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Review: Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Title: Nineteen Minutes
Author: Jodi Picoult
Year Published: 2007

Genre: Adult fiction
Pages: 455
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2015 Google Reading map)USA (NH)

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this from my school library

Summary (from the inside flap of the book):
 Sterling is a small, ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens--until the day its complacency is shattered by a shocking act of violence. In the aftermath, the town's residents must not only seek justice in order to begin healing but also come to terms with the role they played in the tragedy. For them, the lines between truth and fiction, right and wrong, insider and outsider have been obscured forever. Josie Cormier, the teenage daughter of the judge sitting on the case, could be the state's best witness, but she can't remember what happened in front of her own eyes. And as the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the community begin to show, destroying the closest of friendships and families.

Review: Jodi Picoult. She tells such a good story! 455 pages went quickly as I was enthralled throughout the entire book.

A school shooting is something that, unfortunately, we've all become so familiar with in the past ten years or so. Why do they happen? Are certain kids targeted? How does the perpetrator get the weapons? Is there anything any of us could have done along the way to prevent it? These questions are all raised in this well-written novel.

The characters Picoult creates are so real; I could sympathize with all of them, no matter what side of the shooting they were on. Well, except the bullies. I just couldn't understand their cruelty. But, in this story, theirs is an important one to hear. Sections of the book are broken into time periods before and after the violence and within each section we hear from many characters, seeing all sides of the story and how it all fits together.

This isn't a mystery. We know who does the violent act, we know who dies, and who lives. The real story is why. Picoult does this masterfully.

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