Friday, June 24, 2011

Review - Room

by Emma Donoghue
Date: 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins e-books
Reading level: A
Pages: 352
Source: Kobo

Room is the only world five-year-old Jack has ever known. Ma is there, too. Together, they play games, read books, take baths, do the laundry, eat their meals, and watch TV. It's just the two of them... except for Old Nick, who sometimes comes to visit Ma at night, and then Jack has to hide in the wardrobe.

While the sameness of this existence is comforting to Jack, Ma doesn't seem to feel the same way. For reasons Jack doesn't understand, Ma doesn't want to be in Room. She wants to get out.

I'd heard lots of good things about this book, so I was a little hesitant to read it, fearing it wouldn't live up to my expectations.  Really, though, I don't know quite what I was expecting.  Room turned out to be nothing like I imagined it would be... and yet it was one of the best books I've read in years.

It's difficult to write a synopsis or even describe what happens without giving away too much of the plot.  There is a good plot, but this book is so much more than that.  It's really about the characters... and mostly Jack.  The author created such a vivid voice for him that I could hear his little five-year-old self in my head, describing things, even when I wasn't actually reading the book.

My only complaint was not with the book itself, but with the EPUB edition.  There were a lot of missing paragraph breaks in the dialogue, which caused me a bit of confusion in certain places.  There was also a line of dialogue preceded by a string of numbers and symbols that was extremely obvious and should've been caught.  A good once-over by a proofreader should've caught those mistakes easily, so I'm assuming nobody bothered to check the EPUB once it was converted... which is annoying, since it was almost $15.

Really, though, there's not much more I can say about the book itself.  It's awesome.  Read it.

Plot: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Pace: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Editing: 4/5
Originality: 5/5
Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall: 4.86 out of 5


  1. Good to know. I've had this one on my shelf just waiting for me and I know I would fly through it but I just haven't squeezed it in yet. That's annoying about the, EPUB though, sorry.

  2. I just picked up a used hardcover of this today at my local used bookstore. I keep hearing great things as well. :)

  3. I'm hoping that we will get to read this book in my book club. It sounds very good.

  4. Great review - this is one of my favorite books of the year so far.

  5. Glad you liked it! Loved this one too. The way the author handled her narratives here was so realistic and horrifying.

  6. I started to read this a couple months ago but couldn't get into it.

  7. I just read this book and really enjoyed it too.

    Ugh, I hate it so much when eBook versions don't have the proper editing/formatting that the physical book has. What's up with that anyway? I find eBooks are missing paragraph breaks a lot of the time. Frustrating!