Nineteen Minutes Nineteen Minutes discussion


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Dana Can anyone shed some light on why josie killed her boyfriend?


Sera I think it's because he was abusing her and she felt that she would never be free of him. So when she saw that she had a chance to kill him, she did.


Jean Besides the abuse, in a moment she had to choose... she chose Peter. She chose her friendship with Peter over the fake person that she had become in being with Matt and the popular crowd.


Sera Good point, Jean. To build on that point, she also chose herself.


Natalie And Jodi mentioned so many different examples of Matt and his power over Josie. Finally she was in control.


Megan Oops...I guess I got into this discussion too early...I'm not anywhere near finding this out yet! Ahh! Shocked.


Brittany No she did it by accident!! He told her to shoot and she did but she shot Matt instead


Brittany No nevermind I lied...apparently it was because she hated him but loved him at the same time...

<3


Lori I felt that Josie was in love with being popular, not with Matt for himself, but with Matt as the person who made her popular. I think the author showed Matt as domineering and abusive so that the reader would realize the extremes Josie would accept to continue her popularity. I do not think she shot him because of the abuse, but I think for that split second she allowed her real self to surface, and accept that she and Peter were friends. I think, in a convoluted way, the shooting symbolized her accepting herself for who she really was. I also think it validated Peter's life because he knew he had a friend.


Patti Bosworth I agree with Lori; I think Josie shot Matt intentionally...in the moment she identified with Peter and all of the abuse/bullying she had witnessed over the years. I just finished this book last night...even though the subject matter was deeply disturbing, the story that the author tells of the characters involved in this terrible event was compelling.


Melissa I enjoyed the various angles proposed so the reader could empathize with the "bad guy" and dislike the "good guy"... helping to recognize it's never ever that simple.


Suzanne Battered woman syndrome that they talked about in the book - but I think Josie's trial would have been the best part of the book!


Janna I wanted to hear about Josie's trial, too! This isn't the first of Picoult's book that I felt she ended too abruptly.


Suzanne Maybe she'll read our critiques and consider it for future novels - ha!


Erika I don't think Josie actually shot to kill Matt...i think all that he'd done to her was a small mirror image of what had been done to Peter, so at that moment, all she wanted to do was hurt him the way he had been hurting her. When it came, literally, down to life and death, she knew where she stood: with Peter.


message 16: by Katherine (new) - added it

Katherine i agree with all of you. you all make really good points and i think that you have covered the Josie and Matt part of the book pretty well. so what did you guys think of how the story ended with Josie's mom?


Tiffany In the future, can you put "spoiler alert" in the heading? You just ruined the book for me.


Brittany Well you shouldn't have read it if you're not finished with the book...knowing that it says "Wait Why?" that kinda shows that whoever started this was finished with the book...so we didn't ruin it for you..you ruined it for yourself


Janna Tiffany I'm really sorry that this ruined the book for you, but I'm sort of with Brit on this one. Myself, I don't start reading book discussions on a book that I'm not finished with because I always assume they'll be talking about elements of the book that I may not have discovered myself yet.

Katherine - It's been a few weeks since I finished now, so I'm reaching back to remember. I recall it seemed sort of unexplored: she's happy with a man and her star daughter is in prison, but not sure what she learned and how what she learned made her change - it just sort of alluded that somehow, things had changed. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I think Picoult tends to leave things unfinished a bit. What did you think?


Suzanne Didn't want to be rude, but also agree that book discussions are primarily for those who have read the book and want to share their thoughts and questions. I may not read Picoult again because the loose ends drive me crazy! So the mother has a new replacement child and smiles and walks off into the sunset with her new man? Huh?


message 21: by Katherine (new) - added it

Katherine I agree with Suzanne, the loose ends drive me crazy to but i cant help but read more of her books. I personaly felt that Josie's mother was not much of a mother at all, and I was very disapointed to find that she was pregnent at the end while her first daughter was was in prison. Its like Josie was just a test child some one to practice with. And with Josie being the practice test her mother clearly failed so seeing her pregnent at the end of the book was very disappointing.


Erika i have to agree with most everyone and their thoughts of the ending. i loved it while hating it. in a way i liked how it showed how for everyone "life goes on", but at the same time it really seemed like josie's mom lucked out. everything just seemed to work out for her, even with josie's going to jail. i guess this is why life isn't fair? :) what really, did she learn though?? i can't see josie being much happier now than she was before the shootings happened.

i also would have LOVED to read about josie's trial, but then we would have known the answers to all of her thoughts during those moments with matt and peter in the locker room.


message 23: by Cindy (new) - rated it 1 star

Cindy I've been struggling to get through this book -- it's just not holding my attention. But after reading some of these posts, I think I'll persevere!


message 24: by Katherine (new) - added it

Katherine I know what you mean when i read it i felt the same way. I started the book and left for 3 weeks.


message 25: by Lisa (new)

Lisa L.m. Hello everyone,

The new man and new baby at the end bothered me too. I really wanted Josie and her mom to talk to each other and air their feelings. Josie's mom was so unconscious when it came to her daughter that there was no meaningful conversation between them - ever. I wanted mom to grow enough personally to finally talk to Josie at the end but my sense was that this wasn't going to happen. After all of the deep description in the first 4/5ths of the book, that last part attempted to wrap things up too quickly. I wanted to hear what Josie had to say at her trial.


message 26: by Lisa (new)

Lisa L.m. I pictured Josie as a girl with a weak sense of self - maybe not the greatest self concept and with the exception of Peter, no genuine connections with other people. I thought she had more than her share of teenage angst. Her mother was detached and didn't know how to relate to her daughter or other people in a healthy way. I thought these things set the stage for a girl with weak self esteem to become involved with a dominating control-freak. Enter Matt.

Matt was, in my opinion, a nightmare boyfriend. He abused Josie physically and gave her the verbal message that there was no escape - he would hang onto her one way or the other, no matter what. I thought he was mean, manipulative and scary, a perfect partner for a battering syndrome situation. The abusive behavior between Josie and Matt ran parallel to the abuse that Peter suffered at the hands of his fellow students and his own brother. I thought that the author may have wanted to illustrate how a weaker person like Peter or Josie will put up with terrible treatment by a bully, while storing up lots of explosive anger that they can't verbalize. It eventually comes out in an inappropriate way.

I thought it was interesting that the one time Josie tried to break up with Matt, he threatened his own life, made her feel guilty/responsible and manipulated her into coming back to him (on a bike, in the middle of the night no less). She wasn't able to resist or see Matt for what he really was.

Until the moment when she pulled the trigger, Josie's anger was turned inward. She was collecting pills in order to kill herself, which could have looked to her like the only viable escape for getting away from her artificial life and at some level, her abusive boyfriend. She was not raised to be strong, or as she got into high school, to stand up for herself or Peter. Unless they were to develop some serious backbone, the two of them were on separate tracks but headed for the same destination. It was really sad.









Stephanie O’ I agree that the baby in the end didn't sit well with me. Especially since Alex never felt very competent as a mother and all the problems she seemed to have with her relationship with Josie. I agree with Lisa in that in never seemed like Alex learned from anything that had happened in regards to her relationship with her daughter.


Barbara It didn't ruin it for me, just sayin'. I'm due for a new book, so I think I'm going to get this one today. You all seemed to have pretty good reviews and my sister-in-law and a friend of mine loved it.


Kaydean Unfortunately, I think Jodi Picoult is a good writer because she leaves the endings hanging. So much of what she writes is so true to life, there is no good guy/bad guy and what appears to be truth at a deeper level is not so true. She makes me think and go, huh, and look at the world and people with new yes. And, yes, people in the real world really do have "replacement" families and ride off into the sunset without a backward glance, leaving misery in their wake. Good for writers who don't try to neatly package it (leave that for our fluffy romance novels).


message 30: by Becs (new) - rated it 3 stars

Becs There was only one person in this book that I liked - Patrick. But it was maddening that Alex appeared to have thrown Josie away and gotten herself a replacement baby. And she did such a good job with the first one...(cough)


Heather Did anybody else think that it was interesting that Matt's parents were only acknowledged once in the book, and that was even just in the context of a quick thought. Other victim's parents were mentioned but not his. I think that obvious voids like these, are one of the reasons why this book will be on mind for quite a while. I found myself all day speculating and adding to the book. I think that this is also a sign of a good author. Piccoult gets you thinking, but doesn't do it all for you, she's leaves you with plenty to continue to chew on.


message 32: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer I think that Alex and josie did kind of patch things up at the end, not perfect, but a liitle bit. And I hated the end of the book when Matt died well not the end but when the Josie confesses.) I think that peter should have shot him, and Matt survived, and him realize what he was doing to make Peter shoot everyone. But, no it wasnt just Matt's fault. And also realize that since he loved Josie so MUCH!!! then he should wake up and stop abusing her, just because he jealous of anyone laying a hand on her shoulder like at the party, when she broke up with him.

Peter- I think that what he did was wrong, and there are a lot of kids that get bullied out there, and i snt see them going and shooting others. and bullying didnt get him to that point of shooting ppl, his parents also helped with that.


Terry I thought the author should have focused more on Joey's untimely death and delved deeper into Peter and Joey's relationship. I find it hard to believe that Joey was as cruel to his brother as all the others kids were.


Madison Messina i think that alex and josie by the end had a great relationship.. i think that once your relationship isnt strong from the beginning like when josie was little it wasnt going to ever get better then what they had at the end..

and i think the baby was a way for alex to kinda redeem herself because she wasnt the best mother to josie.. i think she was gonna change that with this baby and be the mother she never was..

and i think josie shot matt becuase she didnt really love him.. i think she was in love with the thoughts of being popular but she knew she missed her friend, peter, and she realised that peter was more important to her than matt.. and she was kinda helping peter out. she knew what she was doing, she was doing what peter was going to do and also getting revenge from what matt always did to her.


Alexandra Sokoloff Katherine, I'm so glad you brought this question up. I was so absorbed in the book throughout, but to end with a wrap up of the mother and not Josie was a huge betrayal, I felt. Who cares about Alex moving on with her life? It made her seem like a monstrous mother, and left me hanging about the most important character in the book. A wildly bizarre and off-key way to end the book, I thought.


Ellie Josie killed her boyfriend because of the abuse and because she knew all along that Matt had been morally wrong in the things he did and said, especially to Peter. I know exactly how she felt because the end of my seventh grade year ended up being like that between my bf and my best guy friend. Now i'm heading for eighth grade into the same situation as Josie.


Nora aka Diva Suzanne wrote: "Battered woman syndrome that they talked about in the book - but I think Josie's trial would have been the best part of the book!"

I agree with you. I think Josie's perspective should have been futher explored instead of being barely touched on.


Nora aka Diva Terry wrote: "I thought the author should have focused more on Joey's untimely death and delved deeper into Peter and Joey's relationship. I find it hard to believe that Joey was as cruel to his brother as all the others kids were..."

Oh it happens, sadly enough. My oldest two were in the same grade. The younger of those two picked on the older one right along with his friends their first year of high school, we did everything to stop this behavior. It wasn't until Baby joined them at HS the next year that it stopped Because Baby was willing to stand up to them. I can't immagine it doesn't happen in other families as well.


message 39: by M (new) - rated it 5 stars

M He was abusive and I think she was confused. i agree with Nora aka Diva though I wish we would have learned more about Josie's perspective. I kind of hope Picoult will write another one from her perspective.


Gabby Josie, by subconscious act, shot Matt while he was yelling at her. He told her not to be stupid, probably relating that to the emotional abuse she faced, she ended it. Then when she realized what she did, she panicked and asked Peter for help, and then PETER killed Matt. I both loved and hated this part. I loved it because it showed how well Peter knew Josie and understood her subconscious desire to free herself from Matt; however I hated it because Josie was still so crushed by it and it was sad to see how devastated she was.


message 41: by Lena (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lena I had to read all 40 post before someone pointed out that Josie didn't actually kill Matt. Peter did. He might have died anyway, but Peter was the one who ended his life by shooting him in the head when Josie had shot him in the stomach but he was still alive.

Anyway, that's a technicality, I suppose...

Adding to what other people said about the ending:
I think Piccoult ended it with Alex to give us some hope and not end it on a horrible note with all the death and killing. This way, she shows there is new life and hope for second chances and all that.

Alex wasn't a very good mother, but she did try to connect with her daughter at the end and become a better mother to Josie. So her new baby and Patrick were her second chance. She had become a better mother by then and as a reward, she got a new baby (in a manner of speaking). I thought her stepping down as judge and giving up her coveted role in her community showed her commitment to Josie and how she chose Josie over her job in the end.


Millie I think she shot him because she never stood up for Peter all those times that Matt was bullying him. This was her way of finally standing up to Matt. I don't think they truly loved each other; I think they loved the thought of having a significant other. I think she hurt herself (my opinion based on her fainting), but I think she felt that it was the only way to show Peter that she really cared and it was the only way to escape all the emotional and physical abuse she was suffering from a person, deep down, she really didn't love.


message 43: by Lara (new)

Lara Lori wrote: "I felt that Josie was in love with being popular, not with Matt for himself, but with Matt as the person who made her popular. I think the author showed Matt as domineering and abusive so that the ..."

I agree. I felt that Josie realized that, in her own way, she was being "bullied" too, by Matt, and she realized that Peter was her true friend, and to stand with him and take that action against bullying/abuse/cruelty.


Stacey You can tell she shot Matt she didn't want to be with him...remember when she told Matt that she was pregnant and he said that he's still be with her...that she'll never get rid of him that easily...she went to search for herbal remedies to get rid of it anyway...

Shooting him in the stomach kept him alive so that he could see she could still live without him...because remember when she wanted to commit suicide...but decided against it because once you're dead...you're dead and you can't really see people fussing over you...

I also don't really think she really cared about Peter either...if she had she would have helped him long ago during his conviction and not lie about ever being friends...she just wanted to get of Matt telling her what to do and being abusive...so chose the opposite of shooting Peter...

I did think Josie's relationship with her mother did change for the better...because remember when Josie asked if her mother will ever report her to the police if she did something bad...Alex had said no...but Alex let her talk to Patrick...told her to tell the truth in the end...

Josie would have been out after 5 years...so the baby would have also given her redemption as well as Alex...when she had Peter had been friends at 5 years old before their mothers stopped being friends...it would be Peter's reincarnation...because remember when he died he went back to the time in school bus...the first day at school...so it'll be like Alex and Josie giving him the chance at a new better life...

I really liked the end tbh...the striker going back at exactly 10:19 (10 killed, 19 injured) to help the guy up was cool...Alex has a way with time...remember when there was a blackout...and exactly 12:00 the lights came back on...like the time when the godmother's magic wore of...her moment with Josie did...


Talia Zeitlin I agree too. I would have liked to find out more about what happens with josie. i found the ending for peter was well done but Josie's part felt unfinished to me. I wanted more Josie.


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