NINETEEN MINUTES by Jodi Picoult
Set at a small town, multiple character perspectives are shown surrounding a horrific school shooting. 17 year-old Peter has endured years of verbal and physical abuse from fellow classmates as well as lack of connection and understanding from his family. Joise who was Peter’s closest friend has turned her back on him, for acceptance in the ‘popular’ group.
After one incident and the next, and having no sort of support, the final act of bullying sets Peter on the path of revenge against those who have acted upon or had just watched while he was bullied. This one event forever changes the lives of folks in Sterling… but has it turned out for the good or the bad?
This novel which was stated to be Jodi Picoult’s first number #1 best selling… has lived up to its title! I love how characters were given a share in the book, so as readers we were given a better understanding on the whole event, past and present. Which in turn, made it difficult to choose a favourite character as well as make a judgement on whether the incident was heroic or the act of revenge was just plain stupid.
Various issues were raised: the extent of love, bullying, what it means to stand out in society, family relationships, what a friend really means, revenge, happiness and reality vs. expectations.
I’d say if you want to give Jodi Picoult a go, this book would be perfect for a first read.