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.
Fantastic book incredibly well written. Harking back to "Lord of the Flies," Picoult explores the dynamics of unsupervised group behavior among school children. It deals with all the themes that screech "inappropriate" for a young audience (F word numerous times, teen sex, violence, etc.) but it may be the most appropriate book for students and teachers and parents concerned with bullying and the related social dynamics. The story seems so well researched I had a hard time remembering that it is fictional. An expert witness for the defense of the Columbine-style shooter asks, (paraphrasing) "What is the most vivid memory you have of your school days? If you're like 95 out of 100 people, that memory revolves around your humiliation at the hands of a bully." (I have to paraphrase because my copy stays loaned out to fellow educators.) And what are the consequences of unchecked chronic bullying? At its most extreme: Columbine.
WOW! This book will pull at your heartstrings. If you are a teacher, if you have children, if you have been the victim of bullying or if you were a bully, this is a must read.
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.