Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Picoult

United States
March 21, 2007 11:31am CST
Has anyone else read Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Picoult? I thought it was an excellent book, but very upsetting to read. For those who haven't read it, it's about a school shooting. I actually found myself feeling very angry on Peter's behalf. Though I don't think there is any way of excusing what he did, I could see where he felt driven to it. I felt that if the schools had handled things differently regarding the relentless bullying of which he was a daily target, the whole thing could have been prevented. I also cringed at the way his parents handled a couple of pivotal incidents, but on the whole I didn't think they were bad parents.
2 people like this
5 responses
@crazynurse (7510)
• United States
21 Mar 07
I have worked adolescent/children's mental health in the past. So much goes on in these kid's lives that is not addressed. The town I live in doesn't even have a place to take a child w/ mental health issues! It is swept under the rug...where is fulminates until the child blows...then everyone wants to say, "why didn't anyone do anything before it led to this!" Sounds like a good read, I'll look for the book. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!
2 people like this
• United States
21 Mar 07
It is a very good book. I agree with you about mental health issues that need to be addressed that too often aren't. The schools also need to take an active role in bullying prevention. Many do, but it varies a lot. In this book, the schools Peter was in did everything you're not supposed to do these days. They played favorites, treating the popular kids better the other kids. They often didn't intervene in bullying situations, saying that when they did, the bullies who got into trouble then took it out on the victim. While I agree that that could be a problem, it doesn't absolve the school from intervening. In the school district I work for, retaliation will result in further punishment. Also, opportunities for bullying can be decreased by having more adults monitoring the hallways, etc. In this book, there were so many times things could have turned around for Peter if the adults in his life had done things differently. It wasn't as if he lacked a conscience or anything like that. He just couldn't take any more.
1 person likes this
@KATRINKA (1660)
• United States
24 Jun 07
Nineteen Minutes is the first of Picoult's novels I've read. I've been wrought with emotion as I read this novel. She handles all the points of view expertly. I think her writing is beautiful. I, too, was angry with Peter's school, wondering if the shootings could have been prevented if the teachers and principal had intervened. I'll be reading more of her work.
• United States
11 Jun 07
I actually have a signed copy of that book. I went to see her at a book signing. I really like Jodi Picoult a lot. I actually havne't read the book yet, because, one, I have many many books to read and also, I wanted to read another book of hers first that has a character from Nineteen Minutes in it.
2 people like this
• United States
12 Jun 07
Yes, there are actually two characters from other books(Patrick Ducharme from, I think, Perfect Match, and also Peter's defense attorney in Nineteen Minutes was Chris's defense attorney in The Pact. How awesome that you have a signed copy!
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@Script (592)
• Australia
11 Jun 07
I haven't read this title as of yet, but the past few Picoult books have had very dark themes. The last Jodi Picoult book I read was The Tenth Circle and I found it really intense. But I will keep on reading anything that she puts out as I enjoy the style in which she writes.
2 people like this
• United States
12 Jun 07
Her books are very intense and can be upsetting, though I love reading them because they are so interesting and thought-provoking. You'd better brace yourself when you do read Nineteen Minutes, because it's very intense.
@makingpots (11928)
• United States
17 Apr 07
I did not read that one. But I read My Sister Keeper by her. It too was an excellent book. Amazing character development. I love that in an author's writing style.
2 people like this
• United States
17 Apr 07
My Sister's Keeper is another excellent book. That one is probably actually my favorite by her. Nineteen Minutes is somewhat similar in style.
1 person likes this