Thursday, May 6, 2010

House Rules - Chapter 1 (pgs 1-37)

I finished the first chapter of House Rules last night and I'm definitely interested in the story. I think Emma's voice is the most true to life, a single mother struggling to raise her kids the best she can. Rich also seems realistic as a single dad. I can already see the love story about to happen between those two. Theo doesn't quite ring true as a smart teenager who also skate boards. I'm just not really getting teenage boy quite right from him. I also wonder about Jacob. Would an Asperger's Symdrome child be that aware that he has no social skills, can't recognize emotion, it isn't normal to throw fits in the grocery, etc.? I did see how he views his family very well. It's only the first chapter though and I hope the boys' voices develop better. I also thought it was quite interesting to learn why there are no fingerprints below freezing. The case the chapter opened with was called Sleep Tight, which is ironic because it seems like Emma is the only one sleeping that night.


Bonnie Jacobs said...

Thanks, Jennifer. I hadn't picked up on the irony of the chapter title.

Jacob has what Emma calls "meltdowns," so he is not analyzing what he's doing while it occurs. He can't handle what's happening, so the inappropriate actions follow like a volcano erupting.

It's also interesting that you think the boys aren't realistic as teenagers, since Jodi Picoult has three teens (two boys and a girl); while you think Emma and Rich are realistic as single parents, and Jodi is married.

Jennifer said...

Yes, I got that part of it, Bonnie. =) I meant that he seems to be aware that he acts oddly/incorrectly in social situations. I would have thought that he wouldn't understand not only why people needed pleasantries, eye contact, and touching but also that he needs to do these things for normal interaction. For example, with Emma showing him different facial expressions and having Jacob guess the emotion, Jacob seems to know that he can't tell the emotions of people and that he should be able to, and know what they mean and react accordingly. Sorry I didn't explain what I meant very well in the post.

I think that Jodi writes the two adults more realistically than the two teenage boys. But I also thought she did a better job with both Theo and Jacob in the next chapter, which I'm about to post about.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Jennifer, I've completed the whole book, so I wasn't sure what was in the first 37 pages, which you posted about. I know you would "get it" eventually in the book -- just didn't know whether you already had.

I look forward to your post on the next section you've read, and I hope others are able to start talking about the book soon, if they can just get a copy of the book.

Jennifer said...

Duh. I didn't think about you being already finished, even though I knew you were. I do find Autism interesting to learn more about.

I figure I'll post for each chapter up until the last chapter before page 133, which is 1/4 of the book and prolly somewhere in Chapter 4. Then pause and answer the discussion questions. By that time, it should be the second week of reading.

My Chapter 2 post is really long. I just flipped though and typed. Then I posted it and "Wow, that's long!".