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What happens in the book "Nineteen Minutes"?

A:

Quick Answer

"Nineteen Minutes" is a novel written by Jodi Picoult about the events surrounding a high school shooting. The story follows Josie Cormier, a childhood friend of the shooter, through her experience.

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Full Answer

"Nineteen Minutes" opens on the day of a high school shooting. The story primarily follows Josie, but it also features Peter, the shooter, and both of the children's families. The book uses both present-day events and flashbacks to tell the story. Flashbacks show that Josie and Peter were close friends during childhood, until they started spending time with different groups of friends. Josie becomes increasingly popular, while Peter is isolated and becomes a victim of bullying. During his shooting rampage, Peter targets popular students who have made him a target of bullying, including Josie's controlling and aggressive boyfriend, Matt.

The book also features Peter's trial, which begins five months after the shooting. Though Josie does not remember the events of the shooting, she closely follows the trial. While he is testifying before the jury and the courtroom, Peter outlines the events of his childhood, describes the bullying he has been subjected to and begins to soften the jury. However, late in the trial, it is revealed that Peter had brought a second gun with him to the school on the day of the shooting; when it fell from his backpack, Josie picked it up. Josie, Matt and Peter were alone in a room together. When presented with the opportunity, Josie shot Matt, and Peter covered it up for her. Josie is charged as an accessory to the crime, while Peter is convicted and later commits suicide while in prison.

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