Sunday, January 9, 2011

Book Review: Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

I have never done a book review on my blog before but my recent read had such a profound effect on me and a week after finishing it, the message is still resonating. Jodi Picoult has quickly become one of my favorite authors. She writes from the view points of all parties involved and her stories often revolve around controversial life decisions and events. The topics she writes about are not all smiles, rainbows and pixie dust, but neither is everyday life. Every Jodi Picoult book I have read has given me a new eye for the things going on around me. To put it simply, she makes you, the reader, think.
I could not put this book down. I was so consumed with this story and its characters as if they were friends of mine. Let me back up a few months to last Spring. Both of my sisters raved about this book and demanded I read it. I found out what toe subject matter was and immediately flinched. Nonetheless, I started the book but after only 50 pages in, I made a premature judgement and thought it was too much to handle. To quit reading a book is something I never do. While I was home for Christmas, I pulled the book off of the bookshelf and decided to give it another chance. Best. Decision. Ever. (Thanks, Andi & Nat!!)

I will not divulge too much information about the book so that I won't ruin the book but I will say that this book centers itself around a violent school shooting and the severe bullying and and pain that so often becomes the cause of these awful events. This book does not lessen the seriousness of such events nor does not insist that Peter Houghton was right in entering his school shooting at his peers but it does give us another perspective that is so often overlooked when events such as these happen. My high school years are not too far behind me and I remember students just like Peter. I now look back and wonder what may or may not have gone through their heads while enduring torture and torment day in and day out and never feeling like they were good enough. After the story unraveled through the pages and after I cried many tears, I know I have finished this book with new eyes and reassurance that things and people aren't always what they seem. The message was powerful and was even required reading for teachers of a Charlotte elementary school a few summers ago. All in all, this novel was a poignant reminder that everyone has a story and at the end of the day, all that anyone wants is to be loved. Snow is on the way and there is no better time to curl up with a good book and some hot tea. I highly recommend adding this one to your winter reading list!

Image via: Google source


  1. I'm going to have to get this book. I love to read and I love thanks for the rec!

  2. 100% agree with you! I started this book thinking that I would feel one way, and in the end I think she makes you examine every side of the story. At the end of the book, I found myself thinking and feeling completely differently. Wonderful read!

  3. I happened to read this book at the time of the Virginia shootings! it was so strange that I would be reading it at that particular time, therefore the book especially had an affect on me. I loved this book And all of her others that I have read!