Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
A Novel

74%

17 Critic Reviews

The author's insights into her characters' deep-seated emotions brings this ripped-from-the-headlines read chillingly alive.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn, color your hair, watch a third of a hockey game. In nineteen minutes, you can bake scones or get a tooth filled by a dentist; you can fold laundry for a family of five....In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world, or you can just jump off it. In nineteen minutes, you can get revenge.

Sterling is a small, ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens -- until the day its complacency is shattered by a shocking act of violence. In the aftermath, the town's residents must not only seek justice in order to begin healing but also come to terms with the role they played in the tragedy. For them, the lines between truth and fiction, right and wrong, insider and outsider have been obscured forever. Josie Cormier, the teenage daughter of the judge sitting on the case, could be the state's best witness, but she can't remember what happened in front of her own eyes. And as the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show, destroying the closest of friendships and families.

Nineteen Minutes is New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult's most raw, honest, and important novel yet. Told with the straightforward style for which she has become known, it asks simple questions that have no easy answers: Can your own child become a mystery to you? What does it mean to be different in our society? Is it ever okay for a victim to strike back? And who -- if anyone -- has the right to judge someone else?
 

About Jodi Picoult

See more books from this Author
Jodi Picoult is the author of eighteen novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers House Rules, Handle With Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister’s Keeper. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. Visit her at JodiPicoult.com.Samantha van Leer is a junior in high school. She conceived the idea for this book and pitched it to her mom, who was in the middle of a book tour. In her spare time, Samantha can be found playing softball, doing contemporary dance, acting and singing in musicals, and cuddling on the ground with her two dogs, Dudley and Oliver—for whom the prince in this fairy tale was named.
 
Published March 5, 2007 by Atria Books. 468 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Crime. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Nineteen Minutes
All: 17 | Positive: 12 | Negative: 5

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Jan 12 2016

The author's insights into her characters' deep-seated emotions brings this ripped-from-the-headlines read chillingly alive.

Read Full Review of Nineteen Minutes: A Novel | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

USA Today

Above average
Reviewed by Jocelyn McClurg on Mar 05 2007

Even though her prose rarely rises above serviceable, Picoult knows how to hook you. The key to Nineteen Minutes seems to reside with Josie Cormier, who is found unconscious but unharmed in the locker room with Peter...its very ordinariness gives it surprising power.

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PopMatters

Below average
Reviewed by Maryan Pelland on Mar 20 2007

Paragraph after paragraph, here, the main characters change their most basic beliefs, wheel 180s, and have no apparent reasons for doing so...Nineteen Minutes hands readers, at one point, a list of things that can be done in 19 minutes. You can mow the lawn, color your hair, watch the news on TV and so forth. Those might be better uses of time.

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California Literary Review

Above average
Reviewed by Julie Ellam on Jul 19 2007

Despite the deserved and undeserved criticisms, Picoult manages to prove yet again that she has an ability to tell an interesting story. This is also a worthwhile read for the attempts that are made to understand rather than demonize Peter, but his characterization could have been more detailed and given more depth to suit the purpose.

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Teen Ink

Above average
on Nov 03 2015

Considering the evidence, there is no doubt that Picoult was extremely concerned with the concept of public schooling. In her story, every character seemed to be affected negatively by the standards and the stereotypes that permeate school life.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Kendra F on May 29 2010

Fascinating, expressive, and thought-provoking are all accurate when describing Jodi Picoult’s Nineteen Minutes. This novel tells an interesting story full of twists and turns that will be sure to keep the reader on the edge of his or her seat...This is a must read for anyone who wants to be whisked away into an alternative world of emotion...

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Bapalapa2 on Oct 09 2009

Deceiving lies and gorgeous appearances of those who are “popular” and those who are the high school “sellouts” pulls the cast of Nineteen Minutes together...It is in my best interest to recommend this book to young and mature adults, it will be sure to leave you with the impact of sympathy and compassion...

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EzineArticles

Below average
Reviewed by Bella Hayden on Jul 21 2008

The story is gripping and sad, and all too real. No generation seems immune to the pain of the social stereotyping...There are a few inconsistencies that were subtle, but certainly would have been easy enough for the author to overcome...If you're looking for a satisfying resolution at the end of a story-keep looking because you won't find it here.

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Parental Book Reviews

Good
Reviewed by ‎Lubatkin‎ on Oct 18 2015

I recommend Nineteen Minutes to any reader who likes to be able to relate to the book they are reading. Also, I recommend this novel to anyone who loves reading about the reality of high school and the consequences that tag along with bullying.

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Parental Book Reviews

Excellent
Reviewed by Gershon on Oct 18 2015

Nineteen Minutes is a powerful and relevant realistic fiction novel that instantly grabs the reader’s attention. Author, Jodi Picoult attacks the teen issue of belonging, fitting in, and the need to conform...Nineteen Minutes is a must read for all high school teens and all adults. The message of the novel comes across loud and clear...

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Literate Housewife

Excellent
Reviewed by Jennifer on Mar 17 2007

This book did not disappoint me at all. It was very interesting to get a full view of a school shooting from the perpetrator, from the students, from the parents, and from the community...I would highly recommend Nineteen Minutes. It gives you a feeling of what it’s like to live in a community devastated by school violence.

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The Literary Omnivore

Above average
Reviewed by The Literary Omnivore on Jan 26 2011

While Jodi Picoult’s Nineteen Minutes is a good technical novel (extremely readable, well-researched, good characters, and a solid structure), it rings hollow—these aren’t characters who could ever surprise their writer, much less her audience.

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She Treads Softly Blog

Excellent
Reviewed by Lori L on Mar 26 2007

It is not an easy book to read in some ways. As I started reading and knew what was going to happen, my heart just ached. Most people who have simply attended a public school high school where no shooting has taken place will empathized with some of the characters...Hard book... hard topic... but highly recommended.

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Book Chase

Below average
Reviewed by Sam Sattler on Sep 30 2007

Nineteen Minutes is not a terrible book but it is a disappointing one because it could have been so much more than it turned out to be. Jodi Picoult offers nothing new to the discussion of school shootings...Instead, she deals in stereotypical characters and a sideshow romance that add little but pages to her novel.

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Roundtable Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Tracy on Nov 21 2010

I've read Nineteen Minutes and cried. Now it's in the hands of my 14-year-old who says the author's done a fantastic job capturing all aspects of bullying and the lack of response from teachers...Jodi Picoult excels at creating a sympathetic situation where the reader clearly sympathizes with both sides of the picture.

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Book Club Classics

Above average
Reviewed by Kristen on Nov 18 2007

But with Nineteen Minutes, she finally seems to have taken her writing to another level...Picoult has created complex characters — within an admittedly sensationalistic context — and rewarded her reader with an appropriately complex and unsettling ending.

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soniareviews

Above average
Reviewed by Sonia on Feb 17 2011

Picoults tact of smooth prose and driving narrative pace is one of the reasons it is difficult to put the book down once you start reading it. She portrays the emotional battles of the all the characters realistically, with a lot of ease.

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Reader Rating for Nineteen Minutes
84%

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