Tuesday, January 18, 2011

House Rules, by Jodi Picoult

I’m a big Jodi Picoult fan, and I really liked House Rules.   I just don’t think it was one of her best books.  It’s a fascinating account of a boy, Jacob, who has Asperger’s Syndrome. And it’s really a story of Jacob’s entire family, because this disorder truly disrupts the life of everyone connected with Jacob.

I thought the book was a little long.  For at least eighty pages, it’s a description of what Asperger’s is like. I’ve read several books about Asperger’s and maybe that’s why I didn’t need such a lengthy introduction. I did like how the story is narrated by several characters: Emma, Jacob’s mother; Theo, Jacob’s brother; Jacob himself; and various other characters, so you get each person’s perspective.

I’m really all about not giving spoilers, so I’m just going to give you a general idea of the story, so that I can explain what I liked, and didn’t like. Jess, Jacob’s tutor is found dead.  Through convoluted circumstances, Jacob is accused.  Throughout the whole book the reader knows (even though Picoult never spells it out) what really happened.  I just didn’t believe that Theo wouldn’t help his brother by telling what he knows, and that the police, the lawyer, and Emma don’t figure it out. They basically don’t even consider all the possible alternatives.

In most of Picoult’s books, I am surprised by the ending.  I just wasn’t surprised by this book.  I loved the writing; I enjoyed reading the book. I never considered not finishing it.  I think Picoult is a great story teller.  I just didn’t like this story as much.  I did love the way she told it.  If you are a Picoult fan, you should read this. If you haven’t read any of hers, this wouldn’t be my first choice.

This book was checked out of my library.
Published by Atria Books in 2010
532 pages (Qualifies for my 350 Page Book Challenge!)

Rating: 3/5


  1. I've never read Jodi Picoult before but I love hearing about all the social issues she writes about. I'll probably read My Sister's Keeper first since that seems to be everyone's favourite. Nicely written review, Annette :)

  2. Lovely review!! Jodi is one of my fav authors so Ive read most of her stuff. This one has been sitting for a long time.......For some reason Im just not drawn to it, however her new book was really good.


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