Room by Emma Donoghue

Everyone’s been singing Room‘s praises for months, and I think I knew too much about this book before I actually read it. I knew that it was told from the point of view of Jack, a five year old boy with an unusual speaking style. I knew that Jack and Ma were being kept prisoner by Old Nick, but that Jack doesn’t see it that way, since Ma is simply amazing about playing with him, teaching him, keeping him safe. I knew that eventually they do escape, but that Outside is scarier than Room for Jack. Room he understood, Outside he doesn’t.

So I was prepared. The story is so original and Jack’s voice so unique, but I wasn’t struck by that, I expected it. The plot itself, was fairly simple. Full of determination, hope, love, but still not complex. The characters were amazing people, especially Ma, but I think that Jack as the narrator kept me at a distance from them. The story was a quick read, but I didn’t actually care about the people.

I did like the sense of hope the ending provided, but overall I wasn’t struck by the book. It’s not one I’ll be recommending to people. I’m glad I read it, simply because it is so popular, but I didn’t love it. I’m in the minority though it seems, so maybe you’ll find it’s the best book you’ve read this year. It just wasn’t for me.

336 pages
File size: 447 KB
Published September 13, 2010 by Little, Brown and Company

3 out of 5 stars

Purchase at Amazon or an Indie bookstore.

I purchased my copy and the above is my honest opinion.


  1. Ms. Dawn

    I loved ROOM, but I completely understand where you’re coming from. I had heard SO much hype and praise for Never Let Me Go before I read it, and I think that was to the book’s disadvantage. And, of course, everyone has different tastes in writing styles and stories. So, while I will continue to recommend this book…I definitely respect your opinion as well.

  2. This is why I try to not read reviews. They tend to ruin books for me if they give too much away… So, if I know I am going to read something I either skip over it or wait a really long time before I read the book. Or, I do a mad dash to read the book before the reviews start!

    1. I should really learn. So often, though, even if I know a lot about the book, I can still enjoy it. Maybe this one wouldn’t have worked for me even if I had known nothing about it. Too late to know now though.

  3. stacybuckeye

    I’ve been reading all the reviews and have added it to my wishlist, but only because everyone is talking about it. I think I may feel closer to what you did than to all the raves.

  4. Ok now I have a dilemma this is on my wishlist, but is it there due to all the hype and publicity I have seen and heard. Having read your review I have no idea if it is going to work for me or not! I certainly will not be rushing to locate a copy.

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