3.15.2010

Book Review: House Rules

House Rules by Jodi Picoult

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Picoult's novels, so I was eagerly anticipating her newest, House Rules when it was recently released.

Jacob Hunt, 18, lives at home with his mother Emma and his brother Theo (Henry, the father, walked out years ago). Both of their lives orbit around Jacob at every minute of every day, because Jacob has Asperger's syndrome. He is particular about eating certain color foods on a certain day of the week, can't wear buttons on his shirt, or throws a fit if he can't watch a TV program at the same time every day. Jacob's latest obsession is forensics and CSI-type investigation, and his brilliant mind allows him to solve crimes before they can on TV.

So when a murder close to the Hunt family occurs, because of Jacob's awkward social skills and predilection for forensic details, he is picked up as the primary suspect of the crime, thrown in jail and told to go to court to stand trial.

As you can imagine, this doesn't bode well in Jacob's well-ordered world.

As always, this is a great novel by Picoult, replete with richly-drawn characters, with alternating chapters told in all their voices (which I particularly love about her novels). This is also a timely novel with autism diagnoses on the rise, the whole "vaccine caused it" debate. Picoult is notorious for having a "twist" at the end of each novel, and while this wasn't as "twisty", I absolutely COULD NOT put it down until I reached the last page. Just ask my friends who were visiting this weekend. ;-)

Another great, timely novel by Picoult - I can't recommend her enough!

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