Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Review: Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult, bestselling author of My Sister's Keeper and The Tenth Circle, pens her most riveting book yet, with a startling and poignant story about the devastating aftermath of a small-town tragedy.
Sterling is an ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens--until the day its complacency is shattered by an act of violence. Josie Cormier, the daughter of the judge sitting on the case, should be the state's best witness, but she can't remember what happened before her very own eyes--or can she? As the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show--destroying the closest of friendships and families.
Nineteen Minutes asks what it means to be different in our society, who has the right to judge someone else, and whether anyone is ever really who they seem to be.

I wasn't sure at first what to rate this book.

In Nineteen Minutes, the people of Sterling, New Hampshire must pick up the pieces after a school shooting. The biggest question on their minds is why, but not everyone is going to like the answer.

Coming from a country where very few people own guns, and there has never been, to my knowledge, a school shooting spree, this was a fascinating read to me. Given my background, I am obviously anti-gun. However, I was able to appreciate that at least Peter's father taught him how to respect guns.

Peter was bullied almost his entire life, which is the biggest reason for doing what he did. I appreciated how different sides of the characters were shown. For example, the bullies were truly despicable people, but they did occasionally have their kind moments. Also, it's hard not to tear up when their parents speak on their behalf.

I thought Peter was definitely mentally ill in some way. Yes, I felt bad when he was being bullied. However, what he did was terrible and his reaction to it seemed so disturbing to me. Jordan, Peter's lawyer, was a good lawyer, but in that slimy, sneaky way that made him unsympathetic to me.

Josie, the other main character, was one of the reasons I had a hard time rating this book. It was so painful to watch a girl who was so intent on being popular and liked that she didn't know who she was outside of that.

The ending was a complete surprise to me, though, so that and the way the characters were written is why I ultimately decided to give this book four stars.


  1. It's a thought-provoking book.
  2. It does a good job tackling a sensitive issue, although I still wouldn't recommend it to people who have been in shootings.
  3. The characters feel realistic. 


  1. Some people may not appreciate how the whole thing played out. 

“A mathematical formula for happiness:Reality divided by Expectations.There were two ways to be happy:improve your reality or lower your expectations.” 

  1. You like realistic characters.
  2. You have a child.
  3. You like thought-provoking books. 



Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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