The Readers Nook

Archive for the ‘4 stars’ Category

Review: House Rules by Jodi Picoult

Posted by SalesianLibrary on June 5, 2010

Title: House Rules: A Novel
Author:
Jodi Picoult
Publication Date: March 2010
Location in Library: Under PIC in the Fiction section

Blurb: House Rules is about Jacob Hunt, a teenage boy with Asperger’s Syndrome. He’s hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, and like many kids with AS, Jacob has a special focus on one subject – in his case, forensic analysis. He’s always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do…and he’s usually right. But then one day his tutor is found dead, and the police come to question him. All of the hallmark behaviors of Asperger’s – not looking someone in the eye, stimulatory tics and twitches, inappropriate affect – can look a heck of a lot like guilt to law enforcement personnel — and suddenly, Jacob finds himself accused of murder.
(Blurb taken from the Good Reads website.)

My Thoughts: Jacob Hunt is a teenage boy with Aspegers Syndrome. He can’t look people in the eye, can’t relate to other people’s feelings, often says innappropriate things, has ticks and twitches he can’t control especially when he’s upset, can only wear and eat certain colours on certain days and needs to take breaks in a special room to calm himself down, amongst other things. Jacob is also obsessed with forensics, and often shows up at crime scenes to help the police. All of these things are characteristics of a person with Aspergers. However, when Jacob’s tutor, Jess is found dead the police come to the conclusion that these characteristics also point towards Jacob being guilty of her murder.

After a couple of disappointing releases Jodi Picoult is back to her usual fantastic work with House Rules. I literally flew through this book just because I didn’t want to put it down. I found all the details about the court case and Aspergers Syndrome really interesting and I now know a lot more about both of these topics than I did before. What I liked most about House Rules was how Picoult made Jacob a character I could empathise with and grow to like. I have read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night and didn’t have this experience with that book at all. I also liked how you got to see each person’s point of view as Picoult had her chapters from various people’s point of view. So you got to see the impact Jacob’s Aspergers and his court case have on his mother, Emma and his brother, Theo and also get the story from the point of view of Jacob’s lawyer, Oliver and the police officer that arrested him. The ending was a little predictable, I had solved the case before I was halfway through the book, but I still enjoyed reading on to see if I was right and to see how exactly the story would end up.

I definitely recommend House Rules!

Rating: ****

Posted in 4 stars, Book Review, fiction, New Fiction, recommendation, Review | 3 Comments »

Review: The Last Song

Posted by SalesianLibrary on May 24, 2010

Book: The Last Song
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Released: 2009
Location in Library: Fiction under SPA

Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Veronica ‘Ronnie’ Miller’s life was turned upside down when her parents divorced and her father moved to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains alienated from her parents, particularly her father…until her mother decides it would be in everyone’s best interest if she and her brother spent the summer with him. Resentful and rebellious, Ronnie rejects her father’s attempts to reach out to her and threatens to return to New York before the summer’s end. But soon Ronnie meets Will, the last person she’d thought she’d ever be attracted to, and finds herself falling for him, opening herself up to the greatest happiness – and pain – that she has ever known. In the tradition of his beloved novel A Walk to Remember, Nicholas Sparks brings us a deeply moving story of a young girl’s first encounter with heartbreak – and love.

My thoughts: I went into The Last Song expecting it to be a light read, something more entertaining than deep. And it was entertaining, but there was so much more to it than that. The book was also very touching, very deep and a great coming of age story.

Ronnie is horrified and angry to find out that her mother has decided that she and her younger brother Jonah will be spending the summer with their father in Wrightsville Beach. Ronnie hasn’t spoken to her father for the past three years since he left her mother and after her arrival spends as much time as possible away from the house. Because of this she meets the interesting Blaze, dangerous Marcus and Will, someone she never thought she could fall in love with, but does. As the story moves along Ronnie becomes a much more likeable character (she was a little childish at the start) and you can see her growing and accepting her father. I found it interesting that, even though Ronnie is the main character, the chapters changed from her point of view to her fathers point of view to Will’s point of view. I find in some books this is hard to follow, especially if there are too many people included, but The Last Song was very easy to follow, as each character stood on their own, with their own distinct personalities.

Like all of Nicholas Sparks’ other books this also has a twist at the end, which results in some very sad and touching moments. A piece of advice, make sure that you have some tissues with you when you get to the last few chapters of the book.

I definitely recommend this book, although I’m sure the girls will get more pleasure out of it than the guys.
Rating: ****

Posted in 4 stars, fiction, recommendation, Review | 1 Comment »