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House Rules

A Novel
Length: 19 hrs and 55 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,267 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The astonishing novel from the number-one New York Times best-selling author Jodi Picoult about a young boy with autism falsely accused of murder.

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?

©2010 Jodi Picoult. All rights reserved. "I Shot the Sheriff" (c)1974 Fifty-Six Hope Road Music Ltd. and Odnil Music Ltd. All rights administered by Blue Mountain Music. Ltd. (P)2017 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent!

A most unusual crime story. A complicated family unravels a crime . Chapters are narrated by family members,the police and à lawyer. What makes the story so fascinating is that the listener is taught about the mind of a high functioning yet severely socially impaired young man with asbergers syndrome

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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No closure

Interesting legal conundrum involving a suspect with Asperger's syndrome whose mother has neglected everyone else in her life, including her other son, to support. Unfortunately the author seemed to give up on finding an ending to this story which is pretty unsatisfying. It felt very rushed at the end. Disappointing because the legal and ethical issues made for a good framework for a compelling story.

The readers were good except for the one voicing Emma Hunt. Her diction is fine, but she sounded far too smug and calm for someone who's supposed to be a single mother with little money dealing with the situation at hand. She's supposed to have amazing eyes, and they must be to still attract male characters despite her prickly defensiveness and smother-mothering of one child while ignoring the other.

The attorney character was interesting by being ethically challenged and poor, as well as a former farrier. He nonetheless had the excessive self-confidence and BS generation to attempt something he shouldn't have....why wasn't he disbarred? Maybe he was, but again the story just stopped instead of indicating consequences for any character's behavior.

I did like the story being told from different points of view. It could make a good movie.


12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Jp
  • 01-08-18

Good Read

great read!! Then ending sucked what happened at court? I hope this book has a part 2..

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Disappointed

I usually really like this author, but this book was challenging to listen to. Could have just listened to the first few chapters then gone to the end for the finale. Expected to have a really good twist but was very disappointed. Narrators were really good.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Dangerous Anti-Vaxer Misinformation

Having read nearly all of Picoult’s novels, I was sorely disappointed by her perpetuation of the now fully debunked misinformation that vaccines cause Autism or Aspergers. The paper that initially began this dangerous myth, was horribly fraught with methodological issues and ultimately recalled. The anecdotal cases in this book are based solely on the correlation that parents are able to distinguish behaviors at an age that also happens to have a relatively heavy immunization schedule. Public Health professionals are now battling not only outbreaks but full epidemics in the US in 2019 because of such misinformation. SHAME ON JODI PICOULT FOR NOT CORRECTING HER BIAS. The National Institutes Of Health (NIH), the Centers fie Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) & the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), as well as the American Public Health Association (APHA) have had to tackle re-emerging infectious diseases that were once on the verge of extinction; this diverts scarce resources from new & emerging health threats such as Ebola, Avian Flu & bioterrorism, along with the chronic killers of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes & more. I’m more than very disappointed & am requesting a refund plus an author response.
~Dr. Chris Patricia Hafner, PhD, MPH, ND

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Too repetitive. Not worth the time.

I have enjoyed many Jodi Picoult novels. Unfortunately, this one is way too repetitive. She repeats the same (interesting) facts about autism 5x throughout the story. She repeats the same facts about the crime scene and crime events 5-10x throughout the story. If the story had been 5x shorter, it would have been more engaging. The characters are well-drawn and likeable. The story is largely believable. But overall, the story is tiresome due to repetition.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting Ingredients but the ending flopped

The characters are interesting, sometimes funny, sometimes sad. The concept of the plot is a good idea, but it dragged on and on. The filler for at least the last third was not engaging enough make up for the delay in arriving at the climax of the story. As a professor of special education, I was glad to see a story including a character with Aspergers. While some of the background information was valid, there were also some major misconceptions perpetuated. Jacob's behaviors seemed generally true to an individual with Aspergers. Generally speaking, a good read, but wow did the ending fall flat. It read like a seven year old found the almost complete manuscript open, added the last sentence and pushed "send". :-(

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great story.. but the ending!!

Good long interesting story.. disappointing ending... won’t say more... but beware.
And from an author I love!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Mother who Excels, Two Brothers who Learn to Cope

This is by far the best novel that I have read in several months. It had three dimensions that were all handled with great talent. It was an excellent mystery with a plot that kept the reader well engaged. There was an intimate look at a family made up of a single mother, one son with Asperger's syndrome and the younger normal son. Both sons are brilliant in their way. The third dimension that the author develops well is her cast of characters. The mother reminded of my own mother, she feels deeply for the social pain her asperger son endures, but is committed to doing whatever is necessary to make him as independent as possible and help him cope with his social challenges. She does not rationalize away her responsibilities to her son, but explores every way to help this eighteen year old man grow into his own. The author is extremely knowledgeable concerning the Autism spectrum. I probably learned as much about the spectrum as I have from the several nonfiction books on the subject that I read/listened to. The author has also done a fine job of creating the mother. She seems to use a composite of the mothers of the disabled who choose not to rationalize their surrender from the responsibility that every parent has to make your child as independent of that parent. As all good parents know this is a job not finished until death calls for that parent. ...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Am I the only one that could see the ending from a mile away!?

Great book and well written but the ending did not surprise me at all. The characters were great and I did enjoy it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful