[ARC Review] Rooms by Lauren OliverTuesday, September 23, 2014
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: Adult Ghost Story
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Release Date: September 23rd 2014
Source: ARC received buy publisher in exchange for an honest review
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The New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy makes her brilliant adult debut with this mesmerizing story in the tradition of The Lovely Bones, Her Fearful Symmetry, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane—a tale of family, ghosts, secrets, and mystery, in which the lives of the living and the dead intersect in shocking, surprising, and moving ways .
Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance.
But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb.
The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results.
Elegantly constructed and brilliantly paced, Rooms is an enticing and imaginative ghost story and a searing family drama that is as haunting as it is resonant.
Rooms is Lauren Oliver's first ever Adult Fiction novel and I have to say that she can do no wrong. I am always weary when a YA author goes into Adult Fiction, or vise versa, but with Rooms, Lauren put together a story that was so essentially Lauren that I could not help but keep reading until the very end.
Rooms follows the Walker family when their father dies and have to go to his house and clean it out. What I loved the most about this book was the different POVs. We not only see the entire Walker family that includes 2 kids, 1 grand kid and one alcoholic mother, but we also get to see things through the eyes of the two house ghosts. I think I liked those two perspectives the most because they saw everything about this family, even the things they tried to hide.
This family is far from perfect. And I think that is what most people who read this book are going to relate to because seriously, what family is perfect. But I think dysfunction goes out the window on this one. There are some serious issues with these characters and reading about them was really great entertainment. Trenton, the only son of this crazy family was my favorite because he was the only one who had no real memories of his father. And i think he had the most to loose in this situation and he was the one who had the most connection with the house and those that are within it.
My only issue with this book was the pacing. At times I felt like not much was happening, and then there were times, especially when it came to the ghosts living in the house, that we got too much information on something I felt didn't matter as much as other things. I felt like we got too much background info on the ghosts and not enough background on the actual family, and that was something i wish was different. I liked seeing how dysfunctional the family was and how they would get over losing their father and dealing with problems that seemed to persists even after years of separation.
Overall, Rooms was a very interesting book to read. It was very different from a lot of the books I have read recently. Lauren's writing was brilliant as always but I felt like that characterization was a bit off and I wish we got to know the Walker family a bit more then we actually did. This book is for lovers of ghost stories with a hint of family drama. A satisfying read.