House Rules” by Jodi Picoult – narrated by Mark Turetsky, Nicole Poole, Andy Paris, Christopher Evan Welch and Rich Orlow

I think this book is only going to be appealing to those who are interested in and/or invested in the subject material. I rarely read any reviews of books before I download them. Lately I have been checking out reviews after I finish a book and I found myself nodding to even the negative reviews of this book even though I loved it. Reading the reviews I see why I loved it while many others let the negative aspects of the book win out.

“House Rules” is about Asperger’s Syndrome with fictional characters thrown in to make it a novel. A few years back I did a series of posts about Autism for Autism Awareness Month. I was riveted by “House Rules” because it was everything I had researched put into a fictional story. All the forensics was awesome, too.

Forensics? Oh yes, Jacob, the boy with Asperger’s, is obsessed with forensics and crime scenes, often popping up around town when he hears about crimes on his police scanner. I’ve always loved forensics too and I couldn’t help but see a lot of myself in Jacob. I remember talking with an online friend with Asperger’s back in the day and comparing instances of just being completely sensory overloaded, something I’ve come to experience since going blind. “House Rules” brought all those talks back to me and reminded me of all the things I researched. If you want to make yourself more aware about Autism, click the Autism link in my labels.

Has Jacob’s love of forensics led him to become a suspect in a murder? What would happen if a person with Asberger’s who, In Jacob’s case, has to eat brown food on Thursdays, ends up in jail? Does the ADA protect him? Should he be given special accommodations because of what he doesn’t see as a disability? Those were the themes in the book that had me transfixed.

I think Jodi Picoult spent so much energy researching Autism and criminal law that she ran out of steam for the ending. The whole book I was thinking marriage material but the ending just, well there’s no other word for it, sucked. It’s like Picoult just got sick of writing and tossed in a paragraph and called it the end. There was no mystery in the book, all of it being obvious from the beginning so I was expecting some bombshell ending but no. I had to get on the phone with Carol the next day and complain. And mourn.

I think this might be the first book I mourned. I fell in love with every single character, referring to them by name with Carol as though they were my friends, and the ending just ripped all that affection to shreds. I wrote in my last review that you can’t judge a book by its ending so technically “House Rules” should still get a marriage material rating even though the ending wasn’t an ending at all.

What would Jacob tell me to do? He would see everything literally. He would take emotion out of it. So, a story should have a beginning, a middle and an end to get the highest rating. This book did not have an end, therefore it cannot get the highest rating. What do you think, Jacob?

Rating: So good!

“House Rules” at Audible ~ “House Rules” at Amazon

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Filed under 2013 Book List, Audio books, Autism

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