Monday, June 21, 2010

House Rules

No post since Thursday, and I'm on holidays too. Tut tut. In my defense, though, everyone's in nearing-end-of-holidays mode -- there's been a mini boom of events and outings to make use of the time while we still have it. I made myself come out of my hermit shell this week and realised how much fun there is to be had with friends.

But that's not what I want to blog about. What I do want to blog about is this:

I got it at Popular for RM48 instead of its usual price of RM60, 'cause cardmembers get 20% off. Okay, fine, I got it but my dad paid for it. (Happy Father's Day, Papa. :P)

After reading My Sister's Keeper, Nineteen Minutes, and Perfect Match, I thought I'd never read another Jodi Picoult novel again. After all, they're all awfully predictable -- the plot consists of Tragedy, Conflict, Court Case + Internal Struggle, and Romance, in that order, every time. They also rely heavily on the mother-child bond for drama (Ms. Picoult has three children), although, to be fair, it's not overdone. But jeez, how can you churn out novel after novel with that same one formula and still be so successful?

I was attracted to House Rules, though, because it deals with Asperger's syndrome. Like most people, the first time I heard about it was regarding Dr. House on the TV series House M.D. From what I understand, Asperger's is a milder form of autism and a part of the autism spectrum. It's an inability to communicate well or interpret gestures and facial expressions, so most social situations are...uncomfortable, at best.

People with full-blown autism have a severe disability to communicate, whilst those with Asperger's can. Some are actually really smart, like Jacob, the main character in the novel. Do you see now why Asperger's is so interesting? You can't ask a person with autism what it's like, but someone with Asperger's, you can; you can find out how they think and feel (or, in some cases, don't feel) and process things, because they see everything differently from we who don't have Asperger's. They can actually tell us what it's like to have (mild) autism, something we'd never otherwise understand; they're the living, breathing barrier for those who have autism and those who don't. Isn't that awesome?

That's how I see it, anyway.

So yeah, I really enjoyed the novel. Finished it in under two days, in between going out and stuff. Jacob had an aversion to the colour orange, and I now think of him every time I see it. I think I'm going to have to reread House Rules, it's that good.

At the back of the book, there's a reading list to find out more about autism, and the book my dad had mentioned to me was listed: Born On a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet. I'll keep an eye out for it the next time I'm in a bookstore.

After all, since he mentioned it to me and thinks it'd be a good read, he wouldn't mind paying for it, right..? ;D

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