Friday, November 11, 2011

Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

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Room
Emma Donoghue
Released September 13t, 2010
by Little, Brown & Company

Goodreads / Purchase

To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. . . . It’s where he was born, it’s where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it’s the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack’s curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.

Room is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating–a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.

Wow, this was an amazing book! Brilliantly written, Room is narrated by Jack, a 5 year old boy, of which I was skeptical at first, but he is the perfect narrator for this story! When I started Room, it was a bit strange, however after only 10 pages I got used to to Jack and his way of thinking and found it incredibly realistic from a child’s point of view, but not simplistic or obnoxious like some may expect. Being in Jack’s mind makes you see how a child takes in and makes sense of things that they don’t understand. It’s quite comical at times, but it’s also surprisingly deep and emotional.

I don’t want to give away why they’re in the Room, but imagine a 5 year old boy who’s never seen anything but a 12x12ft room that he lives in with his mom (never even felt wind!). To him, that room is the whole world. They have a TV, but things in TV are make believe and on its own planet. But then, because he’s 5 now, Ma “unlies” and explains that Outside is real, and what’s in TV is actually outside – No way Jose! I wish I could say more but I don’t want to give anything away, and this is a story that the less you know about beforehand, the better experience you will have reading it. Just keep in mind that this is Not a suspense or mystery (see the last paragraph of the blurb)!

I read the book in 2 sittings. I couldn’t put it down, and when I did I was constantly thinking about the story and pondering it. It’s awful to know that things like this actually does happen and how confusing it must all be for a child so young and innocent.

I very highly recommend this book! I can’t say it better than this quote on the cover: 

“Room is a book to read in one sitting. When it’s over you look up: the world looks the same but you are somehow different and that feeling lingers for days.” 
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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14 Responses to “Review: Room by Emma Donoghue”

  1. The Happy Booker

    Wow, great review! I have this sitting on my shelf but haven’t gotten to it yet. I, too, have been a bit skeptical about a 5 year old as the narrator but I’ve heard some great things about Room which is what prompted me to buy it despite my reservations about the POV. I’m glad I did, I can’t wait to find time to read it! From your review, it seems like his POV really gives a unique perspective on the situation he is in.

  2. Mimi Valentine

    Wow! It’s narrated by a five-year-old boy? I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with a main character that young, even when I was a kid! But from the way you describe it, it sounds like it works perfectly with the plot! 🙂

    Awesome review, Giselle! I’m glad you liked this one — I think I might have to give it a shot!

  3. infinitively reading

    I’ve never gotten a chance to read Room before but I know that my friend did it for a book talk in her English class and said it was superb. Wonderful review, makes it seem like an even more promising book. (:

  4. Candace

    Wow! I thought of reading this one AGES ago but then I guess I kind of forgot about it. I’m thinking I may have to put this on hold at the library sometime though cause it sounds amazing. Thanks for the fantastic review!

  5. KThomas5

    I actually got annoyed with Jack as a narrator. Although, yes I understand it and yes it is realistic He annoyed me at times. In general, I did find this to be a good book.

  6. Giselle

    Thanks for the love guys! I hope you all read it it’s so original. It was even nominated for the Man Booker prize award in 2010.

    The narration may get a few pages to get used to and I imagine not everyone may like it – but I thought it was brilliant!

  7. Ashley

    Oh my goodness, yes! Isn’t this one amazing?! I loved this book and thought it to be so completely well written and it just broke my heart! Loved the review! And Jack! Sigh. He was perfectly written. I’ve been around young kids my whole life and he felt totally authentic to me! 🙂

  8. Mel

    After reading this review, I’m so happy that I have Roomon my shelf waiting to be read…now just need the time to sit down and read through it in one sitting!

  9. Chelsey

    I cannot wait to read this. I have had it on my shelf for months and never seem to find the time. But after this review, I SERIOUSLY have to. I love the quote you closed off with. Great review =).

    Chels @ chelsandabook.blogspot.com