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House rules
Picoult, Jodi
Adult Fiction PICOULT

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Perennial bestseller Picoult (Handle with Care) has a rough time in this Picoult-esque blend of medical and courtroom drama that lacks her usual storytelling finesse. Eighteen-year old Jacob Hunt has Asperger's syndrome, and his devoted single mother, Emma, has built their family's life around Jacob's needs, sacrificing her career to act as his caregiver and all but ignoring a younger son, Theo. But when Jacob is accused of murder, that carefully crafted life comes apart, and all of the hallmarks of Jacob's diagnosis begin to make him look guilty. Emma hires a young attorney whose attachment to Jacob brings him close to the family as he struggles to mount a defense for Jacob, whose inability to read social cues makes him less than an ideal client. While Picoult's research is impeccable and she deals intelligently with charged questions about autism and Asperger's, the whodunit is stretched sitcom-thin and handled poorly, with characters withholding information from the reader throughout. Picoult's writing, line by line, is as smooth as ever, and she does a great job of getting into Jacob's head, but the wobbly plotting is a massive detriment. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In life some things are never to be broken-especially if you are an autistic child who takes "everything" literally. For example, some things that can't be broken are the house rules: tell the truth, brush your teeth, and, most important, take care of your brother; he's the only one you've got. In this 18th novel from Picoult (My Sister's Keeper), Jacob Hunt is a teenager with Asperger's syndrome and a morbid fascination with forensic science. He can recite all the intricacies of fingerprint analysis and recall the episode and number of his favorite TV crime show, but he can't feel your pain or emotions. For emotional intelligence Jacob has a tutor-until the tutor is found murdered. When Jacob is questioned, the same hallmark signs of his Asperger's that made him quirky also make him look very guilty-even to those who love him. Verdict Picoult has many fans, and they won't be disappointed here. She is the master of telling a story that at first glance seems predictable but seldom is.-Marike Zemke, Commerce Twp. Community Lib., MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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