House Rules - Jodi Picoult


ISBN - 978-0-240-97908-2
PAGES - 630
GENRE - Fiction
BINDING - Paperback

AUTHOR - Jodi Picoult

SYNOPSIS - 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?


“Sometimes I think the human heart is just a simple shelf. There is only so much you can pile onto it before something falls off an edge and you are left to pick up the pieces.”  
“when you [lose someone], it feels like the hole in your gum when a tooth falls out. You can chew, you can eat, you have plenty of other teeth, but your tongue keeps going back to that empty place, where all nerves are still a little raw”  
“It's never the differences between people that suprise us. It's the things that, against all odds, we have in common.”

FL Speak - Do you have a favourite brand of chocolate? The brand that's readily available at the nearest shop? The one that you constantly find nibbling? The chocolate that you're addicted to? You know the feeling? Jodi Picoult is my heroin. I'm addicted to her. I'm addicted to her words, her tale, her writing. Even though I know, reading her books would break my fragile lil heart into a million pieces, I can't stop myself.

Meet Jacob. Socially awkward, mentally awesome. Jacob is a walking, breathing CSI Encyclopaedia. He also has Aspergers. People with Aspergers are people, but with a little different view of things than others. Jacob has a routine. You mess with the routine and the day is gone to hell. Jacob hates change and his family has to adjust to it. Food in the house are colour-coded. You can't eat a yellow food on a day that is meant for green or red. You can't change the timing of his classes or appointments in the last moment without bringing hell forth. 

And Jacob is special. He solves CSI mysteries on television before the actors do. He creates fake crime scenes in his house, much to the bewilderment of his mother and anguish of his older brother. He's a genius in solving crimes. And the local police department's thorn in their feet. 

So when his tutor goes missing one day, Jacob decides to find her and solve the case. When her body is discovered covered in a quilt Jacob's mother made for him, the missing person's case turns to homicide. As Emma hunt takes her son, Jacob to the police station to find answers, little did she realises that she's setting her son up for murder. 

Emma Hunt is a gem. She's every bit the mother we wished we had. You can't help but feel for her as she sacrifices everything for the younger son with special needs. Her life is set up, she doesn't complain. Moms seldom do. And then there is Theo. Jacob's older brother and complete normal in contemporary sense. How long can you stay with someone whose mood swings are more frequent than the advertisements between tv shows? How much can you cope when your mom is always at your younger brother's side leaving you to fend for yourself? The emotions coming out of Theo are raw and everything you might expect from an outsider who has no clue what Aspergers is. Theo loves his younger brother and is more confused. He knows his childhood is almost over and he worries that he might have to take care of his younger brother for life and yet he simply cannot walk away as their father did when he realised Jacob's condition.

With the local police set to make Jacob the scapegoat, Emma and Jacob must fight it out to prove his innocence. But will it be enough? Specially when Jacob is not saying everything he knows.

A sterling piece of writing. To write a 600+ novel and yet making sure that you never feel like skipping one paragraph, that's Picoult for you. You'll love Jacob. You'll laugh at his reactions, you'll cry at his sufferings, you'll be the shoulder he needs, the silent hope he requires. Reading Jodi Picoult is like watching a movie. You're God. You look down and see them in the living room. You follow them around without them knowing you're watching them. Reading Jodi Picoult is a blessing.

My Rating - 5/5 stars

PRICE - INR 350/-


  1. i like jodi picoult but my most favourite american female writer is Toni morisson... the writer of Beloved... she is d greatest among female american writers...

  2. Loved the review so much. You were touched, I can feel that! I am a fan of hers too, even though I have not been able to read her, your reviews play at the strings of a reader's heart! :) :)


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