Todays Halloween theme book review is about ghosts!
Ghosts come in all forms. Slimy fun ghosts or insidious ghosts called poltergeists that like to wreck havoc on families.
I love Lauren Oliver’s Delirium trilogy and stand alone book Before I fall, so I thought I would give this new book a try. This is Lauren’s first adult novel and I love when authors stray from one genre and insert themselves into another. Did Lauren live up to the expectations of her YA novels?
- Book: Rooms
- Author: Lauren Oliver
- Print Length: 325 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0062223194
- Publisher: Ecco (September 23, 2014)
- Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance.
But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb.
The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results.
Lauren’s book is about two ghosts, Alice and Sandra, who observe the Walker family when they return to the house they grew up in after their father, Richard Walker’s death. These ghosts have lived in the house for so long that they’ve become the creaking stairs, the groaning settlement of the house. The Walkers come to the house bringing their tragic secrets and demons with them. There’s Caroline Walker, the alcoholic wife. Her children Minna and Trenton walker. Minna is somewhat a man eater, pouncing on any man that comes in her path. Trenton is a damaged boy with scars both on the outside and inside. Then their is the granddaughter Amy, Minna’s daughter, who seems to be the sane one out of all of them.
Alice and Sandra’s point of view are told in first person. The Walker family POV are told in third person. There’s a lot of switching POV and sometimes it does become confusing. Lauren does make sure that we know who we’re reading about for each chapter with the title. But with so many characters it does become distracting on figuring out who I’m reading about.
When the Walker family arrives secrets begin to unravel and truths slowly come forth for both the living and the dead. The ghosts take us to the past on what happened in each room of the house, given the title. The family takes us through their lives as well.
I couldn’t connect with the characters. Alice and Sandra constantly judge the Walkers, yet their life wasn’t exactly great either. They never learned form their mistakes and their constant bickering annoyed me. New characters are introduced and some of the Walkers stories are left behind. The big secret mystery takes place in the middle of the book which made the beginning more of a long set up.
The concept of was great. The twist at the end fit the story perfectly. But because I couldn’t connect with the characters I really didn’t care. I was taken aback by the cursing and the sexual incidents throughout the book. Maybe I’m use to her YA books but it seemed she tried too hard with the adult theme. Again, I loved the premises of the story, where she took the characters and their secrets. I loved the ghosts spying on the family. But when a reader can’t connect with the characters than the book suffers.
I give it 2 1/2 stars.
It’s a fast read and you may like it more than me. Give it a try.