Wednesday, June 13, 2012

House Rules by Jodi Picoult

When your son can't look you in the eye . . . does that mean he's guilty?

Jacob Hunt is a teen with Asperger's syndrome. He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, though he is brilliant in many ways. But he has a special focus on one subject--forensic analysis. A police scanner in his room clues him in to crime scenes, and he's always showing up and telling the cops what to do. And he's usually right.
But when Jacob's small hometown is rocked by a terrible murder, law enforcement comes to him. Jacob's behaviors are hallmark Asperger's, but they look a lot like guilt to the local police. Suddenly the Hunt family, who only want to fit in, are directly in the spotlight. For Jacob's mother, Emma, it's a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it's another indication why nothing is normal because of Jacob.
And over this small family, the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?

OK guys, I really loved this book. It was definitely a page turner, one that you stay up until two in the morning reading (literally) because you don't want to put it down. Or maybe I'm the only one that does insane things like that.

The plot was brilliant, and I love all the rhetorical strategies and ironies strewn throughout its pages. Jodi Picoult really is a genius of an author. My goal in life is to read all her books someday. (Although if we're being realistic, most of them will be read this summer.)

Not only do you understand Asperger's better, but you gain an appreciation for the kind of things Jacob's family has to put up with. You don't judge them, you don't judge Jacob -- it's hard to imagine anyone really treating him like an outcast. I find it hard to believe that people are cruel enough to ignore him or anyone with Asperger's really -- it just doesn't seem realistic to me.

I definitely recommend this book to everyone. If you love mysteries, it's for you. If you love books that give you insight to something you may never have experienced before or is hard for neurotypical people to comprehend, it's for you. If you love crime dramas (which I definitely do), it's for you. And if you just love a good book, it's for you.

So go find a copy and start reading! Check your library, your friend's house, your grandmother's, your parents', a bookstore, or even a thrifty book exchange. And have fun reading!


Rating: 5/5 stars

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