Saturday, April 21, 2007
I'm not a big author reader but after discovering Jodi Picoult in a Dear Reader forum, I've since anticipated every new novel she's published. Her latest novel, Nineteen Minutes, follows a community as they struggle to comprehend a horrendous school shooting. Told in alternating chapters, the reader gets an upclose look at the childhood of the perpetrator, Peter Houghton, prior to the shooting and the heartrending days and months after the deadly event. What lead such a shy, intelligent teen to take matters into his own hands? What's more, how do friends and family cope with the tragedies that have transpired? In light of the recent Virginia Tech tragedies, this was a difficult book to read but very worthwhile in the questions it raises about school bullying. All of Picoult's title deal with difficult subject matter and this title was no different; however, it was nice to see her step away from the formulaic rut her books had fallen into and give her characters a real voice. A worthy read but if you only have time for Picoult's finest, I suggest My Sister's Keeper or The Pact...definitely the best in this reader's humble opinion.