Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Room by Emma Donoghue (3.5/5)

The back says: Jack is five, and excited about his birthday. He lives with his Ma in Room, which has a locked door and a skylight, and measures eleven feet by eleven feet. He loves watching TV, and the cartoon characters he calls friends, but he knows that nothing he sees on screen is truly real – only him, Ma and the things in Room. Until the day Ma admits that there’s a world outside…

Told in Jack’s voice, Room is the story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible. Unsentimental and sometimes funny, devastating yet uplifting, Room is a novel like no other.

I say: This was hard for me to get in to. About 30 or so pages in I was ready to just give up because of the way it was written, but I figured I’d keep at it since everyone’s been saying how great it was.

And I'm glad I stuck with it.

It got easier reading in Jack’s voice because I got used to it after a while, but I didn’t like it. More than anything I kept reading because I wanted to find out if they’d ever get out of that room.

Spoilers after the jump.

They get out of the room.


Although the escape was the best part of the book, I found it to be so unlikely I had to push logic out of my mind and just try to enjoy the read. Everything after the escape was nothing special. I don’t like the way Ma (I’ve already forgotten what her name was – or if they ever even said it) changed; it actually pissed me off. Of course, I have no way of telling how anyone in that situation would have reacted, but even so. I just thought it was odd that she’d ignore her son because she was listening to her iPod – or just her overall lack of patience with him. The way her character developed ruined the rest of the book for me.


The reason this gets a 3.5 is because of the escape and because of the subject at hand. I can’t ignore the fact that it’s a well thought-out story, I just really wish that Donoghue hadn’t used Jack’s voice. I get the appeal of writing it that way, and I know that a lot of people thought that it added to the haunting tone of the story, but not for me. I also really wish she hadn't taken the story where she did because it had so much potential.

All in all I’m glad that I read it, but I won’t be doing it again.


  1. Good reviews or bad, it's good to read what others' opinions are and why. I haven't read Room yet, but it is on my wishlist. Hopefully I will find it likeable.

  2. I know, I love reading reviews as well. It all depends on what you're looking for as a reader. For me, this was a let down, esp the end, but that's because I was wanting something different.

    I'll make sure to pop in and see what you thought of it when you get a chance to read it.