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The best Picoult for me (so far)...
House Rules - Jodi Picoult
Member Name: katyj10
House Rules - Jodi Picoult
Advantages: Really interesting book
This is a review of the 2010 book "House Rules" by Jodi Picoult. I have read many books by this author but I think, perhaps, this has been my favourite read of hers yet.
A bit about
In "House Rules" we follow, Jacob, an 18 year old with Asperger's which is on the Autism scale. He is Emma's Son and Theo's brother. They live together and deal with the various issues Jacob's Asperger's present. He wears only certain coloured clothes on certain days, and eats only certain coloured food on a given day (eg. Brown Thursday). Jacob manages to attend mainstream school with a pass for sensory breaks when he needs a break from the world. Jacob's main obsession is Crime Scene Investigation and forensics. His interest gets him into trouble when he uses a police scanner to turn up at crime scenes to examine the evidence and give his verdict (usually right).
Emma is a good Mum who struggles with her lot in life but has an unquestionable amount of love for Jacob and Theo. She puts herself last every time. Oliver is the lawyer she hires to defend Jacob who is up on a murder charge and there is a definite spark between Emma and Oliver. Rich is the Police Officer who arrests Jacob for the murder yet there is a definite streak of sympathy that shows in his character. Other than that there are a few other characters mentioned like Jacob and Theo's Dad who is off the scene and Mama who owns the Italian restaurant under Oliver's office.
As I said above, this is potentially the best book I have read by Picoult (although I have a few on the shelves yet to read!). I found the information behind Jacob's Asperger's really interesting and it highlighted the difficulties parents have when coping with these kids who are seemingly emotionless but are extremely intelligent and have a lot going on under the surface.
The chapters are all narrated by different characters, which makes for interesting reading and lots of different angles on the story. The whodunnit ending is kept mysterious right until the end although I had guessed what had happened earlier in the book but it was nice to have it confirmed! Picoult's insight into Jacob when narrating is truly amazing. Writing in the style of an autistic 18 year old boy can not have been an easy feat but she manages it comfortably.
I would certainly recommend this book and the fact that it is 600 pages makes it last just that little bit longer! I read my copy for around a week and really looked forward to bath times and bed time when I would get a good long uninterrupted read. I always make time for reading as it relaxes me and I learn a lot from it. This book was excellent and a great murder mystery on top of the underlying story.
Summary: Great read, recommended