Thursday, July 19, 2012

July Book Club & Review -- Nineteen Minutes

Nineteen MinutesNineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
My enjoyment rating: 1 of 5 stars
Book source: Library copy
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Objectionable material: I'm trying to forget all of the material
July Book Club selection

  Summary from the publisher:

"In Sterling, New Hampshire, 17-year-old high school student Peter Houghton has endured years of verbal and physical abuse at the hands of classmates. His best friend, Josie Cormier, succumbed to peer pressure and now hangs out with the popular crowd that often instigates the harassment. One final incident of bullying sends Peter over the edge and leads him to commit an act of violence that forever changes the lives of Sterling's residents. Even those who were not inside the school that morning find their lives in an upheaval, including Alex Cormier. The superior court judge assigned to the Houghton case, Alex - whose daughter, Josie, witnessed the events that unfolded - must decide whether or not to step down. She's torn between presiding over the biggest case of her career and knowing that doing so will cause an even wider chasm in her relationship with her emotionally fragile daughter. Josie, meanwhile, claims she can't remember what happened in the last fatal minutes of Peter's rampage. Or can she? And Peter's parents, Lacy and Lewis Houghton, ceaselessly examine the past to see what they might have said or done to compel their son to such extremes. Rich with psychological and social insight, Nineteen Minutes is a riveting, poignant, and thought-provoking novel that has at its center a haunting question. Do we ever really know someone?”
This was our book club choice for July.
I hated every page.
Was it author Jodi Picoult’s fault?  No…she was a master at weaving a story of angst and conflict and emotion among multiple characters. 
However masterful she was, I couldn’t tolerate the subject matter or the absolute cruelty inflicted by so many people on one another. It was misery in 500 pages.
Surely there are teenagers out there that are not intent on shooting their classmates, or hating their parents.
Regardless of my dislike of the book – our book discussion was electric with commentary.
So, if you want an engaging discussion – I recommend this book.

August book choice:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (I read this 4 years ago...I'm eager to read it again).