January Meetup: House Rules by Jodi Picoult

6614960I’m coming to you live still riding the wave of euphoria that always warmly overwhelms me after a Litwits discussion. Because, again, I love my book club more than words can express and today’s gathering was superb. We met to discuss House Rules by Jodi Picoult – selected, in part, by the amazing Bianca.

Before the discussion commenced, we took part in a Litwits fav – a book swap! We all kindly donated books we have read and loved or read and not loved to give away to our fellow members. It’s like one big giant book store exploded on my dining room table and everything is FREE. You can imagine how awesometacular this is. See where the previously mentioned euphoria comes into play? And then there was food with pumpkin chocolate chip cookies made by Bianca. Because she is made of sunshine and rainbows.

Once settled with our treats and new books, we eagerly began our month’s discussion. Bianca immediately led the way explaining why House Rules disappointed her as she’s an avid Picoult fan. The ending let her down. There was no interesting plot twist. Instead, the story was highly predictable from very early on and when you read 500 pages expecting some amazingness to find its way into the ending, the conclusion seen coming way back on page 50 is a huge let down. All of the members agreed on this aspect. Bad ending was bad.

Jodi naysayers aside, most everyone agreed that her writing is compelling and page turning. She researches her subject matter intensely and pays very close attention to detail and proper science. Emily wished there was a reference page so she could study up on the source material. She was also bummed that Picoult didn’t in some way inform her readers that the scientific basis for some of her information had been rescinded by the medical community – specifically, blaming childhood vaccinations for the recent prevalence of Asperger’s.

The story is told through several different characters’ perspectives – alternating between chapters. Some loved this and thought Jodi pulled it off well. Others preferred Jacob’s perspective above all others and thought the story would have been strengthened if told solely from his vantage point. As for me, I wasn’t a super fan of the alternating, but I did enjoy seeing both brothers’ perspectives. I thought both Theo and Jacob were intriguing characters.

So overall, I don’t think House Rules amazed anyone, but several Litwits seemed interested in reading more of her work. I’m glad I finally read something by Picoult and would read something else. Next month we’ll be diving into The Snow Child which I’m thrilled about. Have heard nothing but great things!

Oh…and if my previous Silver Linings Playbook recommendation didn’t convince you to go see the movie, then perhaps the Litwits endorsement will! Everyone is in love with the movie and we highly, highly recommend it to any and everyone!

P.S. Bianca’s favorite Picoult novel is Mercy! What’s yours?