Friday, November 28, 2014

House Rules Alyssa Buren
By Jodi Picoult Comp. 3
A Division of Simon & Schuster Inc. 2010
269 pages
“What do you want to tell the jury?”
Jacob hesitates. “The truth,” he says.
Jacob wanted everyone to know the truth. He did not kill Jess and everything everyone was saying was wrong. He wanted the jury to hear his side of the story. He was not going to testify in court, but the above quote was right after his breaking point. He needed to tell the jury what really happened so he did. He believed what he did was right, because he thought he was covering up for his brother. His brother did not kill Jess either, but saw how Jess fell in the bathroom causing the scene.
Jacob’s Lawyer, Oliver, thinks Jacob’s only chance for not being put in jail is pleading insanity. Jacob does not want to plead insanity, because he believes he is innocent and sane. In the meantime, Jacob is on house arrest so Emma can’t leave. The newspaper she worked for asked her to take a leave of absence but instead she got fed up and quit. Rich, the detective, is still questioning everyone. He found out that Jess and Mark fought at the pizza place previous to her passing. Rich questions Mark about Jess more again.
Emma got Jacob to agree to plead insanity if that was his best chance, and told Oliver when he came over and ended up joining them for lunch. Emma enjoys Olivers company much more than she ever thought. He makes her laugh and smile even in the mess of everything. Oliver and Emma kind of hit it off together. They all had to attend court again and Oliver got the judge to suppress what Jacob said at the police station.
Theo just mentioned in his writing that he was at Jess’s house shortly before his brother. Theo says he didn’t kill her, but he thinks it may have started what happened afterwards. He decided to leave and go find his father. Oliver gets Emma a flight to beat Theo to California and she contacted Henry. Henry does a pay out and just gives them money. Theo knew right then he should have never gone and his dad was no different.
Jacob’s trial is now beginning. The prosecuting lawyer stated off and crumpled a paper throwing Jacob into a phase right away. Mark, Jess’s boyfriend, admitted to grabbing Jess’s arms and neck in a fight the day she died. After a day of trial, Theo finally tells Jacob he was there and saw Jess the day she died. But surprisingly, Jacob already knew and said “that’s why he had to do it.” Emma and Oliver continue to hit it off and Henry shows up to be there for the trial. The book ends before the jury is ever able to make a verdict and before you ever know what happens of Oliver and Emma.
What would it be like to have a child put on trial for murder? This question repeatedly came to mind when reading this book. Jacob just wanted to be normal like any other kid, but to the other teenagers the AS set him aside from everyone else. Then all of a sudden he is charged with the murder of Jess. He always wanted to be considered normal than this happens setting him even more apart from everyone else. During this whole process and Jacob’s whole life, Emma is the most caring mother she could be. She does anything she has to and can to accommodate Jacob. She is very supportive during the whole trial. She believes when Jacob says that he did not kill her.
Emma is struggling the whole time with the fact that Jacob could have murdered Jess, but loves Jacob just as much. She never let’s the trial change her love for her son. Emma shows a textbook mother’s love in this story and she is a very good mother to her two sons. She is an inspiring character, because when the world is trying to take her down, she is able to fight through and be just as strong.
The way Jodi Picoult writes her stories is very interesting for me. I love how she goes back and forth between characters. By doing this, the reader is allowed to know every persons side of view on what is going on. You get to see how each person feels and how opinions and feelings vary between the characters. This keeps me engaged in her reading even more.
This book is a perfect story to write the way she does. Going back and forth in a story with a murder trial, really allows you to get a feel from everyone who is affected. This book was very good and was good at holding my attention. I would recommend this book to anyone who is just looking for a good book to read. The only set back for some people would be that it does change point of view.


  1. This sounds like a very good book. I liked that you wrote about what the book was about in general. I like Jodi Picoult books and this one sounds like a good one to read!

  2. In this blog, you do an excellent job in many aspects, Alyssa. I like how you relate back to the quote and tell how Jacob just wanted to explain the truth that he did not kill Jess. The chronological order used was impressive as well and involved much of your opinion mixed in with summarizing what happened. I like that you used a question in your blog that you explained you had in mind while reading this. This was well-organized and thought out.

  3. I liked how you gave a summary of what was happening in the book first and then talked about your response to the book. This sound like it was a good book to read and overall I think you did a really good job.

  4. I really like your question"What would it be like to have a child put on trial for murder?"It really shows that you were connecting to the story and were wondering what you would do in this situation. I also like your format of alternating a little bit between summary and your response.

  5. Good job! You had a very good balance between summary and analysis and you did a good job of analyzing the characters and their motivations.