Nineteen Minutes

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In this book, Jodi Picoult tells the powerful story of 17 year old Peter Houghton, who has been bullied since his very first day of school. One day Peter goes to school armed with four guns and shoots ten students and a teacher that get in his way. The shooting is a big shock to the small town of Sterling where nothing of this magnitude has ever happened and Peter is perceived as a monster and the relatives of the people involved are seeking justice. Throughout the book Picoult tells the story from the perspective of Peter's mother Lacey, his childhood friend Josie, her mother Alex and that of Peter himself and from their views you can learn what brought Peter to perform such an act. The incessant teasing and humiliation, the loss of his only friend to the cool crowd and the lack of adult interference to help him all aid in what becomes a tragedy. Reading this book makes you realize the hardships of being a teenager and trying to fit in, how cruel others can be to someone that is not necessarily as cool and the affects this can have on an individual. By showing all aspects of the situation, Picoult portrays the "monster" as a person which might be a victim of society himself without taking away the seriousness of his actions and the suffering of the people involved. When reading this book I was not able to put it down, it is so fluent and the way that the characters come together is amazing. This was my first time reading a book by Jodi Picoult, and if it is anything to go by I can't wait to read some of her other books.

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