House Rules by Jodi Picoult

June 24, 2011
By acorn1993 BRONZE, Timonium, Maryland
acorn1993 BRONZE, Timonium, Maryland
2 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Jacob Hunt is trapped. Not physically, not emotionally--mentally. As an 18-year-old with Aspberger’s Syndrome, his life is dictated by the rules he has learned over the years. One of the “house rules” is “always tell the truth,” so as a result, he is incapable of telling a lie without it being completely obvious. He seeks social acceptance but lacks the skills to connect with his peers. He is obsessed with forensics and criminal investigations and doesn’t know when to stop talking about them. He must adhere to a certain schedule or he suffers a meltdown, so you can imagine the chaos that ensues after he is sent to jail for murder. The book then follows Jacob’s journey through the criminal justice system, providing a realistic idea of how it treats people with disabilities. It features the point of view of Jacob as the voice of a misunderstood minority and also presents the perspectives of his brother Theo (who is merely misunderstood and a Peeping Tom to boot), their single mother Emma, Jacob’s ambitious but rather unqualified lawyer Oliver, and police detective antagonist Rich Matson. I was not surprised to find that House Rules contains yet another array of Jodi Picoult’s carefully crafted characters. If you are looking for an engaging, thought-provoking read, you’ll surely find it here.

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