Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sunday Synopsis

Nineteen MinutesNineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book eight years ago, and it was published eleven years ago, but in light of recent events in the United States, I feel it is appropriate to re-read this novel. I highly recommend this book to anyone concerned with school safety, peer pressure, or bullying. And everyone knows that Picoult not only writes well, but her novels usually mirror issues in popular culture.

An idyllic small town in New Hampshire is rocked by a school shooting. Josie Cormier was a witness to the tragedy, but she can't remember what happened. And, by the way, her mother is the presiding judge on the case against the shooter, Peter Houghton. Something of note is that Peter is an avid violent-video-gamer.  On the other hand, you may actually feel sorry for Peter when reading about what led him to commit this horrific act. And in true Picoult style, there is a surprise at the end.

Picoult deserves praise for tackling such a tough topic and showing, not just the points of view of the victims, but the perpetrator's views as well, who himself is a victim first. Using flashbacks and various perspectives, she presents multiple sides to a tragic situation.  It will definitely make you think.

Nineteen minutes is not just about a school shooting, though. Nineteen Minutes is about the complexities of families, friends, relationships, anger, vengeance, and forgiveness. It is raw. It is emotional. And it is not easy to put down.

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