Monday, March 23, 2015

Rooms by Lauren Oliver

When Richard Walker dies (in a hospital), his ex-wife, 2 kids, and granddaughter come to clean out the house.  This is the house that Caroline, Minna, and Trenton once had a life in.... until the divorce.  But they're not the only ones there.  As they sift through the memories, waiting on revelations about their inheritance, they are accompanied by Alice and Sandra, 2 women who died in the house and remained with the house.... almost becoming one with the structure.  Everyone (the living and the dead) are dealing with deep issues that get deeper the longer they remain in the house.

This is a tough one.  I'd like to explain so much about this book, but it's complicated... my feelings for it and what it's about are equally complicated.  This book is nothing if not complicated, unique, and imaginative.  It's also quite depressing and the characters aren't the most likable.  It's my first Lauren Oliver book, and I definitely want to read more.  Her writing is very captivating, so I can see why people love her so much.

In this house you have people (alive and dead) of multiple generations and eras.  The dead include Alice and Sandra, two opposites who bicker and tolerate each other, but are forced to share the same space.  They both have had mysterious deaths, which get explained as you learn more about their lives.  I really liked reading about these two.  It was the most interesting part of the story, seeing how they grew up and how they ended up in the house, and finding out their darkest secrets.  The Walker family was messed up.  Utterly and truly.  They all had these glaring issues, and really it just made me sad.  They were all miserable human beings, and while I felt sorry for them, I also didn't like them very much, so it didn't matter to me what happened to them.  If I liked anyone it was Trenton.  He was a teenage boy (imagine that, I read an adult book and end up rooting for the teenager) who was in a car accident that nearly killed him.  He doesn't have friends, is severely depressed, and just wants to die.  I felt like of all the characters, this one was written with the most truthful feel.  I felt his pain and knew that deep down he didn't really want to die.  He wanted his pain to go away, and he wanted someone to stop him.

I thought the ghosts and the people were going to have much more of a connection than they really did.  Also, I wanted more for the ending.  It gave closure, but it felt rushed.  There was a 3rd story-line that included a missing girl from Boston and a mysterious ghost that shows up in the house that I really could have done without.  I didn't think either part fully worked or added what the author was intending it to add.

OVERALL: I don't read much Adult, but this one was unique and interesting.  I loved Lauren Oliver's writing, and I'll definitely be reading more book by her.  It's about ghosts but it's definitely not horror.  It's more of a depressing character study.  I enjoyed reading it, but I didn't LIKE any of the people I was reading about, and that's hard to pull off.  It didn't 100% work for me, but I would still recommend.

This Book Contains:

  • Alternating POVs (6 at least)
  • Depression
  • Alcoholism
  • Sexual situations
  • Some disturbing TMI moments
  • Abuse- domestic, sexual, psychological

Quote: "Everything comes up in the end."

Rating: 3/4

How I got this book: BEA- Thanks to Harper Collins for the chance to read and honestly review this book.
Date Published: 10/23/2014

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1 comment:

  1. Michelle if you want a GREAT Lauren Oliver book…pick up Before I Fall. I have read everything by her and I stand that this is her BEST book. Unfortunate bc nothing else lives up to it. The writing is stunning and the way the character grows and becomes more aware of herself and others is so awesome. It's sorta like a book version of Mean Girls :-)