House Rules: Book summary and reviews of House Rules by Jodi Picoult

House Rules

A Novel

by Jodi Picoult

House Rules by Jodi Picoult X
House Rules by Jodi Picoult
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About this book

Book Summary

They tell me I'm lucky to have a son who's so verbal, who is blisteringly intelligent, who can take apart the broken microwave and have it working again an hour later. They think there is no greater hell than having a son who is locked in his own world, unaware that there's a wider one to explore. But try having a son who is locked in his own world, and still wants to make a connection. A son who tries to be like everyone else, but truly doesn't know how.

Jacob Hunt is a teenage boy with Asperger's syndrome. He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, and like many kids with AS, Jacob has a special focus on one subject -- in his case, forensic analysis. He's always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do...and he's usually right. But then his town is rocked by a terrible murder and, for a change, the police come to Jacob with questions. All of the hallmark behaviors of Asperger's -- not looking someone in the eye, stimulatory tics and twitches, flat affect -- can look a lot like guilt to law enforcement personnel. Suddenly, Jacob and his family, who only want to fit in, feel the spotlight shining directly on them. For his 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 of why nothing is normal because of Jacob. And over this small family the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?

Emotionally powerful from beginning to end, House Rules looks at what it means to be different in our society, how autism affects a family, and how our legal system works well for people who communicate a certain way -- and fails those who don't.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Picoult's writing, line by line, is as smooth as ever, and she does a great job of getting into Jacob's head, but the wobbly plotting is a massive detriment." - Publishers Weekly

This information about House Rules was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

madison ishie

House Rules
This book was amazing. I love Jodi picoult. Jacob was very inspiring. I am now looking into tutoring children and teenagers with Asperger's syndrome. I would recommend this book. It is mysterious and attention seeking, filled with adventurous and unexpected twists!

Cloggie Downunder

Excellent Picoult
House Rules is Jodi Picoult’s seventeenth novel. The story involves Jacob Hunt, a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome and an obsession with forensic analysis, who is charged with and tried for the murder of his tutor, Jess Ogilvy. Five voices tell the tale: Jacob’s own; his brother, Theo’s; his mother, Emma’s; his lawyer, Oliver’s; and the investigating police officer, Rich’s. As always, Picoult’s research is meticulous, and she presents controversial issues even-handedly. The tension that builds throughout the novel is occasionally alleviated by the jokes and puns the characters themselves make. While the reader may conclude the truth about Jess’s death well before the denouement, this in no way detracts from the enjoyment of the journey towards the revelation. The view from within a person with Asperger’s is very well described, and Jacob’s frustration with the inability of those around him to recognise the truth is expertly portrayed. As well as educating about autism, Asperger’s and aspects of crime scene investigation, Picoult deals with motherhood and brotherhood and what truth really is. The conclusion demonstrates the pitfalls of relying solely on physical evidence, or, for that matter, on appearances and /or behaviour alone. Once again, an excellent read!

Boss

Wow!
Wonderful book! The reader literally falls in love with Jacob and his family and whishes he/she could protect them from harm. It is a book that will stay with you long after turning the last page. Words are not enough to describe the feelings of warmth and compassion this story is able to awake. Just read it! =)

sallie.

House Rules
I loved the story and all of the information regarding Asperger's. I had raved about it to two friends that have a 17 year old son with Asperger's and the many similarities and explanations regarding what it is like to have Asperger's. I have to say though, that I was very disappointed in the ending. It was a lot of time reading to have everything just come to a screeching halt. I feel she should have included a conclusion page after her "ending" of the brothers connecting.

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Author Information

Jodi Picoult Author Biography

Photo: Nina Subin

Jodi Picoult is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five novels, including Small Great Things, Leaving Time, The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister's Keeper. She is also the author, with daughter Samantha van Leer, of two young adult novels, Between the Lines and Off the Page. Picoult lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

Author Interview
Link to Jodi Picoult's Website

Name Pronunciation
Jodi Picoult: pee-coh

Other books by Jodi Picoult at BookBrowse
  • Vanishing Acts jacket
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