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House Rules | [Jodi Picoult]

House Rules

One of America’s most popular authors, Jodi Picoult has earned a reputation for crafting riveting, topical fiction. In House Rules she examines how being different can have dire consequences. Teenager Jacob Hunt has Asperger’s syndrome. A forensic science wizard, he follows his scanner to show up at crime scenes and give law enforcement officials his advice.
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Publisher's Summary

They tell me I'm lucky to have a son who's so verbal, who is blisteringly intelligent, who can take apart the broken microwave and have it working again an hour later. They think there is no greater hell than having a son who is locked in his own world, unaware that there's a wider one to explore. But try having a son who is locked in his own world, and still wants to make a connection. A son who tries to be like everyone else, but truly doesn't know how.

Jacob Hunt is a teenage boy with Asperger's syndrome. He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, and like many kids with AS, Jacob has a special focus on one subject -- in his case, forensic analysis. He's always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do...and he's usually right. But then his town is rocked by a terrible murder and, for a change, the police come to Jacob with questions. All of the hallmark behaviors of Asperger's - not looking someone in the eye, stimulatory tics and twitches, flat affect - can look a lot like guilt to law enforcement personnel. Suddenly, Jacob and his family, who only want to fit in, feel the spotlight shining directly on them. For his 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 of why nothing is normal because of Jacob. And over this small family the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?

Emotionally powerful from beginning to end, House Rules looks at what it means to be different in our society, how autism affects a family, and how our legal system works well for people who communicate a certain way - and fails those who don't.

©2010 Jodi Picoult (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (3103 )
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  •  
    Hollis Amelia Island, FL, United States 08-18-11
    Hollis Amelia Island, FL, United States 08-18-11 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    Overall
    "Pretty Good"

    A bit TOO much info on autism, made book longer than it should have been for the story, but still was a good read. Characters are well developed, fairly believable. Not my favorite Jodi Picoult, but I did like the book. Firsts half of book dragged, but second half was much better.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shirley Oakland, TN, United States 08-04-11
    Shirley Oakland, TN, United States 08-04-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    94
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    213
    122
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    FOLLOWING
    3
    1
    Overall
    "what a most ineresting"

    story. I actually learned alot from a nursing standpoint. The struggle of one parent to raise her son and protect him from really stupid people. I love the weighted blankets. this was new to me but it works.
    You will not be sorry and you will enjoy this listen.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    pam ALBIA, IA, United States 08-03-11
    pam ALBIA, IA, United States 08-03-11 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    6
    Overall
    "WOW! Great mystery!"

    Great book. Loved the medical information about
    Asperger's. Good life lesson, also. Makes you sympathetic to a mother of an Autistic child. A lot of work and dedication to her son. Loved it!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin Donnybrook, Western Australia, Australia 08-02-11
    Robin Donnybrook, Western Australia, Australia 08-02-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    9
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    Overall
    "She always delivers"

    As usual with Jodi Picoult this book is well researched, brilliantly written and gripping in the issues it explores as it progresses through its story. I love listening to her thoroughly explore a contemporary theme. This book, like her others, gripped me so thoroughly that I found myself tining in to listen at every available opportunity.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catarina Stockholm, Sweden 07-15-11
    Catarina Stockholm, Sweden 07-15-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting, entertaining and intriguing"

    This is really an excellent listen - a really interesting story giving you insight into a family during a difficult time. It's not a negative book though, but rather quite hopeful. Loved the narration and how it is written from each character's perspective. Those of you who have experienced growing up with a sibling who gets a lot of attention (due to illness or disability for example) might appreciate the sibling perspective in this book, I certainly did.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Arlington, VA, United States 10-06-10
    Sandra Arlington, VA, United States 10-06-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    119
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    REVIEWS
    308
    62
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    Overall
    "Predictable"

    But you know that if you've read any of her books since My Sister's Keeper. But, I kinda like her formulaic writing - it's a no-brainer listen on the Metro, walking the dog, folding laundry...

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis Fredericksburg, VA, USA 06-05-10
    Dennis Fredericksburg, VA, USA 06-05-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    36
    4
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    "House Rules"

    Takes a while to get moving.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Kittanning, PA, United States 04-13-10
    Linda Kittanning, PA, United States 04-13-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another Picoult homerun"

    Jodi Picoult has an exquisite mastery of words and presentation; an uncanny ability to paint a strong story portrait for the mind's eye. She does it again in "Home Rules"; ~ where the ending is an expected twist ~ but a remarkably satisfying one. Easy to listen to ~ hard to put down.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer LEWISTON, ID, United States 03-14-10
    Amazon Customer LEWISTON, ID, United States 03-14-10 Member Since 2007

    I've been an avid reader since I was a child. I love different types of writing styles and I am never afraid to try new authors.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    260
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    119
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    Overall
    "Predictable"

    I'm a big fan of Jodi Picoult but this book left a lot to be desired. Her usual twist at the end was cut off, I felt the book ended without wraping up the story lines. Usually she does a great job and I look forward to the ending to see what twist she throws at us but I felt this was missing in this book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claudia Chicago, IL, USA 03-11-10
    Claudia Chicago, IL, USA 03-11-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    Overall
    "Great Book!"

    What a great book by Jodi Picoult. like many other I figured out the ending soon. The ending was not the best. I was waiting for more. Another fascinated story about something so real.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 231-240 of 242 results PREVIOUS1232425NEXT
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  • Christine
    Bedford, Beds, United Kingdom
    5/8/10
    Overall
    "Another excellent Jodi Picoult!"

    As ever, this Jodi Picoult latest did not disappoint. It's the first time I have had an audio version of one of her novels, and it suited this one perfectly, clearly demonstrating the deadpan, robotic voice of Jacob the son with Asperger's and how his answers to the interrogations could be so misinterpreted. I became truly immersed in the family life and the quandaries and considerations of this complex case, if a little frustrated at the fact that it took a long time for anyone to ask a character, whose condition prevents him from lying, the truth of the matter. For once, I managed to guess the 'twist' at the end long before it came to it, but, having become so involved with the characters, was relieved by the conclusion, if saddened, as always, that such a good read had to come to an end!

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • reedandponder
    10/7/10
    Overall
    "Great listen, good insight and gripping story."

    I really enjoyed listening to this book. I trained as a Social Worker and have in the past tried to help young people with Asperger's Syndrome move to live independently and find work and training and I have worked with young people within the criminal justice system. So it was the subject matter that drew me in.

    I had never read/listened to a Jodi Picoult novel before and I am still not sure of her genre or who her readership really is but standing alone, this book was a gripping listen. It is told with great insight and from the different character's opinions, so you get to know each character very well. It highlights the way that the legal system can be unfair with young people with disabilities, in this case with Aspergers and lightly raises the question of disability being due to society's intolerance rather than a person's lack of ability. The book is great at bringing out emotion and intersperses humour to balance the trials of life.

    There is one overall flaw with the story which is why nobody has the ability to ask the main character the truth when Asperger's doesn't permit him to lie. You find yourself wanting to scream 'just ask him' as you listen, which I think concurs with another review on this site. I also found the ending a little sudden without much conclusion, but without enough open ended questions to lead into a need for discussion with other readers, so somewhat frustrating. But don't let that put you off listening to it. In summary, it is well read whodunnit with an insightful twist and well worth the listen.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Alison
    Pershore, WORCS, United Kingdom
    6/19/10
    Overall
    "Great Audiobook"

    Wow. This is one of the best books I've listened to. The narrators are fantastic and I have to really praise the way they expressed the characters Autism through their voices. The story is very good and leads you to care about all the characters. Even though the crime was easy to work out you will find yourself pleading for the truth to come out. I recommend this for people who like forensics, trial stories and also psychological stories.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Des
    10/6/10
    Overall
    "gripping drama - great education"

    Among many other things I am a trainer within the healthcare industry. While my interests are quite diverse I am always interested in ways the normal world can better understand those 'other' conditions that pepper our society and are generally little understood.

    House Rules is a book that does just that. You remember the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime, well house rules extends that idea of the rest of us learning about conditions through dramatic stories.

    In this storey the realities of Aspergers Syndrome are narated form several different perspectives. From outsiders with no understanding of the character, Jacob, to the family members mother, father, sibling. As I listened to the audio version of this from audible.co.uk I gained a real advantage as the different characters were read by different narrators. This was not a dramatisation - the book was narrated but as large sections are read by the person whose perspective we are seeing this meant that I fully believe an audio version is the best way to go.

    No picking up the book and not remembering who was this perspective from. As all characters may say 'Jacob said' it would be important to the story to know who is relating that, something I could not have guaranteed for me if I was reading it.

    While I have a reasonable understanding of Aspergers Syndrome both professionally and personally it was superb, for example, to hear Jacob's brother describe their life pressures from the first person.

    It all works around Jacob being charged with murder giving the book a real grounding in a gripping story that holds you to the end even though it follows in a predictable direction. Damn good listen.

    rest at http://dc13.com/ramblings/book-review-house-rules-by-judi-picoult.html

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pamela
    NEWTOWNARDS, United Kingdom
    10/2/10
    Overall
    "REALLY GOOD"

    I have never listened to Jodi Picoult before but her book transforms into and audiobook beautifully. The characters have depth and from the outset you are actively involved in their lives and problems. Well narrated and written.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pauline
    Tocane St ApreFrance
    7/20/10
    Overall
    "Truly brilliant"

    Excellent characterised narration. A great knowledge of ASD and Asperger syndrome.
    I am enjoying this book so much I don't want it to end. A great 'who dunnit' (not my usual sort of book)& as a former special needs teacher I've found the main characters in the book fascinating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Denise
    Stanton Harcourt, United Kingdom
    10/2/12
    Overall
    "Tedious with predictable ending"

    I had heard such good reviews of Jodi Picoult's books and this subject matter interested me so I was very disappointed not to enjoy this book more. Whilst her description of the traits of an autistic child were informative, the continuous repetition of these made for tedious listening. The storyline was good, but far too drawn out and the ending entirely predictable. I won't be buying any more Jodi Picoult books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A User
    9/10/11
    Overall
    "An insight into a literal mindset"

    This was my first Jodi Picoult and I chose it because of the subject matter. I was especially interested in this after I saw the author interviewed about the book, she detailed the extensive research she did before attempting to create the main character. She captures the realities of motherhood and the character of teenage boys incredibly well. The plot was good but not entirely unpredictable. However, I don't think this was intended to be all about plot, any reader who doesn't know much about autism would enrich their understanding of the diversity of people by hearing/reading this novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sue
    Wigton, United Kingdom
    8/19/11
    Overall
    "Pleasantly surprised!"

    You know sometimes that you never pick up a book by a particular author because you just instinctively think you wont like their work? Well, I have felt that about Jodi Picoult. I only took interest in House Rules because I work with autistic people. I decided to listen to House Rules and really enjoyed it. Maybe I guessed fairly early on where it was leading but the journey was still very satisfying! Will definately keep more of an open mind infuture!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Karen
    Isle of Man, United Kingdom
    6/24/11
    Overall
    "Fascinating and sad insight"

    Amazing, empathetic story of autistic percpetions and expectation. Enjoyed this as a story, but also as an education into another aspect of modern life. Recommended as a good story, but with hints of real life experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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