Kate’s review of Nineteen Minutes > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer I agree with this reader to a point that there was some "contrived" scenarios but I beg to differ on the comment regarding Peter sexuality. He had a "reaction" to Josie at another point in the book when he wasn't thinking about his sexuality or lack thereof. Also, the teacher that he ends up killing tells his partner that Peter was definitely straight. The partner mentions this to Patrick or Jordan.
Unfortunatly, this things do happen to children and adults alike and if anything, we should see the goodness in Peter for protecting Josie after she protected him in the early years and wish that more people nutured and protected others instead of hurting those they can't understand.

message 2: by Lara (new)

Lara I completely agree with Kate! I was so irritated by this book. It did not make sense. I had a feelign she was going to make Josie kill Matt, but it MADE NO SENSE. Even logistically: she has the gun aimed at Peter, and when Matt says "shoot!", she does....but she shoots Matt? Did she swivel around and aim the gun at Matt instead? I just can't even picture this happening.


message 3: by Janna (new)

Janna I also found gaps in this book and the shooting of Matt by Josie was contrived and easy to guess. However, I think that it wasn't just that she was in an abusive relationship with Matt and saw this as potentially "her only way out." Throughout the book Josie questions whether or not she belongs in the "in" crowd, her feelings that she has to hide who she really is to be there, and her disgust with how Matt and the rest in the group treat Peter. I think, in a way, it was supposed to be her "breaking up" with the whole "in" crowd and making her statement in the most passive, f'd up way there is, as well as illustrating that her and Peter are really not so different in some ways. I think it's a bit of reach, too, if you actually THINK of someone in that scenario - but I think it was supposed to be more than just her breaking up with Matt.

message 4: by Jill (new)

Jill maybe since this was my first of her novels I didn't have the same reactions. In retrospect, I do agree the whole Josie shooting Matt thing is pretty contrived, but it worked well enough for me as a reader at the time. I thought she just couldn't shoot Peter; that he was somehow acting out what she had been wanting to do herself, so it made some sense in that split second to shoot Matt. Ah wish we could have all been in a reading club to dish on this one over coffee as we read....

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

being a fan of jodi picoult's novels,i didn't enjoy this novel as much as her others although i felt the story's overall message was just as significant and if not, more moving than her other novels.
in regard to the 'loose ends' i think peter's love for josie was believable, earlier in the book they were best friends and his feelings seemed to have grown as he became older. also his struggle with understanding his sexuality seemed to be conveyed as a common part of adolescence, aggravated by the fact that he was trying to understand why he was singled out and bullied by others.
also josie's actions in shooting matt, can be just as well explained in the same way peter's were in the novel (a form of post traumatic stress disorder), as despite her being with the "in" group she still experienced significant emotional hardship a lot similar to peter, which was shown consistently throughout the novel.

message 6: by Alana (new)

Alana This was my first Jodi Picoult book and while I did like the book as a whole, when I finished I told my husband, "There was a twist at the end that was entirely unnecessary." I've read one other JP book (My Sister's Keeper) and I want to love her, but I just can't bring myself to keep reading her books. Have I chosen the wrong ones, and if I have, suggest some that I should try, please.

message 7: by Jill (new)

Jill Altenburger This is my second Jodi Picoult book, the first one I read was My Sister's Keeper. I'm not sure if I liked Nineteen Minutes. I didn't expect the whole Matt thing at the end but I had a feeling there was going to b a twist at the end. I guess I wish there was a happier ending to the story.

message 8: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Hartwig I'm not entirely sure, but Josie felt trapped throughout the book and I think the only way she could get out of her relationship with Matt is by killing him, I think she did it split second because she couldn't kill Peter, deep down she cared about him, not necessarily on the same level he cared for her though. I've been somewhat in Josie's shoes before and I can relate to how she felt in the world of being popular and sacrificing who you are.

message 9: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Shear I 100% agree with this review. It would have made more sense that Josie accidentally shot Matt while trying to shot Peter. This would have shown how much he supposedly cared for her if he was willingly to keep her secret eventhough she would have shot him. It would have been more in character.

message 10: by River (new)

River Hopkins I do agree with this reader to a point. But I must diagree with two points. Yes, it is confusing as a teenager with sexuality. I have personal experiance with being accused of being asked and tormented about my own sexuality (due to my love of sports and best friend who was a sister to me). My understanding lies with Josie. She was abused by Matt and suffered from PTSD, without question in my mind. Matt always forced her to do things she didn't want to do. She didn't want to kill Peter. She only wanted him to stop. And with the anger and threat in Matt's voice, Josie snapped. As a result of the PTSD she had to rid herself of the real threat, before that threat killed her either by rape or by simply by an act that would lead to her death. He already convinced her to murder her unborn child. How is she not a controlled by Matt?
My agreement is with the twist itself. Not only was it completely predicitble by mid-book. It wasn't a twist I found myself wanting. I think it would have been better to go through Josie's trial to then come out with a twist of her abuse and her PTSD. I'm not at all a writer but some other unexpected twist would have measured up to previous novels.

message 11: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Did not like the Josie twist at the end.
Although there was some abuse in their relationship, I didn't feel there was enough to validate her actions. (very similiar to The Pact, with Emily's problem) It didn't really mess up the flow of the story, since the twist happened with in the last 12 pages. But I didn't like how Jodi just skimmed over her sentencing. We didn't even get a glimpse into how Alex felt about her daughter going to jail. A judge would definitely have a strong reaction to such an unforeseen event.
Peter does kill himself right?

message 12: by Mel (new)

Mel I agree with the people who feel the twist was predictable, but I really take umbrage with those who are calling it quasi-abuse or saying it wasn't bad enough to make her do what she did. He raped her, he hurt her, and he heaped emotional abuse on top of that. She never thought she'd be able to break up with him. What else did he need to do to make it real abuse?? And the whole point of the book is that women do these things unexpectedly, in surprising moments, because of PTSD. So, while predictable, I didn't find it unbelievable.

message 13: by Laura (new)

Laura Dallas I totally agree. I couldn't event finish it. The writing made me roll my eyes way too many times. It is amateurish and the story is not at all believable. The characters act very strangely and illogically. I did find Alex to be compelling so I gave it a chance but had to give it up for one of her other books. I have really enjoyed her others. This one shouldn't have been published.

message 14: by Saily (new)

Saily I agree with this, although Jodi Picoult is a great writer and great with plots I've found myself thinking of the Great Big Twist from the beginning of the book. I am a lover for twists but when you read more than 3 Picoult novels you get a feel of how the books will end. The past 3 books I have read I predicted the end and in all 3 I was right. It's not the author's fault because this her style her genre, either way I still love her thought provoking novels.

message 15: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Peters sexuality was explained with Patrick's interview with Ed McCabe's partner who said that Peter was straight, without an ounce of doubt. Peters shooting was also explained by Mr King Wah, Peter obviously suffered from mental illness, specifically PTSD. This sent him into a dissociative state. Finally, Josie was suicidal. She had a stock of pills that she nearly swallowed. Matt was abusive, yet promised to die if she left him. Combined with the stress of her popularity facade, and the trauma of the moment, she didn't make a rational decision and saw shooting Matt as the only way out.

message 16: by Kara (new)

Kara I just finished reading this, so my feelings are a bit raw. I agree that the twist was wholly unnecessary. I didn't see it coming, but I think that's because it made no sense, so my brain didn't even go there! I think she was trying show some sort of solidarity or understanding that Josie had with Peter, but I don't think it would have played out quite that way. I could see her accidentally shooting Matt as they wrestled with the gun, or even him saying something hateful to her to make her snap would have been more realistic.

As for Peter though, I thought it was believable that he snapped in that way. We're talking about a kid that has been tormented every single day for twelve years, even by his own brother! The escalation into creating a video game, then acting it out, sadly I thought was very realistic. I don't think we were supposed to think of him as a monster. I certainly didnt. I think we were supposed to think that he didnt feel he had anyway out.

It was a bit shoddily done, however. I think because of the subject matter I liked it, but the holes in the story prevented me from loving it.

message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

I loved the book and the reason why Josie shot Matt was because he abused her physically. Duh!

message 18: by Maria (new)

Maria Even though I respect your opinion I think you missed the real message of the book.
My personal opinion is that in order to truly understand the reader needs to be able to relate with the character. If have never been bullied you CAN'T understand how the mind of the person been bullied works. The overwhelming feeling of not knowing your worth or worst to see yourself as undesired, unwanted. Add to the mix the stupidity that comes with being a teenager and the results can be a big bowl of WTF, Really? and UH?

message 19: by Lila (new)

Lila Sahar I think Jodi made the confusion for us readers, so we know, what is in Peter's head. Being a teenager is hard and confusing, I would know because I am a teenager right now and a bunch of people at my school can relate to this confusion of sexuality. A lot of people are confused and don't understand what they are doing and do it any way. These teenagers, thought it would be best if they solved their problems with a gun. Which shouldn't ever be the case but remember the main characters are teenagers and they did what they believed to be best at the time!

message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

In my opinion, Jodi left a great hole of Peter's sexual orientation, even though one could argue that it was a minor line because his downfall began e-mailing a girl and thus pursuing his meltdown after being cyber bullied and had his most vulnerable thoughts exposed to the entire school he goes to. I do understand bullying,unfortunately within grade school because people can be cruel,it's more "them" than you per se in a bullying situation.

message 21: by Reilly (new)

Reilly In my opinion when I read the ending I almost threw my book down because I was so shocked and surprised. I do understand what you are saying though I did feel like the story had a lot of holes. Granted this was my first time reading a Jodi Picoult novel but I thought it was a very relatable book and even caused me to shed a few tears.

message 22: by Marge (new)

Marge Coyman I was caught up in the story and wondering how Picoult was going to resolve the ending. Then i read it and thought ' Nope, this does not work at all. No satisfaction for my brain whatsoever'. i love to consider how an author could have handled a situation better. So here's my version. Peter follows Matt and Josie to the locker room where they can't find a place to hide fast enough. He trips, drops his backpack and the gun slides close to Josie and she picks it up. As Peter regains his balance Matt is telling her to shoot Peter but she can't do it. Matt is grabbing the gun from Josie and pushes her hard and the gun goes off, hitting Matt in the abdomen. As Josie is falling she sees Peter approaching but hits her head on the wall and passes out. Peter shoots Matt in the head and ..... This way Josie hasn't shot Matt, but she didn't save him either. She will still be conflicted in her loyalty without the weird twist. I also don't like the ending with Alex and Patrick and the pregnancy. I would have preferred a scene where as mother and step-father were helping their daughter deal with the conflict and become a family. I also would have preferred an ending with Peter in prison and his parents spending time trying to get to know their son, but leaving us uncertain if he will survive or not. It should feel almost, but not totally hopeless.

message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

All and all, I feel authors aren't perfect and Jodi showed that at that age mixing interest toward the opposite and same sex was intended to portray that its normal to experience and see where it goes. If Peter was truly gay, he was too young to know for sure and again, I know Jodi, she left it there on purpose to portray real life and to say sometimes issues don't have answers immediately.
This was my very first Jodi Picoult ( if you don't already know, she pronounces her surname Pee-coo. ) I enjoyed it and it was through this book that led me to another favorite-the Pact.
By far, she is my favorite writer. The only books to date I don't like in order of odiousness
Is The humpback whale book, Lone wolf & tenth circle. My all time, read it 8 times is Harvesting the Heart. I love the honesty and true portrayal of Paige and Nicholas's marriage. I never liked the ending but learned that again, her cachet is " that is life at times.
My second is Salem Falls. The court scene was incredible. I think Jodi's endings , now that I think about it aren't the satisfying type. I have bugged her enough times to know she in control and is purposeful about work.

message 24: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I couldn't have worded it any better!

message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

I am very sorry to hear you were in that situation. I hope that closure can heal what was taken from you which is justice . It seems one and final way for complete closure. Not only someone doing a wrong to your humanity is daunting but to have pressure at a pay a psychologist Or psychiatrist if medicine had to help heal the physical aspect is wrong. :-(. I hope today you have found safety in the arms of someone who is extra tender and special to the person you are and deserve.:-)!!

To redirect to River, Jodi wrote a phenomenal book I really enjoy that mirrors " sex scandals " and lack of understanding the "who dunnit" aspect , but this novel more clearly gets into guilt and accountability that the cad Mathew turned out to be in Nineteen Minutes.
It's called "Salem Falls" by Jodi Picoult.

FYI: She (Jodi ) has issued to her fans to pronounce her last name like Pee-koo.(long O's sound) Like the tea she says.

Thanks for your courage and again, wish the best for you. Also, happy reading!!!!!

message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

So sorry I miss read your comment. However my sincere apologies for you to be put in a spot that is crass and none of anyone's business unless it's work related or is unavoidable.
Your situation will become more clearer and evident in time as to what is what and who is who. I'm just sad to hear any identity to that "19" book at all from your end.

I know, another book that is dead on to help or may be a good read because the author Kimberly is a friend to me on Good Reads. She writes exactly about your situation on "Reconstructing Amelia ". Its recent and in trade paper back-cheapest ereader price always is Kindle. As well, it addresses other questions you may have come across. It is written very well and feel it is a "better "choice than" Salem " but both are equally engrossing. But " Amelia" Is in paperback and is easy to grab. Warning: the book by Kim will keep you up all night , I call them " insomnia book's" because its also contains a killer mystery in it that is a total nail bitter or better yet, a nail polish picker. Anyways, have fun and check out both. !
Again: its called:" Reconstructing Amelia".
By Kimberly Mc Creight. I misspelled her sur - name( I think). I'll correct it or u can type the title in the search bar. Also, at most library's, for an odd reason-all last names that start with " Mc " comes before , eg Mason , as It is shelved. Weird but true. Hope I helped. If u already read it, great-but it does hit the proverbial nail on the head over everything you have commented concerning a very horrible/
trying position you were in. Again, sorry
:-((and I hoped its a thing of the past ;-}! Lisa Alexa.

message 27: by Esther (new)

Esther The Mc 's come before Mason because the Mc stands for Mac. Librarians just pretend the a is still there. I was formally a McGinnis.

message 28: by Luna (new)

Luna Soto I started backwards with Picoult, I was introduced to her through "Sing you home" and I fell in love with her story telling. I then went on to read 5 more of her books and considered her my favorite author. She started losing me with "The Pact" and I got so bored with "Nineteen minutes" that I thought something was wrong with me. I'm so glad I wasn't the only one. I agree on so many of your points. The "twist" bothered me... I knew something had gone on and Josie was blocking out but to the extent of shooting her boyfriend? That didn't make sense to me.

message 29: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Sklaroff The reason Peter sent her the letter was because when they payed truth or dare when they were stuck in the elevator, she kissed him and he got his first hard on ever. He realized that he had been straight all along and that it was just that Josie was the only girl for him. (though he does earlier say he has no feelings for her). It's too bad that his mom was so clueless that she encouraged him to make his feelings known. Even if the e-mail hadn't been intercepted, it would have been awkward.

message 30: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Sklaroff I do like Marge Coyman's (comment above) ending better, even though I did love the book. Plus, pushing her would have been very consistent with Matt's personality.

message 31: by Angela (new)

Angela Auten I don't agree with your review at all. That was my first Jodi Picoult book. One of my favorites. I didn't read My Sister's Keeper yet. Since the movie came out to much hype for the book. All of the 1 and 2 star ratings get a thumbs down for me.

message 32: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Fuller He had an erection in the elevator and the math teachers bf stated that he was as straight as straight could be. While Peter was unaware which would happen if you're called names you're whole life he confirmed his sexuality after Josie kissing him by saying there was only one. That question was over relatively fast. As far as Josie shooting Matt I felt it was realistic. Josie was in constant fear of the cool crowd just as much as peter was but for an entirely different reason. She was emotionally fearful of turning into a reject like Peter. She was a coward and she knew she was one.

message 33: by Sue Frazier (new)

Sue Frazier I feel so much better reading all these comments. I wondered if I was the only one that thought the ending was lame. I read the part about Josie shooting Matt and was like WHAT? That made NO SENSE! Parts of the book were boring especially when Picoult went on and on about Lewis and his job. I don't care already! This is the second Picoult book I have read and the second that I have not liked.

message 34: by Cassie (new)

Cassie Remare Couldn't agree more, just finished and the whole book I really liked until the end!

message 35: by julia (new)

julia I’m an avid fan of Jodi Picoult’s work: my goal is to read every. Single. One. Of her books. My favorites by her are House Rules, Handle With Care & Nineteen Minutes. I believe her plot twist in Nineteen Minutes was realistic. Notice how she talked a lot in the book about ‘battered woman syndrome’? That’s what caused Jodi to shoot her jock boyfriend. She was tying that in with the shooting. Check for yourselves.

message 36: by Amber (new)

Amber I agree with you to an extent about the unbelievability of the book. I like this book a lot and I've read it twice now. But I wish more was done to convey how the characters feel in a given situation. Jodi describes how Peter was bullied, but we don't feel how he feels (though we can assume he's mad or embarrassed). It just didn't "feel" to me that he would snap and shoot up the school. Similarly, as a reader, I couldn't "feel" that Josie was feeling put down by Matt, but I can put the pieces together myself to get that the characters feel that way and that leads to their actions.

I agree with Julia above though. Just like how Jordan was trying to show that Peter was put down and bullied over and over and finally couldn't take it anymore, Josie couldn't take Matt being mean to her anymore. The book is about both Peter and Josie experiencing "battered woman syndrome," as the book mentioned over and over.

message 37: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Pouliot I agree. I liked it until the end. The “twist” made little sense to me.

message 38: by Cath (new)

Cath FC "Quasi-abusive relationship"? He sexually assaulted her multiple times, hurt her physically, was manipulative and controlling. Abusive plain and simple. Those chapters were really painful to read and, apart from the "twist", they weren't even adressed. One of the worst books I've ever read.

message 39: by Jane (new)

Jane Demarchi Completely agree. The terrible part of the book was that there actually was an abused woman in the story and she never gets justice. Instead it goes on and on about her mother and how Peter was abused. Why was their nothing about Josie’s trail. First time reading a Jodi Picoult book. I won’t read another

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