Friday, April 8, 2011

Book Review - Nineteen Minutes

I finished Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult in March. It was one of those books that I was shaking my head at times thinking that things in the book could really have happened, but I wasn't able to stop reading/listening because I really wanted to see how it all ended.

The book is about Peter Houghton who has been bullied all through school and when he has finally had enough, he takes guns into school and spends 19 minutes shooting his way through the building. The book is told mostly in flashbacks with the day of the shooting at the beginning of the book and flashbacks interspersed with the days following the shooting to explain how Peter got to the point of taking drastic actions. The flashbacks are from the point of view of Peter; Josie Cormier, who was his best friend until middle school; and both of their mothers. Lacey Houghton spends most of the book wondering how her sweet little boy could grow up to do such a thing and Judge Alex Cormier spends the book trying to reconnect with and protect Josie after the shooting occurs. The book is told through these characters points of view as well as the Detective investigating the case and Peter's father.

While the shooting was a shocking crime, Picoult writes the story in such a way that I really felt sorry for Peter and could totally understand his sense of helplessness. I found myself rooting for the underdog and hoping that the court case would bring about the sympathy needed for a not guilty or an acquittal.

I didn't really understand the contentious or disengaged relationship between Josie and her mother. Unless it all stems from the fact that Alex was ready to give Josie up when she was pregnant but then decided to keep her. And after that how Alex was all about the job and Josie never seemed to come first. It was just odd how Josie always acted like Alex was never around. To me, this problematic relationship didn't add much to the storyline.

All in all, this was a good story and one that I recommend to anyone who hasn't read a Jodi Picoult novel yet.


Libby said...

I have never read any of Picoult's work. It sounds like an interesting book but with 1 kid still in school, dont know if I could get through it!

Sunnybec said...

I have read a few of Jodi Picoult books, she is quite a powerful writer.

Shelly said...

I love her novels!!!