House Rules

House Rules

by Jodi Picoult

Sarah Mondo: This was a really good read - Like some of her other books, Picoult had me eagerly turning the pages in one sitting to get to the resolution. However, this book does not have a very fulfilling conclusion. In fact, it left me feeling cheated and like I got no real closure from the ending. Basically this is a very good book and is written well. I thoroughly enjoy the author's style and point of view. However, the ending was regrettably disappointing. Still worth the read though, I suppose.
Rating: ***

Arlene Almas: I'm going to rate this a 4, because even though I sometimes felt as though I were studying textbooks on Asberger's syndrome and forensic science, I still couldn't help turning the pages and staying up late to read to the end!
Rating: ****

Judy Stanton: Just when I was starting to think Jodi Picoult's books were getting a little formulaic, I decided to try her newest book, House Rules, and I was won over again. She does such extensive research that it makes her story come alive with detail. In this case, she describes what life is like being the mother of a child with Asperger's. OMG. She doesn't sugar coat it, but she also shows the positive with the negative. Athough the book is 500+ pages, I considered it a pretty quick read, because each section, which reflected different characters' points of view, were short. I was hooked. Towards the second half of the book, I thought she played the "whodunit" too long, because even I figured it out; but that didn't stop me from staying up late to finish. No doubt, she is a great storyteller. Enjoy!
Rating: ****

Debbie Weiss: I have been disappointed with the last few books that I have read by author Jodi Picoult because they have come so formulaic. However, "House Rules" is the type of book I expect from this author. It is well written and obviously well researched.

Jacob Hunt is 18 years old and he has Asperger's Syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum. Most individuals with this diagnosis are extremely bright, but have difficulties in social interactions. Jacob finds it difficult to make eye contact with others, he has tics and twitches and his affect is flat. He interprets language literally and he cannot tell a lie. His most recent obsession is forensic science.

Jacob's tutor Jess, a young college girl, is found dead and it appears to be a homicide. Jacob admits to being at the crime scene and inappropriately interacting with the evidence. The police decide to arrest Jacob and he is charged with murder.

The story is more than just a recount of the trial. It is the story of the absolute love of a mother for her son. It is a story about the effects on a family's dynamics when one member is diagnosed with autism. It is a story about how difficult it is to be a child who is different from other children. Each chapter is narrated by a different character in the book and the reader gets to know and become fond of each one. I found it hard to put the book down and stayed up too late wanting to see how it ended.
Rating: *****

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