Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
When your son can't look you in the eye...does that mean he's guilty?
Jacob Hunt is a teen with Asperger's syndrome. He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, though he is brilliant in many ways. But he has a special focus on one subject - forensic analysis. A police scanner in his room clues him in to crime scenes, and he's always showing up and telling the cops what to do. And he's usually right.
But when Jacob's small hometown is rocked by a terrible murder, law enforcement comes to him. Jacob's behaviors are hallmark Asperger's, but they look a lot like guilt to the local police. Suddenly the Hunt family, who only want to fit in, are directly in the spotlight. For Jacob's mother, Emma, it's a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it's another indication why nothing is normal because of Jacob.
And over this small family, the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?
Review: This started off so well, but by the end I was thinking "Just get on with it already!". I've read a couple of fiction books on Aspergers and when I saw that Picoult (a favourite author of mine) had written a book on it too, I had to read it. I was very let down I'm afraid (it seems my favourite authors are doing that to me lately). So as always with Picoult's books we have different characters telling their story. In this we have 5 characters: Emma (the mother), Jacob (the son with Asperger's), Theo (the younger brother of Jacob), Rich (the policeofficer) and Oliver (the lawyer). What I found very frustrating (that I haven't found with her other books) was that sometimes one of the characters would repeat something that has already been said by another character. I don't think it's necessary for another character to mention something again, it just bogged down the story for me. Another thing that got frustrating was Jacob. I don't know anyone personally with Asperger's but I didn't find it believable that someone who had Asperger's would be speaking the way he did. I've read "Curious Incident of the dog in the night-time" by Mark Haddon which is from a young boy's point of view who has Asperger's Syndrome, for me that felt very believable while this didn't. Another rant moment that I got so angry with was when the lawyer and the mother never wanted to ask Jacob what he actually did! I thought to myself "Come on people, he told you he tells the truth", fair enough the lawyer didn't want to know how he commited the crime but as a mother wouldn't you want to know what your son did. But, I guess if Jacob told them what happened truthfully then the book would've been a lot shorter and everything would've been wrapped up quicker (still annoyed me though). I hope you've been able to follow this review because I wrote it still fuming....
Overall I think this book went far too long and it could've been finished in less pages. On a side note Jacob reminded me so much of 'Sheldon' from the "Big Bang Theory", I swear Sheldon has Asperger's!
On the cover: I assume that's the mother wrapped in her son's patchwork blanket. She's looking off in the distance probably wishing her life had turned out differently...
What I'm listening on Audio to next: Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Have you read any books my Jodi Picoult? Which is your favourite?