Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Book Review: Room

Book 25/25 in the 2011 Reading Challenge.  (I DID IT!!)  Date completed: November 28, 2011.

Room.  I took an interest in this book months and months ago while it was first on the bestsellers list, but because of VERY mixed reviews, I put off reading it.  Then my friend (the same friend that recommended I listen to Crank) said it was great and that I should give it a go but only if I was doing the audiobook format again.

So, like I said, I had been looking for entertainment for my upcoming flights and I downloaded Crank, Room, and one other book right then and there on her suggestion (I believe it's Still Missing, but my iPod is like 5 feet away from me at the moment and I can't be bothered to double check the title...  Sue me!)

Like with Crank, I "spoiled my appetite" and started listening to it as soon as our move started.  I sat out in the hallway as the movers packed up our belongings with my headphones on and listened to this book.  And then I just couldn't stop and ended up subjecting my children and husband to listening to this book (and my incessant hushing) during each of our car rides together.  At first listen, this book is absolutely obnoxious.  I didn't read any reviews thoroughly before starting the book so I wasn't sure what exactly I was getting myself into.  Room is told from the perspective of a (very sheltered, to put it lightly) five-year-old, and as my husband pointed out, it sounds like a really long cheesy radio commercial, or maybe a radio show from the 50s.  It's told entirely in the voice of a small child, save for the parts where other characters are talking.  As I adjusted, though, I wasn't so bothered by Jack's voice any more, nor was I bothered by his childish grammar - actually, I found myself repeating "Jack-isms" to my husband, who I do believe got pretty involved in this book too.

As a sidenote - I don't recall if I've ever mentioned it before, but I bought my husband The Hunger Games trilogy audiobooks and he listens to them like they're going out of style.  It's pretty much the only way I can get him to share in my book obsession with me.  So for him to be cool with listening to Room at every opportunity with me is probably because of that.  He has probably listened to the full Hunger Games trilogy at least 10 times now.  And no, he's not sick of them yet.  They're that good!

Anyways once I got used to Room, I absolutely could not stop listening to it.  It's the story of a woman who is abducted at age 19 and kept isolated by her captor in a modified garden shed for seven years.  The story of her and the wonderful, charming, sweet product of her abuse - her five-year-old son, Jack.  Going into the story, none of that is entirely apparent however and it just seems like Ma and Jack are a couple of weirdos.

This is a definite good read.  I gave it four stars, one short of five because Ma's character did, on occasion, drive me crazy...  But I think that's sort of to be expected from someone so detached from the world.  This book doesn't leave anything out.  It includes all the details from Jack's perspective and it's extremely haunting.  I don't want to say too much and give the story away, just know that you really should read Room.

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