Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
A novel

80%

26 Critic Reviews

There are reasons why Ms. Picoult’s books are so widely read.
-NY Times

Synopsis

In Sterling, New Hampshire, 17-year-old high school student Peter Houghton has endured years of verbal and physical abuse at the hands of classmates. His best friend, Josie Cormier, succumbed to peer pressure and now hangs out with the popular crowd that often instigates the harassment. One final incident of bullying sends Peter over the edge and leads him to commit an act of violence that forever changes the lives of Sterling's residents. Even those who were not inside the school that morning find their lives in an upheaval, including Alex Cormier. The superior court judge assigned to the Houghton case, Alex-whose daughter, Josie, witnessed the events that unfolded-must decide whether or not to step down. She's torn between presiding over the biggest case of her career and knowing that doing so will cause an even wider chasm in her relationship with her emotionally fragile daughter. Josie, meanwhile, claims she can't remember what happened in the last fatal minutes of Peter's rampage. Or can she? And Peter's parents, Lacy and Lewis Houghton, ceaselessly examine the past to see what they might have said or done to compel their son to such extremes. Nineteen Minutes also features the return of two of Jodi Picoult's characters-defense attorney Jordan McAfee from The Pact and Salem Falls, and Patrick DuCharme, the intrepid detective introduced in Perfect Match. Rich with psychological and social insight, Nineteen Minutes is a riveting, poignant, and thought-provoking novel that has at its center a haunting question. Do we ever really know someone?
 

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: 26 | Positive: 19 | Negative: 7

Kirkus

Below average
on May 20 2010

Picoult falters in her exploration of what turns a quiet kid into a murderer.

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Mar 16 2008

There are reasons why Ms. Picoult’s books are so widely read.

Read Full Review of Nineteen Minutes: A novel | See more reviews from NY Times

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Jan 01 2008

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

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Examiner

Below average
Reviewed by HILLARY HOUSTON on Jul 19 2010

It’s worth reading if you have the time to kill, but don’t go out of your way to read Jodi Picoult’s Nineteen Minutes.

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Book Reporter

Excellent
Reviewed by Kathy Weissman on Mar 05 2008

...she couldn't be more likable, honest and heartfelt.

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Entertainment Weekly

Excellent
Reviewed by Tina Jordan on May 08 2008

This is vintage Picoult, expertly crafted, thought-provoking, and compelling.

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Booklist Online

Excellent
Reviewed by Kristine Huntley on Feb 20 2013

Every bit as gripping and moving as Picoult’s previous novels, Nineteen Minutes will no doubt garner considerable attention...

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Suite 101

Good
Reviewed by Helen Reakes on Mar 20 2011

...Picoult delivers us a stimulating twist in the conclusion of her novel, which even I admit was quite a shocker!

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Suite 101

Below average
Reviewed by Maryan Pelland on Mar 01 2008

I can’t recommend this book. From the choice of topic, to the limp treatment of a tragic situation, to the staccato stabbings of inaccurate detail, I wondered if Picoult ever reread a single page.

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The Bookbag

Excellent
Reviewed by Jo Heffer on Apr 01 2008

From the moment I picked up Nineteen Minutes and started reading it, I was absorbed...it is a very powerful read, and I felt I went through virtually every possible emotion by the time I had finished reading it.

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BellaOnline

Above average
Reviewed by Jeanette Stingley on Feb 20 2013

The twist at the end of the story, in my opinion, really wasn’t necessary. I think Picoult went a little overboard for shock value.

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Boston.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Karen Campbell on Mar 19 2008

...a vividly disturbing narrative about what can happen when we least expect it...

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HSJ

Good
Reviewed by Randi Allen on Sep 29 2010

She has given this book really interesting twists and turns with ever little secret and truth. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes interesting books.

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HSJ

Excellent
Reviewed by Brittany Ezzel on Dec 12 2008

Overall Nineteen Minutes is an amazing heartfelt book.

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HSJ

Excellent
Reviewed by Meredith Shaw on Sep 23 2008

This book is eventful, emotional and an outstanding read with an amazing twist at the end.

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HSJ

Good
Reviewed by Michelle Ahronovitz on May 10 2008

...Picoult managed to pen another engrossing novel providing the American public with a new perspective on an issue that doesn't seem to appear in the news any less. Picoult serves as a social commentator of our age.

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California Literary Review

Above average
Reviewed by Julie Ellam on Jul 19 2008

It is possible that the subplots that diverge from the massacre are used to give light as a contrast to the shade...This is unnecessary and detrimental as Picoult’s ability to tell a good story is diminished by these aspects.

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Shine from Yahoo

Excellent
Reviewed by Tara on Oct 05 2009

It gives you chills at times and tears at others, and all the while you're not quite sure who you those tears are for.

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News-Telegram

Excellent
Reviewed by Tery Mathews on Feb 20 2013

...a stunning look into the dangerous world of today's young people.

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Teen Space Blog

Good
Reviewed by Ed Goldberg on Dec 12 2008

... Nineteen Minutes, leave readers thinking with their minds racing, a feat that not many current novelists can claim to have accomplished.

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Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by Bapalapa on Feb 20 2013

...it will be sure to leave you with the impact of sympathy and compassion...

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Helium

Below average
Reviewed by Dee Delaney on Jan 02 2010

Jodie Picoult always aims for the controversial, for the shock factor, and although this has been very successful in the past, I felt that 'Nineteen Minutes' did not quite hit the mark.

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Reviewing the Evidence

Above average
Reviewed by Denise Pickles on May 01 2008

It's unfortunate that such a topic must, by very definition, be depressing but if any author could make something which reverberates in the reader's mind palatable, Picoult is the one.

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Gather Books

Excellent
Reviewed by LA R. on Mar 04 2008

This novel is a great representation of the imagery, character development, and research typical of this author’s work.

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Gather Books

Above average
Reviewed by Nancy T. on Mar 02 2008

There is an “unexpected twist” in this novel...I found this surprise revelation a forced intrusion into an otherwise artfully rendered, thoughtful book.

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Chick Lit Central

Excellent
on May 16 2011

Rich with psychological and social insight, Nineteen Minutes is a riveting, poignant, and thought-provoking novel...

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Reader Rating for Nineteen Minutes
84%

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