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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Written with Love and Filled with Exceptional Insights
We've read about too many school shootings. These are intensely sad events as young lives are ended and harmed while sickening fear is permanently released to further separate communities. We all blame the parents for being so clueless.

I wasn't sure I wanted to read a long novel about such an event. But I'm glad I did. Nineteen Minutes takes the bare facts of...
Published on April 13 2007 by Donald Mitchell

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts...
Maybe 3.5 stars...

Jodi Picoult’s 14th novel begins with high-voltage excitement: seventeen-year-old Peter Houghton, an eternally bullied computer programmer, walks into his New Hampshire high school with a knapsack full of guns and kills ten students. With over a thousand witnesses and a video tape of the day's events against him, Houghton's lawyer...
Published 21 months ago by Reader Writer Runner


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Written with Love and Filled with Exceptional Insights, April 13 2007
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
We've read about too many school shootings. These are intensely sad events as young lives are ended and harmed while sickening fear is permanently released to further separate communities. We all blame the parents for being so clueless.

I wasn't sure I wanted to read a long novel about such an event. But I'm glad I did. Nineteen Minutes takes the bare facts of such an awful day and helps us see the whole experience from every perspective. And the book does so with a kind and gentle heart.

This shifting of the balance of our perceptions is accomplished by several well-performed techniques including many narrators (different students, three parents, the police, the defense attorney, and his wife), connections among the characters, and multiple back stories that reach literally into the womb. The book's theme is far more universal than school shootings: How we grow away from our real selves and the damage that does to us and others.

I was very impressed by the way that Ms. Picoult viewed every character with mostly sympathy, even when you might think of them as being unsympathetic from the facts. Each character is also mildly funny. She doesn't let the tragedy pull us too far away from the realities of everyday life. It's an extraordinary storytelling gift.

If you are like me, you'll probably feel that your faith in people is increased by reading this story rather than the reverse. That reaction also surprised me.

No matter what your age is I think you'll find this book will draw you back into those turbulent teen years when being popular meant way too much. It'll be an intense and self-revealing visit.

Bravo, Ms. Picoult! This is a remarkable book.

Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Picoult's Best!, June 9 2007
By 
Shepherdess Extraordinaire (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
As one of the previous reviewers stated, I too was leary about reading about another school shooting, but decided to start the book and then decide whether or not to finish it. I couldn't put it down! Instead of a sappy book that tries to psychoanalyze the shooter and play on the reader's emotions, I was immersed in the story. Picoult does an amazing job of taking on an issue that is unfortunatley becoming too commonplace to the point that we are now desensitized to it and there is now only media coverage in the event of MASS casualty. She so gently shows that we are all to blame for these events. What particularly stood out for me was how many of the characters other than the shooter commit acts of violence on a daily basis whether in supposedly harmless teasing and playing pranks on "geeks", relationship violence, "mean girls", etc. that are socially acceptable. Yet it is the shooter that is singled out as being the villian. The real tradegy is that, without excusing his final act of retaliation, it is HE that really is the victim of society's norms of "being successful and making it in the world" (whether it be academic success, popularlity, fashion & beauty, etc.). Picoult exposes how we compromise our values and integrity to "fit in" and in so doing, deeply hurt others - not just ourselves. This book evoked alot of emotion and stayed with me for days after finishing it. You can't read this book without self-examination - how I relate to other people on a daily basis and my motives. Nineteen Minutes should be on the reading list of every high school Literature class.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nineteen Minutes, June 4 2007
Jodi Picoult leaves readers with ambiguous questions by painting a portrait of social ostracism and climbing in schools as character personas are broken down. Every word captures and compels self discovery and reflection as Picoult is very truthful with her characters. Consequences resonate from every action as readers comprehend the repercussions that continue after every situation. Although Peter Houghton attacked the bullies, the victims of the shooting, one cannot disregard sympathy towards Peter and his motifs as the thin line between right and wrong blurs.

After reading Nineteen Minutes, shivers engulf your body regarding the similarities between the novel's school shooting, occurring in a period of nineteen minutes, and the strikingly similar Virginia Tech shooting. The novel alludes to various world changing events such as 9/11 and the Indian Ocean earthquake. It took nineteen minutes for Peter to kill 10 people. In 12 short seconds one of the World Trade Centres collapsed, contributing to the 2,595 dead. Lasting for ten minutes, the Indian Ocean earthquake effects were felt all over the globe, literally vibrating the world by a centimetre. Picoult's emphasis on what one can do in nineteen minutes provided a notable underlying component within the novel.

Picoult demonstrates there is no restriction on what one can achieve in nineteen minutes. Within nineteen minutes, the WTC collapsed, a 9.3 earthquake was created and Peter got revenge. The novel reveals that time does not restrict your actions as only you can control yourself and destiny.

"In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world; or you can just jump off it."

What would you do in nineteen minutes?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Written with Love and Filled with Exceptional Insights, April 13 2007
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Nineteen Minutes (Hardcover)
We've read about too many school shootings. These are intensely sad events as young lives are ended and harmed while sickening fear is permanently released to further separate communities. We all blame the parents for being so clueless.

I wasn't sure I wanted to read a long novel about such an event. But I'm glad I did. Nineteen Minutes takes the bare facts of such an awful day and helps us see the whole experience from every perspective. And the book does so with a kind and gentle heart.

This shifting of the balance of our perceptions is accomplished by several well-performed techniques including many narrators (different students, three parents, the police, the defense attorney, and his wife), connections among the characters, and multiple back stories that reach literally into the womb. The book's theme is far more universal than school shootings: How we grow away from our real selves and the damage that does to us and others.

I was very impressed by the way that Ms. Picoult viewed every character with mostly sympathy, even when you might think of them as being unsympathetic from the facts. Each character is also mildly funny. She doesn't let the tragedy pull us too far away from the realities of everyday life. It's an extraordinary storytelling gift.

If you are like me, you'll probably feel that your faith in people is increased by reading this story rather than the reverse. That reaction also surprised me.

No matter what your age is I think you'll find this book will draw you back into those turbulent teen years when being popular meant way too much. It'll be an intense and self-revealing visit.

Bravo, Ms. Picoult! This is a remarkable book.

Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Emotionally Charged, April 14 2008
By 
Toni Osborne "The Way I See It" (Montreal, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Nineteen Minutes (Paperback)
Peter Houghton a seventeen year old high school student has been enduring years of verbal and physical abuse when he is driven ever the edge. One more incident of bullying is the final straw leading Peter to commit an incomprehensible act of violence, a shooting rampage through the corridors of his high school. What could make a student turn against his fellow classmates?.......

This emotionally charged novel explores the consequences of bullying through the eyes: of the perpetrator, the judge assigned to the case and key witness. Jodi Picoult is especially gifted in making her characters seem believable and real, even in situations and circumstances that are uncommon and tragic. They are well defined and portrayed; you feel sympathy for someone pushed over the edge and pity for the clueless adults. The plot is riveting, poignant and provoking, it is presented with different points of view alternating back and forth between the past and the present. This novel's one flaw is the quick ending, which, as other reviewers have stated, does not seem realistic. Overall, an eye opener making you reflect and think, "How well do we know the people around us."I highly recommend this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning and Moving Literary Piece, Oct. 29 2008
By 
L. Campbell "Literary Fan" (Toronto) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nineteen Minutes (Paperback)
As Jodi Picoult is one of my absolute favorite authors, my expectations are quite high. This book did absolutely not disappoint.
Full of wonderful words, hidden meanings and yet frank emotional clarity, this stunning tale of love and loss deeply moved me. In a topic that could have been played up on cliche Ms. Picoult used sympathy and realism to deeply show the characters, plot line, and the school shooting topic of which we are all too familier. Although clearly a very intelligent woman, Ms. Picoult writes without being pretentious, and all of her books are stunning.
I am unaware if authors read this site, but Ms. Picoult, I am a fan of your writing and all of your books. They all affect me on a level no other book has. I appreciate your art, and your books are incomparable of that I've read elsewhere.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, May 6 2008
This review is from: Nineteen Minutes (Paperback)
Peter Houghton had an extremely normal life. Raised in a normal town. Went to a normal high school. But he was always different. And because of that, he gets picked on.

And then he retaliates.

Many people are killed, and many more injured.

I don't want to give the whole story away, so just read this because it's so real. Everything that happens in NINETEEN MINUTES could easily happen in an actual high school (and, in many cases, already has).

I don't know what to say other then this is an amazing read. It is written in such a talented way that it could only be pulled off by Jodi Picoult.

Reviewed by: Taylor Rector
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5.0 out of 5 stars Jodi Picoult does it again, Sept. 20 2008
By 
jazzi's mom (ontario,canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Nineteen Minutes (Paperback)
Another goody from Jodi Picoult. I love how she brought back past characters from her other novels. Even if you have never read a previous Jodu Picoult, she fully introduced these characters so that you haven't missed anything. Great book I highly recommend to anyone. You must also read "the pact" by this author as well. The Pact is my absolute favorite!!! Perfect Match was also amazing, along with Salems falls. You cant go wrong with her.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EMOTIONS EXPLORED WITH PINPOINT ACCURACY, March 7 2007
By 
Gail Cooke (TX, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
The fragility of life and mysteries of hearts are revealed as Jodi Picoult unfolds her story of tragedy in small town America. A devastating event, its immediate consequences and its long term effects are presented in her compelling narrative. The fact that such a violent act occurs with increasing frequency in our country today renders the story even more chilling.

Sterling, New Hampshire is a quiet town, peaceful almost as if captured in a Norman Rockwell painting. However, Rockwell never painted a school shooting which is the frightening springboard for Picoult's story. Peter Houghton is obviously a troubled youth. In flashbacks his mother, Lacy, recalls him as a "challenging baby" unlike his older brother, Joey. Peter would "cry, collicky, and have to be soothed by putting his car seat on the vibrating clothes dryer. He'd be nursing, and suddenly arch away from her."

Lacy never dreamed that some day he would walk into his high school carrying guns and kill ten of his classmates." What could have driven him to this?

One who survived his rampage is Josie Cormier, a girl unsure of who she really is. Popular? Yes. Good student? Yes. Yet she kept a quantity of Ambien hidden because she felt the time would come when no one would want to be around her any more. When that happened, "It stood to reason Josie wouldn't want to be around herself either."

Her mother is Alex, the youngest superior court judge in the state, and the presiding judge at Peter's trial. Josie's boyfriend, Matt, was one of the victims, and Josie maintains that she can remember nothing of what she saw. It's difficult for Alex to be impartial in this case.

Author Picoult explores the emotions of teenagers and adults with pinpoint accuracy just as she raises important questions about the problems many of us face. Readers will find themselves caring deeply for both Peter and Josie and the families that nurtured them. Law would tell us that there was one villain and all others were victims. But, is that truly the case? Many will shed a tear as the story reaches its inexorable conclusion.

- Gail Cooke
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, April 3 2008
By 
Sherry Simons (Edmonton, AB) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I found that the beginning of the book dragged a bit because there were so many changes in point of view. But it definitely got better as the book went on. A few parts in the book seemed extremely contrived and unrealistc. Overall, however, the book was well written and held my interest.
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Nineteen Minutes
Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult (Paperback - Feb. 5 2008)
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