Book Review – Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Book Review – Nineteen Minutes by Jodi PicoultNineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
Published by Atria Books on March 5, 2007
Genres: Family Life, Fiction, General
Pages: 440
Format: eBook

Old School

I know, I know… this book was published in 2007 and I’m only reading it now. I’m slow to the party on this one. I wish I had read it sooner. I’m a converted Jodi fan.

I had read another of Jodie’s books (The Pact) and I loved it and several friends recommended Nineteen Minutes as another great read.

The book was a change of pace for me. It’s not a thriller in the traditional sense, more of a drama, but has moments leaving you on the edge of your seat. I had trouble putting it down.

A school shooting is a horrible reality in the US and has been for a long time. The details of the school shooting were heartbreaking. Jodi does a fantastic job of describing the events leading up to and the post impact of the shooting. There are many players in the telling of the story. From the police investigator, to the lawyer (hello again Mr McAfee from The Pact), to the parent of the shooter and of the victim. Jodi accurately reflects the thoughts and feelings of the characters and yourself as the reader.

From the investigator:

He had no fucking idea how to process a nightmare this massive…

From the mother of the shooter:

no one seemed to have the right words of comfort for someone whose son had just killed ten people.

The overall feeling and questions you ask yourself when reading:

Did every teenager have the capacity to fall on one side or the other of that tightrope, and could you identify a single moment that tipped the balance?

As well as the courtroom drama that plays out, the book focuses on relationships. In particular the relationship between mother and daughter and the associated struggles. Also worth mentioning is the exploration of relationships between friends and the cruelness of young people.

I loved the book and a friend advised me it reminded them of the book We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. I loved that book too, but they are different. There are many more perspectives in Nineteen Minutes and I don’t think it is as dark as We Need to Talk about Kevin, although the same feeling of heartbreak and senselessness is there – as it is with all the shootings that occur on a daily basis. I’m grateful  I live in Australia, where thankfully, since the Port Arthur massacre, shootings are not commonplace in my country.

Read this and be prepared to be moved.


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.


About Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is the #1 bestselling author of twenty-five novels including My Sister’s Keeper, Nineteen Minutes, The Storyteller, Leaving Time, the acclaimed #1 bestseller, Small Great Things, which explored the issues of power, privilege and race, and has sold more than 1.5 million copies. Picoult’s most recent novel, A SPARK OF LIGHT., published on October 2, 2018, was her tenth consecutive instant #1 New York Times bestseller, and was praised as “Picoult at her fearless best” by the Washington Post.

2 B Read….

What is a TBR List? 

It is a term I only learnt about since starting my blog (and reading other wonderful book blogs) but it’s something every enthusiastic reader has – a To Be Read list.

Some people like to write their list of next reads down, others will keep a TBR list on Goodreads, or keep a pile of physical books they are going to work through.

My TBR list is mostly in my head and if I want to keep a track of recommended books, I make a note of the title and author in my Notes app on my phone.  After my dismal efforts at my Goodreads reading challenge, I decided I need to have a reading plan moving forward. I need to be excited about the books I am going to read and carefully select them.

I’m currently reading Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage. I’m half way through and already excited to tell you all about it (will review as soon as I’m done) it’s unlike anything I’ve read recently and pretty dark…but you know, that’s my thing.

I put this list together from books I have yet to read on my kindle, a couple of picks from the NY Times Best Seller List and a couple of recommendations from friends and other blogs. I noticed a slight theme…books which have now been adapted into tv shows. I enjoyed the tv shows, so I’m convinced I will love the books too. I do prefer the thriller genre but I tried to mix it up and be realistic – sometimes even I get bored with just reading thrillers.

My TBR List…in no particular order



                           The Haunting of Hill House   – Shirley Jackson

I have just watched this series by the same name on Netflix and I loved it. From what I’ve heard the book is quite different, but I don’t mind that. I read on Twitter that even Stephen King is satisfied with this adaptation from book to screen and that is enough for me to give the book a read. Classics are not lost on me and I’m never afraid to go back in time and find a gem. I’m a firm believer in mixing old with new.




Nineteen Minutes – Jodi Picoult 

I never used to be a fan of Jodi Picoult’s books, after attempting one and failing miserably to be engrossed, or interested and then I recently read The Pact after a friend recommended it. I enjoyed it so much and read it easily and quickly. The same friend advised me to read Nineteen Minutes and admittedly, it is a topic I’m very interested in. Wow, that sounded creepy, but it is about a school shooting and I have read a few books about this topic. Columbine by Dave Cullen being one of them, which was a heartbreaking, but fantastic read. I’m prepared to be moved and challenged. I’m ok with that.



Sharp Objects – Gillian Flynn

Another series I enjoyed very much on TV by the same name. I really can’t get enough of some tv shows or movies and when I read the book…there is so much more depth there. More of the characters I loved. They are more developed and there are nuances that may not be depicted in the show or movie. That is what I’m hoping to get out of this book. More of everything I loved about the TV show. Of course I’ve read Gone Girl and I enjoyed it (even if I did feel it was a little hyped up). I have high hopes for this one.



The Affair – Sheryl Browne

This one has been sitting in my kindle just begging to be read and I’m quite excited about it. There is nothing like a thriller mixed with a scandal. It’s like the best, juiciest gossip you can have with a very close friend.  It’s rated 4 stars on Goodreads and I’m convinced. Fingers Crossed it lives up to my expectations. I haven’t read any books by Sheryl Browne previously and if I love it, I’ll be excited to research a brand new author.


Ok, folks, that’s it for now. I’m keeping the list short and sweet because I want to actually accomplish it and be able to give you some GREAT reviews and recommendations. Please let me know in the comments if you have read any of these and were impressed or let me know what’s on your TBR list… I’m open to recommendations.