Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Book Review: Nineteen Minutes - Jodi Picoult

My rating: 

"Ask a random kid today if she wants to be popular and she'll tell you no, even if the truth is that if she was in a desert dying of thirst and had the choice between a glass of water and instant popularity, she'd probably choose the latter. See, you can't admit to wanting it, because that makes you less cool. To be truly popular, it has to look like it's something you are, when in reality, it's what you make yourself."
-Peter Houghton-
Like usual, Jodi Picoult came with a sharp issue which not much of us had the chance to see, let alone feel.. Well, this book is really a wonderful book.. It is a book of emotion.. A narration of the warmth and coldness of the heartfelt.. Observer had claimed this book to be memorable and mind you, thats the truth.. It remains to linger on our head even long after you had finished it.. As a matter of fact, right after I finished reading the book, I was staring still at the cover like a statue for quite half an hour.. I just couldn't believe what I had just read.. Its real hard to explain it here, you just have to read it to feel it.. Its a sensation that no other author can bring you through a mere reading other than Picoult.. Tell you what, this book, is an impossible to put down.. You can't just read halfway and not wanting to know what would happen next..

This book mainly revolve around the life of an American teenager, Peter Houghton.. Well, Peter is not quite one of the popular kids in school.. And not even in the middle.. If there's a hierarchy, he would be at the bottom.. Practically, he's the typical high school loser.. For a start, he does have the cliche loser characteristics; thick glasses, Adam's apple with the size of a fist, skinny figure, and of course, lack of friends.. By lack, maybe I should say, none.. Unless you consider HTML codes as friends.. So, being a social retard doesn't mean that he is as invisible as the furniture, but he was the most sought out kid in school.. He always got picked on by the other dudes he always refer as the jocks or the popular kids.. Its not the fact that he has that loser look that made him bullied or anything, its just that he is Peter.. Being him means that he was supposed to get picked on.. 12 years of his life since kindergarten, he was constantly bullied by everyone around him.. To get thing even worst, even the girl that used to be his friend betrayed him on their 6th grade to be with the cooler bunch of kids.. One day, few days after being humiliated (again) by the popular kids, he decided to bring four guns to school.. Of course, he murdered 10 people, including one teacher and hurt 19 others.. Hence, the story also revolve around Peter's trial at the court with his lawyer, Jordan McAfee..

This story is based on the theme of masks and persona.. Its how some people doesn't always looks like what they seems to be.. How some people struggle between personas in finding themselves.. I can't really elaborate this thing or I might spill up more spoilers.. However, this book had me realise that sometimes, murder is not always a bad thing.. I'm not saying that in the end Peter got away with his doing, but sometimes, thats the only thing to stop all the sufferings.. yes, you'll suffer more in prison, but at least you get to tell the world how you felt.. How people are ignoring you when you begged for their mercy or helps.. How thing would be different if only the just put down their ugly cunt of ego.. This book had really got me all emotional.. It also thought me how your own cruelty doesn't actually wins you anything but cruelty in return.. What I'm trying to say is, the whole high school students hierarchy is just a plain shit on crackers.. Even though I never got the chance to feel what its like being at the bottom, but reading this made me live it.. Empathy is all it took to make you realise that there's no fucking need to rank others for the fact that you're nothing much more than the other.. We're all the same, for God's sake.. I can't imagine how people had the guts to say they're better than the other.. Unless, you're Queen Elizabeth.. I understand that some people are gifted with things that God granted to only few lucky people (for example; good look, muscles, big cock), but being a perfect specimen does not give you the golden pass to look at the others like they're some crappy assholes.. It just doesn't work that way.. Being cocky doesn't make you any more attractive but effing despicable.. Honestly, I really hate those kind of guys (I'm not saying that I'm not one of 'em! jk..)..

The whole storyline is narrated in two timeline alternating each other.. While the present story is going on, what happened in the past is also alternately narrated chronologically.. So, actually, there's two chronology in this book but both relating to each other.. This way of writing actually let the reader to get dissolved in one situation before knowing what actually had happened or would happen.. Its really a good and unique technique so that you won't have to stuck at one scene for too long.. Believe me, you won't want to read half of the book with only court scenes.. For the ending, this story is not a cliche at all.. Of course, Peter is going to jail for his deeds, but there's more shocking scenes revealed as you turn over.. Like the theme suggest, some people are just unpredictable.. Like usual, Jodi had also manage to end her story with something that could make you choke with tears.. The ending is a sad one and also as unexpected as it could be..

So, just to wrap things up, Nineteen Minute is a worthy page-turner.. Trust me this book is all you need to get yourself craving for more of Jodi.. Or maybe the other work as well, I dont know.. But Jodi sure is a gifted writer.. Right now, I am reading Man and Boy by Tony Parsons (expect it for the upcoming book review) and frankly speaking, its nothing like Jodi Picoult.. I kinda miss her writing style.. Jodi wrote in a language that I imagined had been patented as her original artwork.. You can't find another writer as capable of Jodi in delivering all those emotions and big issue without having her readers addicted for more of her.. Its like smoking a literature pot, i tell you.. Anyway, this book is really a good read..

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