To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. 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 is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.
Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.
WARNING: There is a soft plot reveal in there so please don’t read if you don’t want to know
I wanted to read this book because I saw the movie, and loved it! With my study/work schedule I often see the movie before the book and then go read the book because the movie was so good. So I was expecting awesome things, and also hoped that the book would answer some questions that I had from the movie.
Generally, bookworms get up in arms about books that are made into movies. You’ll often come across social media threads, where the movie received scathing reviews; readers pointing out all of the movies flaws, lack of ’emotion’, and the rest. I’m not like that. At all. Books and movies are two different platforms, that allow for two different views on a story. Often the movie changes details of a book here and there, because of that very reason, they’re trying to tell a story differently. And I’m fine with that.
After seeing the movie Room, which I really enjoyed, I was excited to go read the book. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s not uncommon for me to to watch the movie first and then read the book. I’m not a naive or amateur reader, and I’m well aware that the books can be better than the movie. The last instance for me of the was when I watched The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks. I watched the movie first and loved it, then went and read the book and loved that even more! However, I was greatly disappointed with the Room book.
The thing that I did not like the most about the book, was the author’s decision to tell the story through Jack’s eyes. It’s obvious that she’s trying to channel a five year old, but for me, it just didn’t work at all. The language, the misuse of language, made for a confusing and agitating read, the entire book. People from social media kept telling me that it would get better after the first 25 pages, that it was emotional and gut-renching, and far better than the movie, but but for that just wasn’t the case. I found the emotion very dull. I believe, for me, this was because I was unable to connect with the story because of the POV issue.
Usually there’s a character that annoys me in a book, and this one was no different. I didn’t much care for the mother/grandmother. She rubbed me the wrong way with how she dealt/reacted to Jack in his new situation. But then that’s something that needed to be dealt with, by having the character see a psychologist. Which they (the characters) should have all been doing, not just the two main. That’s something that the author had the opportunity to address, seeing as mental health is a major issue that is current in society today.
There were instances that I enjoyed. I did love Jack experiencing the world. It’s really amazing to think that these cases really do happen, and makes you think just how difficult it would be to experience everything for the first time. I find a good book, should make you ask questions, and Room certainly did. And like I had hoped, the book did answer some questions that I had from the movie, so that a plus.
I feel like this has been one of my more negative reviews, which I’m sorry about because I don’t want that to potentially put you off reading. Because if you haven’t already seen by now, social media is full of positive reviews. I also don’t personally let a review make a decision for me, I like to make my own up. So I encourage you to read this because you may be one of those that ends up enjoying or loving it!!
I gave this book: 3/5
You can purchase an ebook copy here
3 thoughts on “Review: Room by Emma Donoghue”
That book cover is gorgeous! I am always interested in reading a book told by children! Certainly, there may be language mismatches, but I am willing to give it a try 😀
Give it a go, you might just like it 😀
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I will! If I couldn’t find the book, I’ll watch the movie first, I suppose 😀
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