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Nineteen Minutes

April 13, 2007

A novelNineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult is essentially the story of two women friends, Alex and Lacy, connected to each other through their roles as mothers. Alex’s daughter Josie is a teenager who to all outward appearances is a popular, happy girl. While privately a tortured individual, Josie suffers from depression, has contemplated suicide and thinks of her life ” as a room with no doors and no windows. A room where there really wasn’t an escape.” Peter, Lacy’s son and a classmate and childhood friend of Josie, has had to deal with peer abuse from the moment he entered kindergarten. These four characters are thrown into an emotional roller coaster when Peter decides to take revenge on his classmates.

The book bounces back every other chapter to the past, trying to explain what drove Peter to take such drastic measures, which signs his parents might have missed and what type of roll Josie played in the events.  

One of my favorite books by Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper, was a dramatic read right up to the shocking, heart wrenching ending. I wish the same can be said of her latest novel.

If you have ever read a Mary Higgins Clark novel, then you can pretty much predict the entire plot line in the first few chapters. Her mysteries are neatly packaged and extremely predictable. The guy who is ultimately the “bad guy” is the one least likely to have done it. Obviously this is a popular writing style, since Higgins Clark keeps hitting the best seller list with each new book. I don’t want to say that Picoult is heading in a similar direction, but I found Nineteen Minutes to be far too predictable and at the end, a bit outlandish. This book followed the plotline of another one of her courtroom dramas, The Pact. Even though I felt that The Pact was a better read, I do remember being disappointed in it’s unlikely ending.

If you haven’t read a Picoult novel, go check out My Sister’s Keeper. Otherwise, skip over this predictable read.

– Stephanie

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Tara permalink
    April 14, 2007 1:44 pm

    I agree Nineteen Minutes is not Picoult’s finest, but I enjoyed it.
    I started and finished it yesterday. & once done with the book did take some time to contemplate the story and characters.
    I did not particularly enjoy The Tenth Circle (her prevoius book), liked Nineteen Minutes more.

    I started The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier this morning for my local book club.
    I plan on beginning and I hope enjoying My Year of Meats in the next day or so.

  2. Donna permalink
    April 15, 2007 5:27 pm

    Glad to know about My Sister’s Keeper. Just finished The Other Boleyn Girl and loved it.

  3. April 16, 2007 4:52 pm

    I agree that Piccoult’s earlier books were better. I ordered My Year of Meats a few weeks ago from Amazon marketplace and still have not gotten it!! So I unfortunately will have to wait and begin discussion with Water for Elephants, unless MYOM arrives quickly!

  4. April 16, 2007 9:25 pm

    Oh MAN – I wanted to read that one too – now you’re making me think twice!! Yes, some of hers do disappoint!!

  5. April 18, 2007 1:57 pm

    I may still read this one because I like Picoult’s work, usually.


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