Book Review || Room by Emma Donoghue.

5/01/2016

Hello there blogger earthlings and trusted readers, yes, I'm alive. As you may notice, I've abandoned my blog for a good month and a half. Usually I'd be apologizing for that, but to be frank, I'm anything but sorry. During the first three weeks of April, I was having the most wonderful time with my better half. Travelling, doing touristy things, and just enjoying each others company with barely any Internet time. It was refreshing, but I'll delve into that whole thing on my next blog post. Stay tuned.

Today I'm going to write up a quick review on a book that I put down not 10 minutes ago. You've probably heard of Room by Emma Donoghue, whether by a friends recommendation or the latest news on the movie. It's a No. 1 Bestseller and as I just mentioned, it's been adapted into a movie starring Brie Larson as Ma and Jacob Tremblay as our protagonist Jack. But I'll talk more about that later, for now let's concentrate on the novel..


In Room we follow the story of 5 year old Jack and his Ma, both of whom live in a renovated shed that their capture "Old Nick" has turned into a.. well, room - Ma's home for the last 7 years and all that little Jack has ever known. We don't know why they're there straight off the bat, nor do we know whether they can get out. That's all revealed to us as it's revealed to Jack, which I like. I've always favoured stories that are written in first person, and Room is no exception. 

To be entirely honest, Room isn't what I was expecting and I can't really give a detailed description of the story without giving spoilers which I want to avoid at all cost. So trust me when I say that it's a beautifully written novel. As there are very few characters, you quickly grow attached to them and their development (especially Jack's) is a wonderful thing to read. For some reason I was expecting a tense and suspense-fuelled read, but what I got instead was a endearing story about what comes after a story ends. That may not make sense, but it might if you read it. 

I would advise anyone to give Room a go, if they have the time. It comes in at 401 pages and I finished it in a little over 3 hours. Yes, I read it in one sitting and I think that aided in my ability to be sucked completely into the story. Not once did I look at the time, nor did I grow tired of reading from the perspective of a five year old, which, to be truthful, I thought I would. There aren't chapters to this book, it's in 5 parts and in my opinion, you ought to read it like that.  Thinking about it, you have to be in the right mood for Room. You need the silence around you. Truthfully, I'm uncertain as to whether I would of remained consistent with it if it were not for today. I might have put the book aside and then lost the atmosphere, ruining the experience of the story as I dipped in and out of it. 
It's an experience more than entertaining, one you ought to go through in pace with Jack. 

If I were a book reviewer or on Goodreads (I really should get on that), I'd rate Room a 4 out of 5.  

Now let's quickly mention the movie adaptation that I haven't seen, nor do I have any plans to. Normally I wouldn't mention anything about it, because why would I? I haven't seen the movie. What on earth could I possibly say about it? Well, definitely one thing.. Don't watch that trailer if you're even thinking of reading Room, as it dismisses the first third of the book and completely spoils one of the focal things in the book. As in, practically shows the whole scene. I may be bias and many people who haven't read it may have already heard spoilers or whatnot, but I still can't wrap my head around why they would completely give away most of the story in the first 20 seconds of the trailer. I'll stop ranting now. But, really? Oh, and my other vice with the trailer is, what the heck were those scenes? I spotted at least 3 that weren't in the book. Movie adaptations are known to cut scenes from the book to fit into their time restraint, so why add other scenes causing you to lose more that were actually in the book? At least the casting is half decent, unlike Dark Places that cast purely on actor recognition. 

To put it simply, a movie adaptation is never going to work tremendously well when the entirety of the book they're basing it off is built around you - the reader - experiencing the world through the eyes of a five year old boy. You simply can't translate that to screen, which is why stories like this are usually told in written form. Ah well. 

If you do see the movie, tweet me at @RootingBranches and give me your thoughts. I'd love to know them! 

Look out for my Scotland stuffed blog post coming your way later this week. 

- Anne x

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