Monday, July 12, 2010

House Rules by Jodi Picoult - Review

From Jodi Picoult's website:
HOUSE RULES is about Jacob Hunt, a teenage boy with Asperger’s Syndrome. He’s hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, and like many kids with AS, Jacob has a special focus on one subject – in his case, forensic analysis. He’s always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do…and he’s usually right. But then one day his tutor is found dead, and the police come to question him. All of the hallmark behaviors of Asperger’s – not looking someone in the eye, stimulatory tics and twitches, inappropriate affect – can look a heck of a lot like guilt to law enforcement personnel -- and suddenly, Jacob finds himself accused of murder. HOUSE RULES looks at what it means to be different in our society, how autism affects a family, and how our legal system works well for people who communicate a certain way – but lousy for those who don’t.
Honestly, the synopsis of the book really didn't make me interested in reading House Rules at all.  Previously, I had read and enjoyed My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult.  The fact that her writing style is easy to read and really draws you in to the characters was my primary motivation to pick up this book.  That being said, once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down.  Within 48 hours, I read all 532 pages of this book.  The book was very well written and definitely an enjoyable read.  Throughout the book, I came to really care about each of the characters.  I wanted them all to find a way to be happy and experience some closure in their lives. 

At the end of the book, I was slightly disappointed.  In My Sister's Keeper, I ended up being surprised by the turn of events.  House Rules didn't offer me that surprise, nor did it offer me a sense of finality.  I felt like I knew "what happened" about half way through the book and wanted loose ends to be tied.  When the book ended, I almost felt that it should have said, "to be continued . . . " since there was so much more I wanted to know. 

Overall, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to my family and friends.  It provided me with some interesting insight into an individual with Asperger's and the struggles a family might have in dealing with this disorder.  Not having any direct contact with a child with Asperger's, I would be curious to hear the reaction of someone that has experienced similar trials and tribulations.

Note:  All opinions are my own.  I did not receive any product or compensation for this review.


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