Monday, September 30, 2013

REVIEW - House Rules

Synopsis: (From Goodreads)


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 behaviours 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?

I’m sorry for those who loved this book, but I just could not finish it. Therefore, please note that this is not a full review, only my opinion on what I’ve read.

As my previous reviews have stated, I have come to love the work of Ms Picoult. It’s for that very reason that a good friend of mine sent me this book for Christmas last year. I love receiving books as gifts, and she’s such a dear friend, but how was she to know. I was ecstatic that it was another Picoult book I could sink my teeth into.

But what a disappointment.

At first I just couldn’t get into the book for various reasons, I was studying, I was reading something else, I didn’t really have time to focus on it. I really thought these were the reasons why I couldn’t get into the book. But the fact is that the book didn’t grab me at all.

Look, the storyline is pretty compelling when you read the synopsis. A kid with Autism (or Asperger’s) who is committed of murder? I really wanted to know who really did it and how this kid was involved. But due to boring chapters of unnecessary information I could not finish this one. Each chapter is written in the voice of a different character. Interesting you’d think. The only mess up was that some things were repeated in each chapter, just in the view point of the different character. This was my first hang up.

Second hang up. There are so many facts about autism in this book that I really got bored with it. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not dissing this illness, I totally support it. I’ve even been a part of a community initiative for kids with autism. But the book overloads you with the same information over and over again. I became rather boring after a couple of chapters you know?

Third hang up.  The chapters are uninteresting. Yes there are obviously some that are not, and which grab you, but then there are the ones that just keep dragging by. Some of the characters also just didn’t do it for me, which leads to point number four. I get that when you’re a parent of a child with a mental disability you are different to other parents, but the way the mother was written just makes her seem uninvolved with her other son and a bit of a fridget bitch towards people in general. The only way she seems to really communicate in a civil way with people is through her self-help column. I really didn’t like her.

The fifth hang up was that the book never seemed to get to the point! It was the same thing over and over again… but never getting to an answer. There are some storylines in there that just hang in the air, some that don’t fit in, obviously this would be even more true because I didn’t finish the book, but really… it was difficult for me to stay focused when all I wanted to do was skip a couple of chapters and get to the point.

So I’m sorry Ms Picoult, but this one just didn’t do it for me. But I love her other work and would recommend it to anyone who likes an emotional type of book.

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