Buy “Rooms A Novel (Audible Audio Edition) Lauren Oliver, Orlagh Cassidy, Barbara Caruso, Elizabeth Evans, Noah Galvin, Cynthia Darlow, Courtney Shaw, HarperAudio Books” Online
This was a slow-starter but a quick read once you’re a few chapters in. It was a quick read because it bored me for the most part. When I realized the author primarily writes novels for young adults. ..well, that explains that. We meet Caroline (a drunk) and her children: daughter Minna (an ‘easy’ woman if you catch my drift) and son Trenton (an awkward teenager) as well as Minna’s daughter Amy (a perceptive, clever little girl). We also meet Alice (a bit uptight) and Sandra (a bit vulgar) who are ghosts stuck in the home that the living visit, which is due to the death of the estranged patriarch of the family: Caroline’s ex-husband Richard. While the family prepares for the memorial, there is lots going on: ghosts recalling their living days, tensions among the living, a random girl showing up that has nothing to do with the rest of the story. Each chapter is clearly named (ex: "Alice") for the individual whose point of view we are reading. Some parts are predictable, some parts were surprising. I feel there were too many characters with too-little development of each character. I feel that the story might have had more impact had it been Trenton in his 20’s or 30’s and was going to close up the house after his father’s death. He is more central to the story than Minna, Amy or Caroline, so by eliminating them it might have make it possible to get to know Sandra and Alice much better. There are too many times in the book when one of them says something along the lines of: "This happened again today" when there is no mention of it happening in the past. Or a ghost will refer to something that happened when they were alive as if we are expected to know this happened to them all along. It is strange. It wasn’t my favorite book and it wasn’t my lease favorite book. I prefer greatly detailed novels (such as those by Stephen King) so this felt a bit ‘basic’ to me. If you’re looking for a lighter read for the beach, cabin, etc then you might enjoy this book. Check it out!
Rooms: A Novel Audible – Unabridged Lauren Oliver (Author), Review
Im not big on ghost stories, because they seem a little silly to me. In this case, the ghosts are two women who inhabited the same house at different times. The latest inhabitant, Richard Walker, has died, and his estranged family have come for the funeral and to clean out the house. Ex-wife Caroline is the alcoholic mother of Trenton, a melancholy teenager, and his much older acerbic sister Minna, who has a toddler of her own. Minna is basically a sex addict, but all three of these characters are so maladjusted that the ghosts, Alice and Sandra, seem relatively sane by comparison. Sandra died in the house of a gunshot wound, and Alices memories are equally depressing, without such a violent finale. As you can see, this is not exactly an upbeat story. It has a few twists but nothing really jaw-dropping, and I kept having to back up to see which of the ghosts was narrating. Their stories dont directly relate to the lives of the living, and the author made such an effort to delay telling us Alices and Sandras histories that the shock value had lost most of its punch, and the histories were too segmented for me to become immersed in. Only Richard really seemed to have had a zest for living, and now hes gone. Also, our view of him is skewed by the warped opinions of his family, so that we never have a real grasp of who he was. Trenton is the one we root for, but with this bunch surrounding him, he doesnt really stand a chance. A third ghost joins the party late in the book. Trenton is aware of her presence and finds her intriguing enough to give him a reason to keep on living, but, ironically, she beckons to Trenton to come join her on the other side. -Read Reviews-
Rooms is a book about ghosts, but it isn’t a ghost story. It follows a family that moves home after their estranged father dies: Caroline, the mother; Minna, the daughter; Trenton, the son; and Amy, Minna’s daughter. Everyone (well, except for Amy) is battling their own demons — including the ghosts who inhabit the walls of the house, always watching, seeing everything — even if they don’t want to. Rooms is not a book that’s meant to fright you; it’s a book about forgiveness, love, being broken, and — of course — the nature of death. The story is told from multiple perspectives, and you slowly begin to piece together everyone’s stories. Not a single one of the grown characters is likeable, but Oliver constructs them in such a way that you want them to keep fighting anyway. The novel isn’t groundbreaking; Oliver is originally a YA writer and, while her prose is beautiful, there is nothing earth-shattering in its conclusions or its characters. Even so, it was a wonderful read, and I enjoyed every second of it. Started: October 26, 2014Finished: November 3, 2014Rating: 8/10