Monday, March 30, 2009

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn, color your hair, watch a third of a hockey game. In nineteen minutes, you can bake scones or get a tooth filled by a dentist; you can fold laundry for a family of five. In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world, or you can just jump off it. In nineteen minutes, you can get revenge.

Nineteen Minutes is set in Sterling, New Hampshire - a town where nothing ever happens – that is until the day that Peter Houghton walks into his high school and in 19 minutes kills and injures several of his classmates and teachers. The story is told through several perspectives and ranges anywhere from when before Peter is born until about one year after the deadly shooting. We hear from Peter’s parents, his old best friend Josie Cormier, who eventually became part of the popular crowd and abandoned her friendship with Peter, Josie’s mom, Alex - also the judge sitting on the case, Patrick the detective who was able to apprehend Peter after the shooting and, of course, Peter himself.

I was so caught up in this book while reading it - there were just so many emotions that I went through (anger, despair, heartbreak, sadness, etc.) The story is written in a way that helps you relate and even sympathize with all of the main characters. I thought it gave good insight into bullying, and the torture that some kids are put through while in school. The peer pressure, the complicated tumultuous life of teens - was perfectly captured.

This book will stick with me for a while, I think.

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