Sunday, July 31

Book Review: Room

Title: Room

Author: Emma Donoghue

Pages: 321

Summary: To five-year-old Jack, room is the world . . . .

It's where he was born. It's where he and Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. There are endless wonders that let loose Jack's imagination the snake under Bed that he constructs out of eggshells; the imaginary world projected through the TV; the cosiness of Wardrobe beneath Ma's clothes, where she tucks him in at night, in case Old Nick comes.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it's the prison where she's been held since she was nineteen - for seven long years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in that eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But Jack's curiosity is building alongside Ma's own desperation, and she knows that Room cannot contain either indefinitely. . . .

Told in the inventive, funny, and poignant voice of Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience - and a powerful story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible.

My Rating: 10/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This book was very different than I thought it would be. I figured it would be hard to read, because it is narrated by a five-year-old boy, making it hard to connect to the characters, but it\s nearly impossible to not share some emotional connection to Jack and his character and story will stay with you long after you finish the book

The book is disturbing and suspenseful, but it isn't overly graphic or disturbing based on the content of the book. In fact, the author was able to describe certain horrific events, without having to go into detail. As a reader you knew what was happening, and it was horrifying, but you were saved from any graphic descriptions, because it's told through the eyes of Jake, who thankfully is unaware of what is truly happening on the nights he sleeps at the bottom of the wardrobe. Jake is a character I will always remember. From his life in Room, to his journey and exploration outside it, he's such a sweet and curious child.

The book will make you anxious and keep you reading it as you hope for Jake and his mother's escape, and half way through you get your wish. It was heart wrenching to watch Jake integrate himself into his new world. My only issue with the book is the ending was a bit abrupt. I would have liked an epilogue of some sorts, just to tie up all of the loose ends. But other than that, Room was a fantastic book. Well worth reading.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, the book can be intense at times and it's a book that will affect you emotionally. But the author was able to show the horrific events of Jake and his mother's life, without having to be overly graphic about it. Which I'm thankful for, and I'm sure other readers are too.

What to read next: I'm not sure what to read next, this is a book that sticks with you after you've read it.

Challenges: 11 in 11, 100+ Challenge, 2011 Countdown Challenge, Canadian Reading V Challenge,


  1. I loved this book and thought it was one of my best reads of the year. I also wasn't expecting the book to be so poignant and I wasn't sure if it was going to be able to hook me, but I should have known better, because Donoghue is an amazing author and has never once let me down!

  2. I want to read this! Great review!

  3. Zibilee - It's amazing how the author did that though huh? I've never read anything else by the author have you? Any recommendations if you have?

    Linda - Oh, go read it now! It's worth it!

  4. I tried reading this a couple months ago but couldn't get into it.

  5. I'm not sure why I couldn't get into this either (also from Toronto lol. Is it something with us living here?!) - maybe it was the style. I didn't get into "A million little pieces" either, so I suspect that's part of the reason. Although I kind of skimmed it into the end and it was suspenseful at times, and I can see why people would enjoy the book. I did find myself "rooting" for the main characters, hoping they'll be okay.

  6. I was surprised by this book too, and thought the first half was better done than the second. I guess it would be hard to avoid given that there is a clear narrative to this sort of thing, once it becomes public, but when Jack & his mother escaped Room it felt as though Donoghue was going through the motions, from one necessary event to the next. Inside of Room, though, Jack's voice is so wonderful...and like you say, the bulk of their situation is presented by Jack pretty innocently and straight-forwardly, which I think increases the horror of pushes the reader to come up with the words for what Jack is writing about.

    -- Ellen

  7. Teena in Toronto - It is a book, that can be hard to get through, the subject matter is so disturbing at times.

    Maryooo - I'm from the Toronto area (Brampton) nice to see two local bloggers! I think this is a book people will either really enjoy or not. I don't think there's a lot of middle ground. - I do agree that the first half was better than the second half, looking back there is something missing to really connect both halfs. Thanks for your points!

  8. I just found this book at barnes and noble and sat there and read it in two hours. It was such a different book to read, I wasn't expecting it to be about what it was. I agree with you that it surprisingly was easy to read with a 5-yr old's perspective, looking back i think I like it that way anyway. Thanks for the review :)

    1. Wow! You're a fast reader! I liked it that way to, considering the content. I'm glad you enjoyed the book and thanks for stopping by.