Room Book Review – 12/20 2015 Books

2015 is quickly coming to an end so I best get a wiggle on if I am wanting to reach my goal of reading 20 books throughout this year. I didn’t start this challenge until part way through the year and I have a few books to write up my mini reviews of but I still might not make target as Christmas can be a very busy time.

Room was recommended to be one of my 2015 books by my best friend Philippa, someone who I trust pretty well with book recommendations, as a book “inspired” by Josef Fritzl’s incarceration of his daughter but told by a little boy who has never left the room he and his mother have been in-prisoned in. Philippa had loved Emma Donoghue book due to the experimental narration of a horrific, heart breaking tale told through the eyes of a 5 year old boy who knew no other reality. I think this point will make or break your relationship with the book, it’s either love it or hate it. Whilst I did find it a unique telling and a new perspective I did find it a little gimmicky, the child quite tedious  –

What started Baby Jesus growing in Mary’s tummy was an angel zoomed down, like a ghost but a really cool one with feathers. Mary was all surprised, she said, “How can this be?” and then, “OK let it be.” When Baby Jesus popped out of her vagina on Christmas she put him in a manger but not for the cows to chew, only to warm him up with their blowing because he was magic.

and constantly wished the narrator would change to one of the adults as it missed any of the horror, reality and pain.

The first half of ‘Room‘ takes place entirely within a shed – a 12-foot-square ‘room’. Our narrator Jack who knows no other life, lives with ‘Ma’ and all the objects in Room, which are given proper nouns with genders, as this is his entire world. When watching TV the programmes to him are make-believe things that live on planets inside the TV.

I chop the broccoli into pieces with ZigZag Knife, sometimes I swallow some when Ma’s not looking and she says, “Oh, no, where’s that big bit gone?” but she’s not really mad because raw things make us extra alive.

You discovered that Ma has created a safe, nurturing, entertaining and educational world for Jack, preserving her sanity for him despite her abduction 7 years prior at 19 and repeated rape by her captor ever since. It is her voice I was desperate to hear. The situation is vile and it is grotesque, a true, modern day horror story. This is balanced with a beautiful bond, parental love and a relationship that saved Ma and that she fights with ferocity for.


2015 books room

Half way through the book the setting moves to the outside, showing the aftermath of this giant news story from the victims involved as well as the introduction of Jacks confusing freedom. There was some panic as to whether they ever would manage to escape in the first half of the book but this is so quickly resolved. This revelation that they do manage to escape is also shown in the trailer for the upcoming film so cannot be the intended main focus for the viewer. The book from this point on for me was less intense and became very diluted, loosing a lot of purpose and direction.

Room has now been made into a film, set to be released in the UK in January 2016 and is being very well received so I cannot wait to go and see it (although I am glad I’ve read the book first).



  1. 2015/12/05 / 11:15

    Such an incredible, intense book. I can’t wait to see the film!

  2. 2015/12/05 / 13:58

    I read this book a few years back and it wasn’t for me! Too depressing.. Some may like it though

    All things nice…

  3. 2015/12/06 / 09:39

    I’ve been meaning to read Room since my English tutor recommended it to me last year. In a way, I’m almost scared to start it, because it seems so raw and confronting. There’s something about reading from the innocent eyes of a child. The film should be a chilling experience as well!

    Mel // izzipenelope

  4. 2015/12/07 / 00:36

    I read this last year and I enjoyed it, I thought it was going to have a really depresing ending but i’m glad it went a different direction.

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