I've been basically on my preverbial deathbed for the past week. Thank goodness for audiobooks. I just finished 19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult yesterday. I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's the 2nd book that I've read of hers; the other was My Sister's Keeper which was also pretty good. I was skeptical of reading another book by Picoult because I've heard that she follows a pattern in writing all her books and I typically don't enjoy reading that kind of writing over and over. She likes to throw a twist in at the end that you wouldn't expect. 19 Minutes was no exception. I didn't think the twist was very believable but it was interesting and doesn't make me dislike the book as a whole.
Picoult writes about controversial subjects which I really admire and enjoy. I like to read difficult topics and she hasn't let me down thus far. 19 Minutes is about a high school shooting, popularity and bullying. I know, it sounds very dire and depressing but it was done nicely and with poise.
There's one part in the book that is quite chilling. Most school shooters share typical characteristics with most typical teenagers. She says "these kids who resort to violence are not all that different from the one living upstairs in your own house". YIKES!
I also thought this was very sad - In an interview about Picoult's reasearch on the book she stated "psychologically, a single act of childhood bullying is as scarring emotionally as a single act of sexual abuse". That's pretty scary!
The one thing I didn't like, besides the weird twist, was the name of the mother/judge; Alex Cormier. It seems like a very 'made-up' name to me. But oh well. We can't all be perfect. There was a point in the book (where Alex struggles with deciding to take the court case for the shooting at her daughter's high school or to recuse herself) that bothered me. I don't think any resonable judge would think that they could be impartial to a case where their child was injured. But again, didn't stop me from reading.
I suggest reading the interview with the author on her website.
- and for funsies, here's a trailer to the book -