I have raised three teenagers and her portrayal of teenage life, the cruelties of the bullies, the fears and insecurities suffered by even the most popular kids, was eerily accurate.

Buy this one, savor every word and take time to think about how you'd feel in a similar situation. She does not let us down in her latest novel, Nineteen Minutes.

I felt Josie's mother's character seemed a bit shallow for a judge and didn't symbolize the career woman that she was representing--changing her clothes three times before her first day on the bench and then throwing up twice before going to the courthouse. She's supposed to be an accomplished attorney who has tried hundreds of cases!

Also, not immediately recusing herself from this case was another stretch too far. This was an area that could have been delved into deeper and may have helped with the overall understanding of Peter's actions.

Since it was not developed, it may have been better let out??

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This time around, Picoult finally lived up to my hopes and she did so by tackling a difficult subject, one that has been in many novels thus far...a school shooting, a look at both the victims' world and that of the shooter (who is also a victim, in his own way), the alienation of kids who are on the outside and the interconnection between the popular kids and those who aren't.

Although the novel is graphic, it would certainly provoke plenty of discussion and understanding between parents and teens, although parents may want to consider how ready their teen is to read a book so detailed and so complex and with graphic sexuality (including rough sex).

As a long-time reader of her books, my one disappointment with Picoult has always been how often her endings seemed to fall apart into stereotypical or "pat" solutions, when the rest of her writing, up to that point, would be so very, very strong.

And yet, I KEPT buying her books, because she did everything else so well - solid, compelling characters, great plots (until those endings), riveting events. I knew she had the chops to produce a solid book, from start to finish, without those letdowns at the end (and I'm sure others will disagree with me about the endings, as she IS a popular writer).

This time,with Nineteen Minutes, she pulls it off, does everything right..I'm delighted to be able to say so.

I wasn't able to stop reading, except for short periods when I had to stop and think about WHAT I was reading.