July 19, 2012

From the Book Stack: Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult


Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Amazon | Goodreads


455 pages

Published: March 5, 2007 by Atria


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.

And Ms. Picoult does it again! She seems to always find a way for me to feel for the “bad guys” in her novels and this was no exception. But unlike her other stories which take a little bit before I can get into them, however within the first twenty pages I was hooked and wanted to know what was going on.


The thing that I liked about this book was how one chapter would be the present and then the next would be in the past to show the events that led up to the violent act. And in true Picoult fashion within each chapter you get multiple perspectives, which are warranted in her stories. I also like the way that Jodi (can I be on a first name basis with her?) makes me question my morals by giving me a new perspective on them. I think that is why I picked up this book in the first place, because I was feeling too judgmental about things (something I try not to be).


The story takes place in a small town where most everyone there thought nothing bad could ever happen (much like the town I grew up in) until their world is turned upside down. Families lose loved ones and think that they were only victims to a psychopath but we learn that they all played their own roll in the events that led to that day.


We focus on two kids that grow up together and see how they begin to grow apart. We see the effects of bullying, the effects of a friend turning on you and the effects of trying to find yourself as a person (A lot of which I could relate to my own childhood, although mine was not as bad as what is mentioned in the book). At some points I had to set the book down, the way that one’s peers could treat them like that just disgusted me. And you would think that what happened to them at the end would cause change, but it didn’t and that made me sick.


There is also a twist at the end, which Jodi kind of foreshadows throughout the book; well at least I thought so because something about the events of that day just weren’t sitting right with me. But it keeps you pulled right to the end!


My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 checkers