Sunday, January 25, 2009

Book Review: Nineteen Minutes

April 20, 2009 marks the ten-year anniversary of the Columbine Massacre, a tragedy that I can recall vividly although I was only eighteen years old when it occured. Jodi Picoult's book, Nineteen Minutes, brought images to my mind of that day. This book - phenomenally written - is about a massacre at a highschool and instead of the 17 year old murderer committing suicide, as the Columbine assailants did, he survives and goes to trial. The book skips back and forth from the incident to the 17 years prior to show the reader what actions and events led up to that point--what caused the killer to lose it and murder ten of his classmates. It shows you points of view from the murderer, his parents, a 'popular' student and even the life of the attorney defending him. This book also makes the reader sympathetic to the defendant--it shows that he, too, was a victim but that in NO WAY excuses his ultimate actions. Nineteen Minutes, which is so titled because that is how long the massacre lasted from start to finish, is certain to touch the heart of any parent.

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