House Rules by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is by far my favorite Jodi Picoult book. The two books I have read by her (Handle with Care & My Sisiter's Keeper) had the perspectives of everyone involved in the story, except for the main person in question. I was shocked when I saw that we got to read the perspective of the main character.
After learning all about Autism, and how to work with children who are autistic, it was very interesting to read this book. Picoult does a great job researching her characters before writing books. I always feel like I am learning a lot, either about certain illnesses, occupations or law.
Since reading this book, I have read other Jodi Picoult books. I find that this novel seems to be the simplest out of all the books. This book did not have many different plot lines, only the one. It was an easy book to follow, and very easy to connect with the characters. I felt myself cringing when the mother would cringe, or lashing out when the main character lashed out.
I hope more people read this book and learn about autisism.
View all my reviews
As difficult as it was to watch Calliope struggle through her pre-teen and teen years, it was difficult to put the book down. Reading about Calliope's different love experiences were exciting. It was nice to read about her finding someone who accepts her as she is. It was also hard to put the book down when Calliope was upset and hurting because I wanted to see her happy again, and to figure out what she wanted with her life. Eventually Calliope realizes what she really is, and takes control of her life. Rather than letting a doctor dictate what happens to her body, Cal escapes. It was powerful to read about Cal's running away, but it took awhile for him to figure out what he wanted to do with his life. He went through a few rough patches, which may scare the reader into not taking control of their own life.
Let me start this by saying I am a HUGE fan of Lauren Conrad, or better known as LC from The Hills and Laguna Beach. When I found out that she was writing a novel, I of course had to order it weeks in advance, and when I received it, I could not put it down! This book was AMAZING! I did not expect something like this from L.C. When I first started it, it reminded me of The A-List or Gossip Girl. The girls are not rich, but they are naturally beautiful and they moved to a new city in California. The main character, Jane, just graduated from high school. She is interning for the biggest event planner in L.A. She moved with her best friend. The two girls bump into a show producer, and end up on a reality show.
When the book came out, L.C. said that there were some similarities to her life, but it is not completely based off of her life. It is difficult to believe what L.C. says. As I read the book, I tried to not compare Jane to L.C., but it was very difficult. I kept trying to connect each character in the book with people on L.C.'s two shows. I also kept thinking of L.C. being Jane, even though the two do not look like each other at all.
I am not sure why I loved this book so much. The characters did not frustrate me, which is always a plus. I also really loved the way the book was written. It was very simple and easy to read. L.C. is very descriptive with what the scenes look like and each characters outfits. I always love when I can see the scene in my head. It makes the book a lot better. I think I also really enjoyed the book because Jane was a somewhat shy character. She had just broken up with her long time boyfriend and was scared to meet new guys, (but she does have boy drama!!). Jane is also a very timid girl, and she lets people take advantage of her. She is the girl that almost everyone can relate to, which is why she is the main star of the reality show.
Throughout the book, we see how reality shows are created, the behind the scenes. The girls are constantly getting text messages from the directors saying to repeat something, or speak louder, or go somewhere else. Also, before anyone from the outside world can talk to these girls, they have to sign contracts saying that they will be on t.v. It becomes difficult to figure out who is friends with them just because they are famous, or because they are nice girls.
This book is part of a series. L.C. wrote three books about Jane. I am impatiently awaiting for the second book to come out in a few months. I promise, before the new book comes out I will reread L. A. Candy, and write more in this blog. I read the book a few months ago, but hadn't gotten around to writing about it. However, Before I spill too much detail about this amazing book, I suggest everyone go out and read it! You will get sucked into it, and finish it in a day or two!
Now, back to Jane Eyre, AKA one of the BEST books I have ever read. I know I usually say that I love the books I read, but this book was special. When I started the book, I had no idea what it was about. All I knew was that it was a classic, and almost everyone has read it. Meaning I had to read it as well. Now I can cross it off my list :). Charlotte Bronte (sister to Emily Bronte), wrote this novel in such an amazing way! She was able to give the reader insight to what almost every character thought, while still keeping the novel in third person. I found this way of writing to be exquisite. The reader was able to really get to know each character, and fall in love with them.
I read Jane Eyre after I had read Wuthering Heights. Wuthering Heights was written by Emily Bronte, and was a gothic novel. Before reading Jane Eyre, I did not think it was going to be gothic at all. Then I began to read the introduction. The person who wrote the introduction to my copy said that both Bronte sisters enjoyed reading gothic literacy. I then began to think maybe this would be gothic. Well, just like the narrator tricked me, Charlotte Bronte tricked me as well! There were a few scenes where it seemed as if the book was gothic. One scene hinted that there was a ghost in a bedroom, and another scene hinted that a vampire might live in the house. When I read the hint about the vampire, I almost gave up on the book. As much as I loved it, I was nervous it was about to get very tacky, very fast! But I continued on (thankfully), and found out what this "vampire" was. Lesson for readers: If you start a book, make sure you finish it. You never know what is going to end up happening in it (unless you can't get through the first page).
Now on to Jane, the heroine of this novel. The novel starts with Jane being nine/ten years old. As she gets older and learns about love and life, the reader gets older and learns as well. Jane's character can also become very frustrated. Jane was sent to an all girls boarding school when she was ten years old. This is where she learned about how women are supposed to behave and act. It was also a very religous school. This means, as Jane got older, she did not understand love between a man and a woman. When a man was hitting on her, or showed interest in her, Jane did not notice. Instead, she found it interesting that he showed such an interest in her, and she eventually fell in love with this man. Yes, this book is another love story (a very romantic one as well).
Like our lives, Jane and her lover end up breaking up because of a huge secret he was hiding. Isn't that just like men? Always hiding something and lying to women!! When Jane finds out this secret, she does not know what to do with herself. She is beyond embarrassed, and does not want to stay where she is. This starts Jane's new life of finding who she really is, and her families history.
The best way to outline the book, is to say it is like a play with five acts. Jane lives with five different groups in the book, and each place teaches her about life. The book starts with Jane living with her Aunt nad cousins. This is a tough time for Jane, and she learns about fear and hiding from people. After this, Jane moves to her boarding school. Jane continues to learn about fear and sees how cruel people could be. Jane also learns about friendship and death. As Jane gets older, she realizes that she wants to "broaden her horizon". She finds a job being a governess. This phase of her life teachers her about love, and speaking aloud, and expressing herself. When her love admits to his dirty secret, Jane moves on and learns about her family, and surviving on her own. The last place Jane lives is with her husband. Jane is happiest at this time, and she realizes that it is the simple things in life that makes her happy.
We can all see ourselves in these different steps in Jane's life. We have all been scared, might not want to say what is on our minds, but we get older and learn how important it is to voice our opinions. I think what really got to me was the fact that this book was written over 100 years ago, yet I was able to relate to Jane. The most important thing when reading is having connections with the books. I was very connected with this book. I wanted to learn about every single minute of Jane's life. I wanted the book to never end.
I was a little upset with the ending. I had just read 600 pages about Jane's life, and Charlotte summed up the rest of her life in one chapter. I felt like I had been gypped information. Even though I was upset with the end, I would read another Charlotte Bronte book in a heart book. I loved this book so much, I would hope the rest of her books are just as great.
I will admit one thing, as long as you promise not to laugh at me: there was a part of the book where Jane reminded me of Gabrielle from Desperate Housewives. The boy problems Jane has made me think of a few episodes of Desperate. I know that this may make me sound like an airhead, but I wanted to be honest. I really hope you all read Jane Eyre and love it as much as I did. Unfortunately I rented the book from my library, so I do not have a copy at the moment. I am planning on buying the book as soon as possible and hopefully read it again, and again, and again!!!