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A review of nineteen minutes by jodi picoult

Jan 27, 2008 Lara rated it really liked it Believe it or not, I have never actually read one of Jodi Piccoult's books before. I'm not really sure why, but I haven't. Sometimes the perpetrator of a heinous crime is the biggest victim of them all.

Reading the things that Peter went through sometimes brought me to tears. I have never understood how people can treat others so badly, and the behavior of the b Believe it or not, I have never actually read one of Jodi Piccoult's books before. I have never understood how people can treat others so badly, and the behavior of the bullies in this story was beyond the pale. It was easy to see how he could have been driven to do what he did, even though it was absolutely horrific.

High school is hard. I think most of us can look back on our high school days and remember struggling to fit in, remember the cruelty of some kids, and remember thinking a review of nineteen minutes by jodi picoult being "popular" meant you'd made it in life.

Now, with my adult perspective, I can see how silly much of it was, but I remember that it was very real to me. I wasn't popular, but I did find my niche. I went through my share of teasing, and in the end I think it made me a stronger person, however I never endured anything like what Peter had to endure and I wonder how I would have gotten through something like that.

Nobody can judge a situation perfectly equitably. Not even a superior court judge. The storyline of Alex and her daughter showed that quite well, but so did the stories of most of the characters. You can't judge only on face value, or even on actions only.

Piccoult did an excellent job of playing Devil's advocate for every single character. Schools may have a zero tolerance policy for bullying, but in reality, they turn a blind eye to much of it. I have experienced this a bit with Bria's schools. I think it is impossible for the teachers and administration to really see what is going on all the time, but I do think that they need to be more aware of who is the bully and who is the victim.

It was very sad and even gut wrenching to see how the teachers either didn't want to deal with Peter's situation, half heartedly dealt with it, encouraged it, or punished him right along with the bully.

I don't really know what the answer is, but it seems to me there's got to be something better. Peter's crime shouldn't be blamed on his parents, but they aren't guilt free, either. We can see that Peter's parents did what they thought was best, and they loved him. However, from the time he was born, they constantly compared him to his older brother, who was seemingly perfect.

It got to a point that Peter couldn't confide in them about the hurt he was experiencing, because they always asked why he couldn't just be like Joey. And then to have Joey killed tragically a year before Peter's shooting spree didn't help. Both parents eventually admitted to themselves that they would have rather had Peter been killed in the car accident instead of Joey.

I am pretty sure that kind of an attitude is evident to children, no matter how hard you try to hide it. Other mistakes these parents made were writing off Peter's anti social behaviors for normal teenage boy actions, and not really trying to have a relationship with him. Allowing him his privacy, instead of finding out what he was up to and what was going a review of nineteen minutes by jodi picoult in his life in a way that showed they truly were interested about him and truly cared.

They seemed to be the poster children for loving, but lazy, parenting. Which really isn't loving, actually. Likewise, Alex had issues being a mother, and it took a tragic event to help her to reevaluate her priorities and her actions as Josie's mother.

I was happy she recognized her mistakes and worked to be better, but still, much of the damage had already been done. At least it wasn't as bad of a situation as Peter's parents were in, where the damage had all been done and there was no repairing any of it. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what the mitigating circumstances are.

The law is still the law. Alex dealt with this early in her career as a judge. And of course, Peter and Josie needed to pay for their actions. That is the law. I don't think it could be any different, and of course, I don't excuse Peter for what he did.

Nineteen Minutes

As the trial showed, there were other kids who were bullied just as much who didn't decide to shoot up the school. There are so many other things I could say about this book. Piccoult is obviously very good at bringing up hot button societal issues and presenting them in a way that makes you really think. I am excited to read more of her novels. A few silly annoyances because I always have them: One of the first times we meet Judge Alex Cormier is when she is pregnant with Josie and she fills out a form with her name: Later in the book it talks about how her name isn't short for Alexandra like people assume.

Well then, why would she fill out paperwork like that? People are constantly "pinching the bridge of their noses" in exasperation. I swear I read that phrase more than 5 times. I didn't feel the twist at the end was sufficiently explained. Maybe the abusive relationship she sort of showed between Matt and Josie explains it.

She foreshadowed a bit that something big was up, but I didn't feel that what Josie ultimately did made a ton of sense in the situation. Perhaps a bit more backstory on the relationship, or at the very least, on Josie's feelings about the relationship, would have made more sense to me.

As it was, I felt it was a bit out of place. So if that's what Piccoult was going for, then great.