Author: Jodi Picoult
Publish date/Publisher:2010/Washington Square Press
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?
The only other book penned by Jodi Picoult that I have read is My Sister's Keeper. I'm sure most of you have either read and loved that book, or heard of its praise because it truly was amazing. House Rules doesn't disappoint either. I was hooked on this book the moment I read Case 1. I really didn't know what to make of this book at first because of what it focused on. I mean, an autistic kid who may or may not have committed murder? Can you spell d-e-p-r-e-s-s-i-n-g?
Well if you can't, I just did it for you.
But this book really, truly was a huge surprise and I loved every minute of it. Picoult's characters are just so relatable and real I always end up feeling what her characters are feeling. I absolutely LOVED Jacob. He was so unexpectedly funny even though you knew he was practically incapable of purposely making a joke. With Jacob being autistic, there was supposed to be a lack of emotion in him because his brain doesn't function that way. While I definitely saw that disconnect, Jacob even stating it himself, I felt every frustration, every sadness, and every bit of love he felt towards others, even if it may have been microscopic in size and portrayed in an unusual manner. I loved being able to see the world in a new light through Jacob where everything really was just black and white. There were no grays and everything had an order that had to be followed in fear of the consequences. Seeing how Jacobs condition affected his family was so accurately portrayed by Picoult in my opinion. Another character I loved was Jacob's brother. He is portrayed as a side character but in reality, once you finish the book, you find out he is actually an important aspect to why Jacob acts the way he does throughout the novel. I love how this book switches to multiple perspectives, which I think is really important in a novel like this. It gives the reader more a better chance to actually peace the clues together about the crime, but leaves just enough to the imagination till the very end.
The plot is so put together and so well thought out in a way that reflects off of Jacobs personality. All suspects and investigators answer your questions but then leave you with so many more to ask. The story creates a lot of suspense and Picoult does a pretty good job of having the story take place over a reasonable and accurate mount of time. Picoult also succeeds in making Jacobs ordinary life just as crazy as his life after the murder. I personally love shows like CSI and Bones so this book was right up my alley. At first I was a little disappointed with the ending but I felt it was for the best because the unpredictable life of Jacob Hunt deserves an unpredictable ending.
I highly recommend this book it was so captivating, heartbreaking, frustrating, humorous, and insightful. Jodi Picoult definitely has made a new fan, and hopefully you'll become another one after reading House Rules.
I love the cover, it depicts one of the scenes mentioned in the book and I think it captures Jacob completely. What you see on the outside is and innocent and imaginative child playing in the sand. But on the inside he's nothing you've ever encountered before and that, is the reason why he is also alone.