Monday, August 24

"Nineteen Minutes" - Jodi Picoult

"Sterling is a small, ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens - until a student enters the local high school with an arsenal of guns and starts shooting, changing the lives of everyone, inside and out.
The daughter of the judge sitting on the case should be the state's best witness - but with her boyfriend dead and her childhood friend charged with murder, she's struggling to remember what happened in front of her own eyes....
Number one bestselling author Jodi Picoult brings us her hardest-hitting and most involving novel yet. NINETEEN MINUTES asks what it means to be different in our society, who has the right to judge someone else - and whether a person is ever whom they seem to be..."

If you want a truly uplifting, joyous, warm, inspiring read - do not read Nineteen Minutes.
I borrowed it from the library on a whim, mainly to see why everyone was raving about Jodi Picoult. And once I started reading it, I found out why. To me, it was utterly engrossing, and as 'un-put-downable' as any thriller. It was also very, very moving and emotionally powerful. However I don't think I'll be reading any more books by Picoult after this.
Why? Because it was so profoundly sad.
Nineteen Minutes is incredibly depressing, but I think that's because it seems so real. You can imagine, with great clarity, every single one of the scenes in this book. You can imagine how each of the characters feel, how they act, how they think, what they look like. In fact Picoult paints characters so real, so vivid, that I found myself thinking about them long after I'd actually put down the book on any given day.
Occasionally, it did veer a little too widely into slightly sappy sentimental territory, and at times it felt as though the author was putting in all these clever metaphors just for the sake of writing something that had a 'deep' hidden meaning to it, just because she could. "The rain came down so they couldn't see each other clearly". Oh, and it's like a reflection of their relationship too! Wow. That's profound.
On the whole, it was one of those books that just stays with you for ages, making you think, and it does call you to question who the real victims are in various situations.

RATING: Riveting. Depressing. And haunting. 4 STARS

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