Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Jodi Picoult - House Rules

MY THOUGHTS: The only reason I have this book is because of my Grandma. It was a part of her collection that eventually wound up in my hands. Not knowing anything about the author or the story, I had little in the way of expectations.

As I started to read, I realized that this would be a very difficult book for me to get through, for several reasons. The story is about a boy with Asperger's Syndrome, a form of Autism, and his fight to not only be noticed as more that just a kid with AS, but also his fight through the criminal justice system.

On top of the serious nature of the story, it was also hard to read because the story is told from the perspective of each of the main characters who has their own chapter named for them. The font changes for each character and sometimes the story is repeated from the perspective of the different characters.

Aside from the difficulties described, I really enjoyed the book. It was interesting to not only learn a little more about AS, but also to see how it affects those with the disorder, but also those he comes in contact with.

EXCERPT: (page 16)

" I may be autistic, but I can't tell you what day of the week your mother's thirty-second birthday fell on. I can't do logarithms in my head. I can't look at a patch of sod and tell you it has 6,446 individual blades of grass. On the other hand, I could tell you anything you ever wanted to know about lightning, polymerase chain reactions, famous movie quotes, and Lower Cretaceous sauropods. I memorized the periodic table without even trying; I aught myself how to read Middle Egyptian; and I helped my calculus teacher fix his computer."

(page 92)

"This is where I go, when I go: It's a room with no windows and no doors, and walls that are thin enough for me to see and hear everything but too thick to break through. I'm there, but I'm not there. I am pounding to be let out, but nobody can hear me. This is where I go, when I go: To a country where everyone's face looks different from mine, and the language is the act of not speaking, and noise is everywhere in the air we breathe. I am doing what the Romans do in Rome; I am trying to communicate, but no one has bothered to tell me that these people cannot hear."

 - Storyline: 10/10 Absolutely brilliant.
 - Coherence: 9/10 Sometimes it was hard to remember who's chapter I was reading. Though it is labeled very prominently at the beginning of each chapter, once you really get into the book, you seem to, in a way, just skip over that part and dive right in.
 - Syntactic Structure: 10/10 Very fluid and easy to read.
 - Character Development: 10/10 I loved how we got to experience things from all the characters perspective. It really made for a great read.

 - Overall Score: 39/40

I highly recommend this one. Though I don't feel like I've made much of an impression to future readers, I do wish to say that I thouroughly enjoyed this book and feel it was a great way to introduce the general public to the thinkings of someone with AS.

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