Today is the tenth anniversary of the shootings at Columbine. There have been other incidents since then, such as the shootings at Virginia Tech. And, unfortunately there will probably be more tragic shootings in the future. This book tells the story of a similar incident. It is the story of Peter Houghton, a seventeen year old outcast at his school, who has been verbally and physically abused by his classmates since kindergarten. He is finally pushed over the edge by a final act of bullying and enters the school with loaded weapons and the makings of a bomb. In nineteen minutes he kills ten people and injures nineteen others.
This is also the story of Josie Cormier, the daughter of the superior court judge. Josie was Peter's best and only friend when they were small children. She succumbed to peer pressure and started hanging out with the popular crowd. Josie began to shun Peter and join in the bullying with her popular friends. She was a witness to the shootings, but claims she can't remember what happened in the final minutes of the rampage.
The book explores peer pressure and the quest for popularity by students. It shows the pain caused by bullying and being considered an outcast. It also explores the relationship between parents and children.
Like all of Jodi Picoult's books, this one is thought provoking and entertaining. I recommend it.