New York Superior Court Judge Alex Cormier is assigned to preside over the case of the alleged Sterling High School shooter. Lawyer Jordan McAffee represents Peter, the boy who, on the day of the shooting, was found in the corner of the gymnasium holding a gun to his head with a shaky hand. Detective Patrick DuCharme has one star witness, but her story keeps changing. And then there's the biggest problem of all: the star witness happens to be Judge Cormier's daughter.
Picoult, acclaimed for her penetrating explorations of the gray areas in modern society, asks difficult questions in Nineteen Minutes, which may be her most powerful and important novel yet.
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"Brilliantly told....The author's insights into her characters' deep-seated emotions brings this ripped-from-the-headlines read chillingly alive." (Publishers Weekly)
"Every bit as gripping and moving as Picoult's previous novels, Nineteen Minutes will no doubt garner considerable attention for its controversial subject and twist ending." (Booklist)
"Picoult spins fast-paced tales of family dysfunction, betrayal, and redemption....[Her] depiction of these rites of contemporary adolescence is exceptional: unflinching, unjudgmental, utterly chilling." (The Washington Post)
I walked around with this audiobook everywhere....I sat extra minutes in the car...I took it into the shower....I could not put this brilliant masterpiece down.
The reader was wonderful and made the book come vividly alive , but it is the author who should be congratulated for putting together this chilling story with, what felt like, real life characters.
Her character development brought every one of those people to life.
It opens your eyes up to the importance of talking to & observing your children and it shows us how little it takes to send someone over the edge.
I usually don't write a review for books, but this books made me wanna talk to my childern about the affects of bullying. Jodi P. characters draw you in and have you loving them one minute and despising them the next. It was worth every minute and kept my attention throughout. A book that has you thinking long after its done.
The depth of Jodi Picoult's research and insight revealed in her books continues to be extraordinary. Being a kid isn't easy and never was; she captures the realities quite powerfully. While there is the occasional part of this one that feels contrived, the story was gripping and has made me think, remember, and ponder. NINETEEN MINUTES is right up there with PLAIN TRUTH and MY SISTER'S KEEPER in my Jodi Picoult rankings. (She's among my favorites but behind Gregory David Roberts, Bryce Courtnay, and Rohinton Mistry. Why do I mention them? Because when I read the comments on a book, I want to know what else a person has liked, or not. I rarely do, but I feel it helps to assess how closely matched we are - in what we're looking for in a book.)
This is one of the most thoughtful books I have read in a long time. This author expores the human element behind sensational crimes and makes us think about all sides and all angles. This should be required reading for parents of teens, teens and anyone who deals with young people. She doesn't make excuses for the shooter, but doesn't leave the victims blameless either. I hate to say it but I was glad one of the victims was killed and I probably would have fantasized about shooting him too. What does that make me? Guilty as well?
As others have already stated, this book is overly long. I agree this is a very complex topic, but I did not need the first fourteen hours to understand who was a bully, who was a victim, who lacked self-esteem, etc - it was very obvious. I also found the characters a little too "stereotypical". Not every "geek" is a victim and not every "jock" is a bully - would have preferred to spent 21 hours to hear a story with some more complex characters. Overall, an okay read - not sure if I will select another book by this author in the future.
Picoult delivers once again and I was as usual transfixed. I read it twice and there's not much I want to add to all the previous reviews, except that, with all its expertly-delivered perceptions of character dilemma and incisive insight into various moral and legal "grey areas" the book left me with an acute and disquieting awareness of the ultimate sadness of life and the inevitability of loss. There was a pervasive sense of hopelessness and I felt that all the characters were dominated by their defects. Perhaps what was missing was humor, a lighter touch, a spark of redemption to balance the narration of a train-wreck of a story. I felt Picoult had crossed over to a darker side that I haven't seen in her earlier work.
Picoult delivers again. What causes bullied kids to become killers? What kind of parent fails his kids so badly? How do kids find their places in society? Picoult handles family function and dysfunction with empathy and careful balance. Highly recommended.
I truly enjoyed every moment of listening to this book. It was a great story and I really liked the "cast" of readers. I would recommend it to anyone who has read and enjoyed Jodi Piccoult, I think that this was at the very least one of her very best.
I can't remember a book that was so powerful and thought-provoking but at the same time contains a romance between two characters that's clearly contrived, unnecessary to the plot, and which serves to interrupt the story on many occasions for no good reason. My suspicion is that a majority of Picoult's listeners are female and the romance is added to assuage them, and in "My Sister's Keeper" it was more benign but just as unnecessary. The subject matter of this book is so riveting and disturbing, though, that the romance is glaringly out of place. In addition, the circumstances necessary for the two characters to come into contact with each other are so ridiculously unlikely, in a book that deals with an absolute reality of modern life (especially for young people) that I just rolled my eyes and had to wade through it until the real story was resumed. All in all a really great book with a major flaw - I hope Ms. Picoult sticks to her next story without the side journey since she's clearly so good at telling them.
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