good, but Im going to be arrogant and complain as I think it deserved a slightly different ending.