Monday, May 10, 2010

#BookReview: House Rules - Jodi Picoult

Though somewhat longer and much more detailed than it probably needed to be, House Rules, is definitely another winner from the bestselling author.  The master of multifaceted storytelling, Jodi Picoult, is back with the story of a Jacob, a young man with Asperger's syndrome.

Asperger syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder, and people with it therefore show significant difficulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development
The lack of demonstrated empathy is possibly the most dysfunctional aspect of Asperger syndrome. Individuals with AS experience difficulties in basic elements of social interaction, which may include a failure to develop friendships or to seek shared enjoyments or achievements with others (for example, showing others objects of interest), a lack of social or emotional reciprocity, and impaired nonverbal behaviors in areas such as eye contactfacial expression, posture, and gesture.
Jacob's life revolves around his daily schedule, which cannot be disrupted; his obsession over the tv show, CrimeBusters; and color coordinated meals for each day of the week.  Jacob's mother, Emma, has dedicated her life to mainstreaming her son as much as possible.  That includes paying for sessions with social skills tutor, Jess.

Jacobs adores Jess, as much as someone like him can, but he has no love for her rude boyfriend, Mark.  When Jess is found dead in the woods near her house, Jacob becomes a suspect.  The question throughout the book is whether or not Jacob is guilty or if he's just not been asked the right questions.

What did you like about this book?
As always, I love the way Picoult tells stories from all points of view giving readers a complete story rather than one-sided.

What did you dislike about this book?
At 532 pages, it was really longer than it needed to be.  There were some paragraphs that I found myself skipping simply because they didn't seem to add much to the overall story.

What could the author do to improve this book?
Cut the fat!




532pp
Published March 2010
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