I recently read and finished a book titled Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. The book is written in third person omniscient, and at times in second person. The story allows the reader to get to know every single character of the book including; many high school kids as well as a few of their parents, lawyers and judges and policemen and prosecutors, while still keeping distance so as not to have the reader become too involved with one character. The second person point of view, I believe, was meant for the reader to try and empathize with whichever character was speaking at that time. The event in the book that set off the tone of the story is one high school boy in particular,Peter Houghton, taking four loaded guns into his high school and shooting.
Peter was a teenage boy who had been bullied since his very first day of kindergarten. Peter was also a teenage boy who didn’t seem to fit in anywhere in reality and instead took refuge in the world of computer games and HTML code.
Picoult takes the reader through an emotion roller coaster from sadness to joy to anger and back then right back to sadness. The time of the story is set years before the shooting, to the day of the shooting, till five months after. Each chapter and time frame being written from almost all the characters points of view.
Some readers may say that Picoult wrote from all points of view to help the reader pick a side; whether to pity the sad,bullied teenage boy, or to hate him. I, on the other hand, think Picoult wrote from all these different points of view to help the reader understand that the shooting was both everyone and no ones fault at the same time. Not to say that the shooting was inevitable, but rather that everyone is to blame and the reader can’t really choose a side. I personally would rank this book as one of my top 10 favorite books.
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