I’m always reading something, but that doesn’t mean I always like what I read. There are those times when I need to hang out with an old friend, so I go to my bookshelf and pick up a book that’s been loyal to me time and time again. But there are also times when I need something new.

I’m always wary when I pick up a strange book. I invest a lot of time and emotion into my reading, so to do that with a book I know little about is a bit of a leap of faith. To be honest, I can be a bit critical of the things I read, so finding a new book I really really like can be a challenge.

This time, I picked right. I just finished reading House Rules by Jodi Picoult and OH BOY I just couldn’t put that thing down. It was my first Picoult- I’d heard of her a million times and seen her books all over the place but I never had the opportunity to take a closer peek. House Rules is her most recent novel, and it spent a while on the NYT Bestseller list (it actually might still be on there).  Picoult’s writing is not bad at all, but it also isn’t anything amazing. No, the thing that had me hooked was the story. I was swallowed up by it- so much so that I finished the 500+ page novel in about two days.

The story centers around Jacob, an 18 year old boy with Asperger’s. Jacob is absolutely obsessed with forensics, often butting in on actual crime scenes and adding his two cents, which is usually unwelcome by the police. The tables are turned, however, when Jacob is accused of murder. Picoult’s writing style is episodic. She bounces around from one character’s point of view to another, which can be hard to pull off, but this time works well. The characters are very well developed and their relationships are SO complex that you can’t help forming an emotional attachment to them. I can’t tell you how crazy this book drove me. There were times when I would scream out loud because I couldn’t believe what was unfolding on the page, and yet I didn’t dare leave it alone for a second.  It was a roller coaster all the way until the end.

So if you’re looking for a story that will really grab you and shake you around a bit, pick up House Rules. I will warn you though, this is not a light read. Not only is it long, but the emotions are heavy. You will feel for these characters. I’m not saying you need to empty the Kleenex isle at Target, but just be prepared for the urge to reach out and give these characters a good long hug.

Happy reading!