Monday, March 24, 2014

Review: "Room" by Emma Donoghue

While I try not to let it hinder my views on the book as a whole, I can’t help but feel cheated by Emma Donoghue’s Room. The premise is almost guaranteed to make you look twice at it, and, not to give anything away, it does not follow through with it in a way that satisfies the reader, at least this reader. Other than that, the book remains pretty solid, ratcheting up the tension through a unique viewpoint that you would not expect lends itself to such nail-biting suspense. And despite the narrator’s ignorance to his horrifying predicament, which could have caused plot points to be lost in translation, everything is clear and concise enough that lends itself to emotional investment and the suspense that comes with it, at least in the first half, which I will get to without trying to spoil it for you. The novel focuses on five-year-old Jack, whose whole life and existence is confined to a very small twelve by twelve room that he shares with his mother. He makes up games, learns from old books, and values the times when he is allowed snacks when Old Nick is in a good mood. In reality, his mom has been kidnapped and birthed Jack in the room, and she is slowly but surely planning her ingenious escape. Without any real tools at her disposal, Jack’s mom must rely on her wits to think of a way out, which she does, but it is quite risky and could cost them their lives. As I said, the first half of the book is quite well paced, never gets annoying, and offers a lot of intrigue as to how it might play out. It is the last 150 pages that are a letdown. Not bad or anything, just not as good as the first half, and that is too large of chunk to ignore.

Rating: 3/5

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