I recently read Jodi Picoult's most recent novel, Nineteen Minutes.
Note: This blog post does not contain any spoilers, but it also doesn't include my full reaction to the book. If you'd like to read it all, check out my BookCrossing journal entry.
Picoult writes what I call issue fiction. At this point I've read quite a number of her books (Keeping Faith, Mercy, My Sister's Keeper, The Pact, Plain Truth, The Tenth Circle), but the first one I read (Plain Truth) remains my favorite though I'm not sure why (my first taste of her? the Amish angle? the twist? the quasi-happy ending, which I mention a little later in this paragraph, actually making sense in the story?). Some of her books (and this one in particular) are just so depressing reading them is almost unbearable at times. The disconnect is how she always manages to come up with a quasi-happy ending.
I wasn't in high school at the time of the Columbine shootings, but I was in my 2nd year of college and I remember being glued to the television set. This isn't an easy subject and I guess Picoult handled it well in Nineteen Minutes. The twist was a bit much, but I guess it is in keeping with her style. Yes, things are never black-and-white, but I think sometimes Picoult blurs things overly much to get her point across.