Nineteen Minutes

“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 sconed or get a tooth filled by a dentist; you can fold laundry for a family of five.” -Jodi Picoult

In nineteen minutes a character named Peter decided to shoot up his high school.

Nineteen minutes by Jodi Picoult is the title of my monthly read and this book was a good one. I suggest you read any of the author’s book because my friend suggested I do the same and she was right. I was immediately wrapped in; the author’s writing is very engaging.

Short synopsis: Peter the protagonist turned antagonist grew up in a small city where being different wasn’t accepted. He was teased and tormented from preschool to high school from the same group of kids. The same group of kids who convinced his only friend, Josie to give up who she was and become of what was considered “cool”. Not only does the story narrate him losing friends and not fitting in but also its not better for Peter at home neither when he is overshadowed by his older brother’s achievements and personality. He then decides to take action and seek revenge by killing and injuring several students and teachers at his high school. Yup! Something like a Columbine incident.

I started to think about my high school experience and how the identity struggle was most difficult and I did a lot of things to fit in or even stand out. I was teased a lot about my hair, which in affect hindered my acceptance of it. I will never forget being thrown in the trash, my hat snatched off when the kids knew my hair wasn’t done, and even the time I showed up to my locker to see a “lost/stolen” report with the item “hair” missing. Even though most of these acts were out of fun… at what expense?

In the book you have stories written from at least six characters to view different sides of the stories, which is fictional but in the end it questions multiple issues that currently prevails in society. There was the mother of the killer’s view, could you love a killer? Then you had the girl with the lost identity, do you really love yourself? and then there was the view from the bullies and provokers, can we just have fun?

Shocking and thrilling are two words to sum the story up, where in the end we find out that everyone is a victim no matter the crime committed. I don’t want to spoil it, just in case you want to read it but just don’t expect a wreckless ending like I did, no one is having an affair and overdosing on drugs after finding out they are pregnant. lol Its not that kind of story:-)

If this story does allow you to sympathize for two seconds with killer, I don’t blame you but what I took from this story is we all have a choice. Yeah at times we are victimized but in turn doesn’t mean we have to victimize ourselves.

There have been times where I want to feel sorry for myself and create excuses but then I have to realize there is more power in my thoughts and actions than others an ultimately I choose for me.

make your choice for you.

stay wreckless,

Aminah

 

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