little background: i hated reading growing up. it was very rare for me to find a book that i couldn't put down. the first book i can remember actually wanting to read was the giver. we read this book in seventh grade, and i just couldn't put it down. which is ironic because my brother hated this book. but it's not the one that i love.
so then when i was 19, and had to find something to do to fill the 13 hour drive to austin, tx, to meet my niece, i bought two books to read down there. it was when my sister's keeper and the time traveler's wife were made into movies, and i wanted to read the books before i saw the movies. ever since then i have finally enjoyed reading. and i found that i really love jodi picoult. it is now my goal to own all of her books. i have a fairly good chunk of them right now. my favorite one from her so far is house rules.
i think one reason why i liked this book so much is because the main character, jacob, has asperger's syndrome, which is part of the autism spectrum. if you know me, you know i have this "fascination" with the autism spectrum. (i feel like fascination may not be the best word to use, but it has always been something that interests me and i want to know more about it) one thing i do know about a child with autism is that they are very literal, and a lot of them stick to rules word for word. (please correct me on this if i am wrong, but i'm just going with what i see in my kids at work) in this book, he has a social tutor to help him in different situations that he faces. (one of my favorites was when he goes to prom with a girl, and he sits in the back seat of the car instead of the front, and his mom and tutor are kind of embarrassed since they forgot to tell him about it) (also a person with autism sticks to a routine, like sitting in the back seat of the car) one day his social tutor is found dead, and he is the main suspect, his quirks look like signs of guilt to the cops who don't understand.
the book goes through the course of the trial, from the perspective of him, his mother emma, his brother theo, his father rich, and his lawyer oliver. (i'm trying really hard to not spoil the book if anyone wants to read it, but it's hard.) you learn the "house rules"..."1. clean up your own messes, 2. tell the truth, 3. brush your teeth twice a day, 4. don't be late for school, and 5. take care of your brother; he's the only one you've got." (these rules need to be kept in mind throughout the book.) jacob has a fascination with forensic science. he has a police radio in his room, and shows up at crime scenes trying to help the cops. when his tutor is found dead, police go to him, but not for help. you learn more about jacob and his relationship with his tutor. you learn about his brother theo, and his habit of sneaking into empty houses and taking things. you see how his family is effected by this trail, and how jacob himself is effected. at the end of the book, after hearing stories from police and doctors going against jacob, he finally takes the stand and tells his side of the story. stop here if you don't want to know the end of the story
you learn that jacob's tutor was house sitting for a local professor, and theo decided this is the house to sneak into this day. when jacob shows up for his tutoring session, he finds her dead. being a fan of crime busters, he sets up a scenario for the cops to figure out. this raises suspicion. turns out she had slipped in the bathroom after noticing theo, hit her head on the sink, and bled to death. when jacob got there, he noticed theo's shoe print in the snow, and cleaned up the blood, and altered the crime scene to look like a bad kidnapping. after all, it's a rule to take care of your brother.
sorry that this is possibly a horrible book report (i was never good at them) but this is a book i love. i highly suggest you go out and read it. let me know what you think if you do read it or have read it already.