July 13, 2012

Review : House Rules by Jodi Picoult

Title : House Rules
Author : Jodi Picoult
Reading Dates : 01 Jun - 07 Jun 2012
Total Pages : 657
From Amazon :
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?

Book Review of House Rules.

House Rules was the first Jodi Picoult book I’ve read but it definitely will not be the last. I wasn’t half way into the book before I was considering which book of hers I was going to pick up next.

What I loved about House Rules was also what I found disorientating in the beginning. The tale is told from many different perspectives and because of that Jodi Picoult humanises them all. There are no real bad guys here, just plenty of misconceptions and misunderstandings. Everyone has their own reasons whether it is the police carrying out their duty or the single mother doing the best she can for her children. It is these shades of gray portrayed so realistically which makes House Rules such an intriguing read.

The other reason I liked was the educational aspects. House Rules shows me my ignorance without being preachy about it and it’s a fun way to learn. Most important, it emphasizes how badly things can go wrong by being uninformed.

However, while the story has made me more aware of the plight of those with Asperger’s, I confess that I’m not yet motivated enough to do much about it. While it reminds me to consider things from more than my own viewpoint, I’m not yet ready to rise above my own self-interests.

In any case, House Rules was an interesting introduction to Jodi Picoult’s works and I’ll be looking to read more of her works after this.

My conclusions :

  • Would I re-read the book ? Yes.
  • Would I want to read the next book in the series if there were one? Yes.
  • Would I want to own my personal copy if I didn’t already own it ? Yes.
  • Who would I recommend this too? Just about anyone.
  • For those looking to read the book, would I recommend buying or borrowing the book? Buy it.


  1. Hi there. I'm a Malaysian book blogger. Glad to know there's more local bloggers around. =)

    I've read this book and have reviewed it in my blog. I did enjoy reading it but found the author's tendency to drag the the storyline a bit distracting and I had to force myself to finish reading it.


    1. Hmm ... sorry you didn't enjoy it. Hope you have better luck next time.

  2. The Jodi Picoult you HAVE to read is My Sister's Keeper-emotionally devastating and still my favorite of hers even as I have read most of them.

    1. I've read the premise for this and it sounds interesting. I'm adding this to my wish list. Thanks for the suggestion ! :-)


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