Friday, June 29, 2012

House Rules, by Jodi Picoult

Barnes & Noble

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?

This is a great book. I figured out the ending a quarter of the way through, but Picoult had me doubting myself until the very end. I had no idea how it was going to play out, and she did a great job weaving everything together.  

Spoilers after the jump.

I was really happy that Emma's love interest ended up being Oliver. I initially thought it was going to be Rich, and I was pleasantly surprised when it wasn't. He's pretty awesome.

All of the characters grew and matured throughout the novel, and it was great to see how that happened. Most notably: 

  • Oliver started out saying the he didn't want kids; at the end, he planned on teaching Theo how to drive. 
  • Henry -- who had walked out on his family 15 years ago -- was there for Emma when she needed support. He finally realized what an ass he had been. 
  • Jacob finally got to be the big brother and take care of Theo.

The ending was perfect and followed the central theme throughout the book: Does it matter?

I would love to know what happens to these characters later on. Do Emma and Oliver stay together? Does Jacob go to college and become a Forensics expert? Does Henry come visit his sons and merge his two families? Were either of the Hunt boys jailed for any part of Jess' death? I like to think that Oliver kept his 100% win record.

No comments:

Post a Comment