Book Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

roomTitle: Room
Author: Emma Donoghue
Genre: Adult Fiction, Realistic Fiction

I first heard about Room by Emma Donoghue by watching a friend’s BookTube channel. She mentioned it a few times, but didn’t say much about the book. She didn’t need to say much about this book because it speaks for itself. Because of what she said, I marked this book as to-read on Goodreads in June 2015. I saw that it was available at my local library, but I didn’t pick it up until January 2016, after I started hearing a ton of buzz because of the movie’s Oscar nominations.

I knew I wanted to read the book before I saw the movie. Now, after reading the book, I NEED to see this movie as soon as possible.

Premise: 5/5

I more than love the premise of this novel.

I am a diehard fan of the show “Criminal Minds,” in which the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI hunts down killers and psychopaths. I enjoy crime novels for the same reason I love crime shows:  to hear from the perspective of “the bad guy.”

In Room, we not only hear from the perspective of the victim rather than the police, but we hear from the product of the crime, a five-year old boy born in captivity.

I refused to look up much information about this book before I started reading, and once I cottoned onto the premise of this novel, I was hooked.

Plot Development: 5/5

Room is successful in carrying out its plot and living up to its fresh premise. There is an appropriate amount of time spent on the before and the after. There is also a fair amount of predictability, but it’s done in a way that I didn’t mind. It kept moving at a comfortable pace and I only put it down when I was forced to do so.

Characterization: 4/5

The novel is written from the perspective of Jack, a five-year old boy who has been living in the same eleven-by-eleven foot room he was born in. His voice not only sounds like a five-year old’s, but a young boy with developmental delays. This should absolutely be the case given the boy’s situation and I am impressed with the author’s ability to bring this out in his voice. We were also able to see his mother’s character develop throughout the events in the novel, as much as an overwhelmed little boy can. And as much as I am singing the praises for this author’s portrayal of Jack, I wish I would have seen a more realistic growth in Jack himself. There were some obvious changes in his personality and his demeanor, but they were very sudden and without the inner-thought from Jack I expected.

Writing Style: 5/5

Again, Donoghue was able to successfully write from the point of view of a five-year old with developmental delays. Some readers were bothered by this voice, but I thought it was done extremely well. After I binge-read this novel, I found myself referring to objects in my own room as proper nouns. I was putting Laundry in Dresser and climbing onto Bed.

Readability: 5/5

I truly binge-read this novel. I only put it down when I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. When I woke up the next morning, I picked it back up and read until completion. I was almost upset it was over, but I was satisfied with its ending. While reading, I was wondering how it was going to end and if it would leave me feeling unsatisfied, if its ending would take away from the impact of the rest of the novel. It ended wonderfully.

Total Score: 24/25, avg. 4.8/5

5 stars

This is an obvious 5/5 stars from me. I need to see the movie as soon as I can and since it was a library book, I want to purchase a copy of this novel for my bookshelf. I recommend this book to fans of things that are a little bit twisted…like “Criminal Minds” or books by Gillian Flynn.

I read this book for the #sixsquaredchallenge hosted by bookstacksamber! – Book to Movie Adaptations 


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Want to purchase a copy of Room by Emma Donoghue for yourself? Check it out on The Book Depository by clicking HERE.


4 thoughts on “Book Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

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