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House Rules. Jodi Picoult Paperback – Jan 11 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (Jan. 11 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340979070
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340979075
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 4.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 440 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #776,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Douglas TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 6 2010
Format: Hardcover
Wonderfully written, from alternative viewpoints, House Rules tell the story of Emma Hunt, a mother of two boys - Jacob, 18, and Theo, 15. Jacob has Asperger's Syndrome, an illness which has many different elements, making it different in everyone, but often charactered by lack of empathy, detachment from the world, obsessive behaviour and violent outbursts. Emma dotes on Jacob, spending all she has on therapists, medication and food supplements. Theo, naturally, resents such unbalanced parenting.

One of Jacob's quirks is his interest in crime scene forensics - he watches true life forensic TV shows, reconstructs crime scenes at home and even turns up at real crime scenes, offering to help the detectives.

When someone Jacob knows if found dead, and it is revealed that the murder occurred shortly after and argument with Jacob, he falls into the spotlight. Subsequent forensic evidence points even more towards Jacob's guilt and he is held for questioning...

There are some pretty large plot holes, and the twist can be seen coming from a thousand yards, so as a thriller it doesn't really stack up. It also suffers for being overly similar to Picoult's My Sister's Keeper and Handle With Care - child with medical problems, jealous sibling, courtroom drama, check, check and check.

But as an engaging and well observed novel it hits the mark, and is an excellent study of a family under pressure combined with a fascinating insight into Asperger's Syndrome.

Four stars.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Mansfield HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on March 27 2010
Format: Hardcover
As a person with Asperger's I am dismayed with Picoult's portrayal of an adult with Asperger's Syndrome. Picoult starts off by showing us all the sources she has used for her research but once one starts reading it is obvious she is so full of research she doesn't know what to do with it. She has taken every possible symptom of both Asperger's and autism (which are two different diagnoses) and put them all into the character of Jacob. Not only is Jacob loaded down with every single symptom, each of his symptoms are of the most extreme variety. A real-life 'aspie' (as we call ourselves) will have some, perhaps even many, but certainly not all textbook examples, of the symptoms and then they are at varying degrees. What Picoult has done here is a disservice to the Asperger's community.

From the mother: "Since there's no cure yet for Asperger's, we treat the symptoms ...". Asperger's is not a disease or an illness! There is no cure because one is not needed. Just from reading the positive reviews of this book I see the word "illness" being used over and over to describe Asperger's and that is because the book has left readers unfamiliar with AS with that impression. I could sit here and write an essay refuting all the quotes on the dog-eared pages I created while reading, but I won't. If you want a realistic view of a young man with Asperger's I urge you to read the book "Marcelo in the Real World" by Francisco X. Stork. The main character is 17 years old and is very comparable to Jacob only the author has done an excellent job in portraying Asperger's, showing the struggles we face but also shows that we do indeed function and do not need anyone's sympathy.

BTW, I did give the book 2 stars because if I removed the whole Asperger's element I thought the mystery was quite interesting with a fun little twist to the solution.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Donna on July 22 2008
Format: Hardcover
I live in Ottawa, Ontario Canada and was walking through my local bookstore. I came across this book in the aisles and the title of the book caught my attention. Why it did is because we always had something at home that was posted on the fridge titled "House Rules". I had to fly to Calgary and I read this book the entire 4 hour flight, I didn't even notice the time. I don't know Rachel, but this book really touched me. I honestly couldn't put this book down and there were parts where I would laugh, parts that were similiar to experiences I had when I was young and then parts where I just completely stared to left of my window to just completely cry. I have never had a book do that to me before, and the fact that it was something that was real, really had me explore my own childhood memories. I loved the book and I hope that you will continue to write more. It's just interesting to know that we are in separate countries and that we had similiar childhoods, it's interesting to me, that there are many similiar people in the world, we just never know it and the fact we can look back without hatred and really look at both positive and negative aspects of life, but mainly because we moved on. I bought another copy for my sister as well, she won't believe it when she reads it. It truly was such a good read, and I really just enjoyed it.

Thank you!

Donna
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Debzzz007 on July 18 2010
Format: Hardcover
If you have someone close to you with Aspergers (as I do) ... this will be a very tough read!! I had to stop reading because I was so frustrated!! Picoult's character was over the top with symptoms of both AS and Autism. This book is a big let down..... I liked the idea of writing from the different perspectives of the family ... but she was again over the top with all of the characters thinking, actions and feelings about AS!! I hope readers don't take this "research" and apply it to all living with AS and their families!!
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