Friday, 8 November 2013

Room by Emma Donoghue- Review

To be honest, this is one of the best books I have read in a while. In fact, it has actually got to be one of my favourites! It is literally so unique compared to anything I have ever read and the way it is written and the story it tells is simply great. To start with, I was worried about what would happen in the story, whether it would be too sad or dark for me to ever enjoy but soon, I was a victim to the gripping plot and it was too late for me to escape the awesomeness.

One of the most starkly different things about this book is definitely the perspective from which it is written. Jack is 5 and you view the whole story as if you are looking through his tiny, innocent eyes, which is both insightful and really, really brilliant. Because of this, a lot of the story is inferred- the things that he doesn't know the words for or the way he is not always 100% correct about the situation means that Emma Donoghue is relying a lot on the reader to be intelligent and mildly detective-like. This means that the book is constantly interesting because there are clever hints and signs about what is actually going on. To give you the same effect the single sentence description of the book had on me, I will write it for you here.

'Jack is five. He lives in a single, locked room with his ma.'

As soon as I read this sentence, I knew this book was going to have such a fantastic plot and it definitely did. Emma Donoghue portrays Jack so incredibly well that you would think she was 5 years old. She writes from his point of view with expressions and little quirks that bring the character, literally, to life. After about halfway through, I wanted to know Jack and talk to him and read to him and teach him about the world. His ma is, to me, one of the best female characters I have read in a book. Hers is a story of survival and hope, and desperation, mixed with a driving passion to look after her son and a fierce side which makes her more believable. At the start of the story, we watch their daily routines in the small prison of a shed where they are locked away. They take part in 'phys ed' and play games made from the barest of objects and pure imagination. I don't want to tell you why they are where they are because for me, reading about it without hearing any spoilers made it better. All I will say is that this book will tear your heart in two but, at some point, you will realise that it is worth it.

As a reader, because Jack is such an endearing character, I felt so much for him and his ma. As things in their lives changed, I wished to be there for them but then had to remind myself that they aren't real. The bond that is created between him and his mother is immense. And, separate from being a really great book, I found it also very interesting. This is because it shows the way people adapt to their environments and how little kids see the world so simply and beautifully.
If you start reading this book and enjoy it beware, it gets better.
I don't want to add any more because I feel that if I do, I will spoil it. If you want to find out more, I found the book trailer which is cool ( So, before I praise this masterpiece any more, I would recommend this book for ages 14 onwards. I have said 14 because I feel that there are some things which are quite upsetting and maybe younger readers wouldn't want to read things like that.
You can buy the book (and I urge you to do so!) from amazon here for £4.99
or from WHSmith, here for £6.47
Emma Donoghue has written many other books, including The Sealed Letter, and her website gives more details. If you want to see, there is a virtual tour of the Room here: which is so cool!

Thank you for reading!

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