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Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2019, made-me-feel-things, standalones


the thing about jodi picoult is she always manages to write breathtaking, captivating novels that make you feel.

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.

at the beginning of the book, you think you’ve got it all figured out. you know who the victims are, and you know who the killer is, and you think it should be easy to pick a side in a courtroom. but throughout the book, picoult works on changing those assumptions and stereotypes, works on altering them in subtle ways you never see coming until you realise your moral compass has seemingly been overturned — you don’t know which side to choose anymore. the shooter who calculated his killing of ten people, or the bullies who tormented him to that breaking point? you become starry-eyed and admire the popular kids like the others in the book do, and yet chapters told from the shooter’s perspective help you realise that they are openly malicious to outcasts, and the girl who exists in both worlds — the main character — reveals to us the shallow, insipid lifestyle they lead, and how popularity is something that can always slip through your fingers.

writing this review was cathartic for me in a way. because for a long time after, i couldn’t stop thinking about this book. and after a while, i figured maybe putting my thoughts on paper (technically, a review site) would help me make some headway with my roiling thoughts. everyone seemed to understand why the ending played out the way it did. but without spoiling too much, i had been rooting for them, and i didn’t feel good about the ending because it hurt.

picoult excels in characterisation. she writes character-driven stories, weaving together many threads in the form of side stories until they all collide at the end. she’s very masterful in the way she fleshes out every character and gives each of them an important role to play. there are some characters i liked, some i acknowledged, some i despised. this book has it all.

and the ending. i can’t say i agreed with it, but try as i might, i couldn’t think of a more fitting way to end the book. picoult’s books always involve some sort of purge, or a plot twist that you don’t see coming, and although sometimes i’ve called them out on being there purely for the shock factor, this one didn’t feel that way.

A mathematical formula for happiness:Reality divided by Expectations. There were two ways to be happy: improve your reality or lower your expectations.

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Reading Progress

September 5, 2016 – Shelved
September 5, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
July 18, 2019 – Started Reading
July 21, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019
July 21, 2019 – Shelved as: made-me-feel-things
July 21, 2019 – Finished Reading
August 12, 2019 – Shelved as: standalones

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