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On Peter Houghton's first day of kindergarten, he watched helplessly as an older boy ripped his lunch box out of his hands and threw it out the window. From that day on, his life was a series of humiliations, from having his pants pulled down in the cafeteria, to being called a freak at every turn. But can endless bullying justify murder? As Picoult attempts to answer this question, she shows us all sides of the equation, from the ruthless jock who loses his ability to speak after being shot in the head, to the mother who both blames and pities herself for producing what most would call a monster. Surrounding Peter's story is that of Josie Cormier, a former friend whose acceptance into the popular crowd hangs on a string that makes it impossible for her to reconcile her beliefs with her actions.
At times, Nineteen Minutes can seem tediously stereotypical-- jocks versus nerds, parent versus child, teacher versus student. Part of Picoult's gift is showing us the subtleties of these common dynamics, and the startling effects they often have on the moral landscape. As Peter's mother says at the end of this spellbinding novel, "Everyone would remember Peter for nineteen minutes of his life, but what about the other nine million?" --Gisele Toueg
I'd give it no stars if I could. Very generic, characters too stereotyped, overly dramatic and perpuates the media's reasoning for teenage mass shootings. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Stephanie Ryan
Jodi Picoult has written a remarkable account of the psychological and physical outcomes that destroy a small community when one of its offspring resorts to violence on a grand... Read morePublished 4 days ago by davidreads
A very well written book where the author was almost able to evoke sympathy for the perpetrator despite his shocking acts.Published 4 days ago by Win castle
Another good, absorbing read, to make you think of the "other" side of a story. Well written as usual, but I would rate it as one of her best!Published 6 days ago by jillG
Excellent writing style, going from past to present and back again, filling in the blanks as the book moves along. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
I liked this book. Picoult writes well and her material has an easy flow.
I know that some readers objected to this book being assigned as school reading. Read more
The novel is written for a large majority to understand. It offers great characters and an enlightening story of perspective. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Aaron Murray