Tuesday, April 13, 2010

House Rules

House Rules by Jodi Picoult
Atria Books, 2010
532 pages

Summary: Jacob has Asperger's syndrome and an obsession with forensic analysis. When his social skills tutor is found dead, Jacob ends up the prime suspect. His mother Emma and his brother Theo are caught up too wondering if he could have done it...

Why I Read: I've enjoyed Jodi Picoult since I read My Sister's Keeper so I haunted the library until this was put on the shelves.

My Thoughts: While I read Handle With Care and Nineteen Minutes, I didn't like them that much; it felt more obligatory. I loved House Rules though. I feel like autism in general has become such an important topic as some parents refuse to vaccinate and blame vaccinations for causing autism which creates conditions for possible pandemics* so I liked learning a little bit more about it (I realize that I will have to read more extensively to understand better but this provided a window for me to peek in.)

I really liked the characters, which is very important to me in a book. One thing I love in fictional characters is when they can spout off random facts, such as that one intern on Bones and Jacob who knows basically everything about whatever he becomes obsessed with. I loved Emma, a single mother struggling to care for Jacob and in the process somewhat ignoring Theo. I did not like Theo as much (he has a habit of breaking in to houses) but his feelings toward his brother reflected some of the feelings I've felt toward my neurotypical (ie "normal") sister so an accurate description of sibling relations. I also liked their lawyer Oliver, whose first case this basically is.

Overall: 4.5 out of 5. I loved this and found it much better than the last couple of Picoult books although it did not make me cry like Sister.

Title: Very important to the mystery.

Cover: I think it's really cute although the boy ought to be a teenager in order to accurately reflect the story.

*I've read about recent increases in outbreaks of measles and other illnesses that had been basically eradicated by vaccinations and the threat of pandemic is terrifying to me.

1 comment:

  1. My first Picoult book but not my last. Love the way she writes. You get so absorbed in the story and the characters that you dont want to put it down. I actually found myself thinking about Emma and Jacob when I was at work! I learned alot about Asbergers Syndrome and cant imagine how heart breaking it is for a mother to watch her child face those challenges everyday. My only complaint was that it got a little redundant towards the end, seemed to drag on, and then it was over-it just ended. In spite of that, a very worthwhile book.


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