Book Reviews of Room: A Novel

Room: A Novel
Room A Novel
Author: Emma Donoghue
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ISBN-13: 9781607886273
ISBN-10: 1607886278
Publication Date: 9/13/2010
Edition: Unabridged
Rating:
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 31

4.2 stars, based on 31 ratings
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Book Type: Audio CD
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

118 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Room: A Novel on
Helpful Score: 26
I was held spellbound from the moment I began reading Room, by Emma Donoghue. No other book has captivated, stunned and engrossed me more than this one. I will never, ever forget Room and its haunting remnants of a mans ability to abuse a woman and a womans haunting perseverance to escape from it. With every passing chapter five-year-old Jacks life in Room uncovered more and more dramatic detail and evidence of how he and his Ma got there. I love how Donoghue mesmerizes me through Jacks words, thoughts, language and his innate ability to sense things without fully understanding them. Without many possessions Jack is still somehow richer than most children. I will always be in awe of how his Ma made unending sacrifices to give her child a sense of normalcy, structure, routine and love under the most abusive circumstances. The normalcy during the abusive captivity unravels when Jack and his Ma must re-learn what normal really is about in the real world and face the fact that it might be more than they bargained for.
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Helpful Score: 22
A truly powerful book set in the modern day told from the perspective of a 5 year old born into the single room his mother is held in captivity in by a cruel man they call "Old Nick" who uses her as his sex slave. My mind was entirely blown by this book. It is truly powerful, and I highly recommend it to all who would not find it triggering.

Check out my full review.
reviewed Room: A Novel on + 902 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 19
I only read this book because my book club told me to. I suffered through it and I will join the minority by saying that I really did not like it.

First, I have a 5-year-old boy. That fact alone made this book difficult to read. And because my son is 5 and asks a million questions a day, this book wasn't much of an escape for me to read.

Second, the writing style was terribly annoying. I got used to it eventually, but that doesn't make it easier to read. However, the 5-year-old voice and perspective make this book bearable. I could not have read the same story had it been narrated with the mother's voice, thoughts, and reflections.

This book was interesting but it was difficult to read both emotionally and logistically. My book club loved it. I just couldn't get excited very about it, and I cannot say that I would willingly recommend it to anyone else.
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Helpful Score: 15
When I first starting reading this book I was turned off. For the first 40-50 pages I felt like a five year old wrote the book. But as the story developed it sucked you in so deeply that I found myself reading faster adn faster to see what was going to happen. It was so realistic that it was heartbreaking yet fascinating all at the same time. I am not sure if the beginning of the book is lacking or if you need to get used to the way it is written in the five year old perspective. Either way this is a wonderful book, it is edgy in its plot, completely enthralling in its delivery and character development and overall a wonderful read
reviewed Room: A Novel on
Helpful Score: 12
I bought this book on a whim, before all of the hype came out and must say I wasn't impressed.

I suffered through it and can't say I would recommend it. I was not a fan of the writing style or the long, drawn out beginning and rushed ending.
reviewed Room: A Novel on + 105 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
I pushed myself to keep reading this book, hoping for it to get better. This book seemed to get a lot of good reviews but I stopped reading it about halfway through. Although the subject matter is realistic with respect to the way in which the boy and his mom lived their lives, it is boring and not a book that makes you want to keep reading. We are all entitled to our own opinions, but I was too disappointed to finish it.
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Helpful Score: 4
When I first started reading this book, I was a little annoyed by the way it was written. Coming from the view of the five year old, the book is written how he would say the words. At first it was hard to get used to, and then after about 20 pages I did not even notice it anymore.

It is amazing how you notice the world differently after hearing it described from a 5 year old who has never seen it before. I found myself paying more attention to details after about halfway through the book. How often we pass up the beauty of the world that we live in, just because we "see it every day." I am so thankful to little Jack for reminding me to stop and notice the details, and literally smell the flowers.
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Helpful Score: 3
Another book that I delayed reading due to all the hype that preceded its release and after the release. I am glad I waited, but absolutely thrilled that the ladies of one of my book clubs picked this book out to read this year. I didn't read any of the reviews before diving in.

Now onto my review - A heart wrenching tale of a mother who is trying with all her might to protect her son from her kidnapper, but at the same time keeping him from knowing what is in the outside world that he is missing. Esentially she has made a world for him so he doesn't understand that his situation is different from anyone else's "normal." Some may think this weird of her - I find her to be heroic to not expose her son to the reality of the world they are trapped in while making sure that is enjoying their current status.

Without spoiling the ending for those of you who have not had the opportunity to pick this one up - the second half is very different from the first. I am still struggling as to which half I enjoyed more.

Because this book is written from Jack's perspective, the story is much easier to handle. At times I had a difficulty understanding what he was describing because I couldn't always get his 5 year old mind set and language. As I don't have children, I may not react to this book as my mom and sister will, but I think both groups should read and will enjoy this one.
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Helpful Score: 3
This is an intriguing story told from the perspective of a five year old boy named Jack. Jack's mother was kidnapped at nineteen. She has spent the last seven years in a shed in the backyard of her captor. During that time, she gives birth to Jack. He is her world and they have this amazing bond. At the same time, she must protect him from "Old Nick". The first portion of the book explores the relationships and confines of Room. Then, Jack & his mom decide to escape. I couldn't put the book down. I had to know they were going to be successful and survive. The next part of the book is what happens after. The media circus. The reactions of the world to the main characters and their reactions to the world. I was shocked by the behavior of Ma's parents. I would hope that if something so traumatic happened to me that my parents would stop at nothing to find me and never give up hope. That if I escaped with a child, they would look past how the child came to be and love me and my child unconditionally. This book is thought provoking for sure. The author made a great choice for telling this story through the eyes of a child. I also liked how the story comes full circle and gives the characters closure. The mother character did an amazing job raising her child in inhumane circumstances. I'll be thinking about this story for awhile. Trying to make sense of it in my own head.
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Helpful Score: 2
This book is not for the faint of heart, or for those who can't think outside the box. Told by a 5 year old, it is the story of being brought up in a tiny room where his mother was being held captive. He knew nothing of the outside world, and was quite happy in his known existance.

At times I felt myself feeling claustrophobic and had to put it down. I thought the author did an amazing job of addressing various issues as they arrived, showing how the mother coped through her son.

The book shows a glimpse of what it must have been like for the girl in Austria who was actually held hostage underground by her father. Its not a pleasant read, but my bookclub did enjoy the discussion of the various subjects.
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Helpful Score: 2
Even better on audio, which is how I "read" it. The narration by a child and adults makes the book even better. The author forces us to view the world through the eyes of a child - which is no easy task - this book deserves all the kudos it has received.
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Helpful Score: 2
This story is a horrific one but told through the eyes of a five year old who is sheltered by his mother's love. You see his innocence and his interpretation of events. Yet, as an adult, you are devastated by the horror of the situation itself.

The book is emotional, scary, heart-wrenching and completely compelling. I put off doing a lot of things the past couple of days because I was so completely involved in the book!
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Helpful Score: 2
I just fininshed this book and it was a bit hard to read it from a 5 yr old perspective, it did get old at times. Overall it made me more greatful for the freedom to come and go as we please and the things in life are important to us; like candles on a cake. It reminds me of Jaycee Duguard's book in some ways. It is sad that it happens everyday and it could happen right next door. I don't regret reading it because of how it made me feel afterwards. Overall I had a hard time putting it down because I wanted to see how it ended.
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Helpful Score: 2
Every bit as good as the reviews. Original concept, riveting story written from the viewpoint of a child. Made me a little queasy now and then but worth it as the tale is one you can't put down.
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Helpful Score: 2
In the third chapter my heart was rapidly beating due to the suspense. I had to know what was going to happen next and I was so concerned as to the outcome; I could not put the book down. That said, the forth and fifth chapters were not as captivating, but I was already hooked and had to know how the book would end. This book is intense and deals with some traumatic issues, so it is not a cozy, fun, summer type of read. However, it is a book that can be read at an extremely rapid pace.
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Helpful Score: 1
READ THIS BOOK! It is the most amazingly effective portrait of a child raised in strange isolation by a loving mother. You will not be able to put it down and I guarantee Jack and Ma will stay with you for a long time.
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Helpful Score: 1
I could NOT put this down. I had not read the synopsis, didn't look at the chapter headings, so I did not know what to expect. I'm glad I was surprised!
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Helpful Score: 1
This is NOT a book that you read and say "Hey this was a great book and I really enjoyed it." It is a book that you read and go through many different feelings and at the end you are glad you read it. Many reviews indicate that they did not like the book because it was told through the eyes of a 5 year old but for me that was the best way to tell this story. I know how I, as an adult, would react to this story so seeing it through Jack's eyes was experiencing it under a whole different perspective.
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Helpful Score: 1
5-year old Jack is the narrator of this startling novel. His mother was kidnapped six years earlier when she was a 19-year-old college student, and taken to a converted, sound-proof shed in the kidnapper's yard. Their captor visits at night when Jack is asleep. Seeing their life together through the eyes and ears of a young child is an ingenious device that makes it all the more harrowing.
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Helpful Score: 1
This is a very interesting and compelling read, told in a unique fashion, as Jack, the narrator, is just a five year-old boy. It doesn't really take long to find out that Jack's circumstances are unusual, but the real trick comes in allowing the reader to understand the truth even as Jack remains innocently clueless. I do have some complaints as to the believability, both as to the narrator and some of the reactions within the storyline, which detracted somewhat from my immersion, but it's still a strong effort. The narrative voice simply seems to slip at times, as the author comes through more strongly in trying to make sure the information is conveyed in the way that she desires. Still, it's a powerful and effective effort that made me want to finish the book.
reviewed Room: A Novel on
Helpful Score: 1
This story is compelling, gripping - all those kinds of words. Even though you figure things out before the five-year old narrator does, by the time you and he finally agree about the situation he is in, you are completely hanging onto the edge of your seat, reading page after page at a furious pace in order to see what he will do with his information. It made a unique situation seem extremely realistic and it leaves you with a sense of completeness. You come full circle. My words cannot describe the beauty of this story.
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Helpful Score: 1
Room starts out slowly and from a 5 year old perspective making it a slow start for me. As the book progresses it takes form and you are in the middle of an unforgettable book which leaves you different than from the you before the book. A profound book that I will never forget and perspective of the world much different than before. I applaud Emma Donoghue on her incredible talent and ability to write such an amazing book.
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Helpful Score: 1
While I thought it was a bit strange as it was written from the perspective of a 5-year old, I had a hard time putting it down. I have to say that I really enjoyed it.
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Helpful Score: 1
Outstanding. You'll either love it and remember this book forever or you'll hate it. It is so moving and Jack is a character that will haunt you forever. He truly is incredible in this book. I listened on audiobook and have to say, if you get an opportunity, grab it up on audiobook. The audiobook readers include three different readers and it makes the presentation of the story even more believable.
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Helpful Score: 1
I only read this book because my book club told me to. I suffered through it and I will join the minority by saying that I really did not like it.

First, I have a 5-year-old boy. That fact alone made this book difficult to read. And because my son is 5 and asks a million questions a day, this book wasn't much of an escape for me to read.

Second, the writing style was terribly annoying. I got used to it eventually, but that doesn't make it easier to read. However, the 5-year-old voice and perspective make this book bearable. I could not have read the same story had it been narrated with the mother's voice, thoughts, and reflections.

This book was interesting but it was difficult to read both emotionally and logistically. My book club loved it. I just couldn't get excited very about it, and I cannot say that I would willingly recommend it to anyone else.
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I only read this book because my book club told me to. I suffered through it and I will join the minority by saying that I really did not like it.

First, I have a 5-year-old boy. That fact alone made this book difficult to read. And because my son is 5 and asks a million questions a day, this book wasn't much of an escape for me to read.

Second, the writing style was terribly annoying. I got used to it eventually, but that doesn't make it easier to read. However, the 5-year-old voice and perspective make this book bearable. I could not have read the same story had it been narrated with the mother's voice, thoughts, and reflections.

This book was interesting but it was difficult to read both emotionally and logistically. My book club loved it. I just couldn't get excited very about it, and I cannot say that I would willingly recommend it to anyone else.
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Quick and entertaining book. Told through the eyes of a five year old. Sometimes disturbing.
Makes you want to cry, get angry, and sometimes laugh and smile. Very good read.
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This was a very powerful and moving book! I liked the characters' interaction, especially between Ma and Jack as first she protects him from Old Nick and then how she prepares him for a much wider world.

Finished: 6/29/2013
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Excellent book, had this one read in 2 days. Thriller and good read. Very intriguing.
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Story is told through the eyes of a child. Interesting approach.
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Suspenseful and well paced story. Audio version features excellent readers.
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Wow! This was a hard-to-put down, fabulous book... I kept thinking about the characters even when I wasn't reading. You won't be disappointed.
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For me, the first third to half of the book was really bad. I realize that the stage and story had to be set, but it was really boring. The second half was better, but I just never found it to be anything special. By the time I finished, I was SO tired of reading a book narrated by an incredibly precocious 5 year old, that I thought I'd never finish.

I'm stunned at the hype and awards that this book has garnered. In my opinion, it was just not worth it.
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It's hard to say anything without giving away too much of the plot, but I was very moved by this book which has been shortlisted for the Man Booker prize. However, I didn't think that Jack's voice in the first few chapters matched the voice throughout the rest of the book. This is a compelling read, disturbing and heart wrenching and finally, hopeful. Very highly recommend.
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I read this book in one day--it grabs your attention and doesn't let go. The subject matter is disturbing but it is not graphic so you are able to understand what is going on without it being described in detail. This is partly because it is told from the perspective of a 5-year old with limited vocabulary and knowledge. It will make you think and you will enjoy it!
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This is the story of Jack and his "Ma," a 26 year old woman who has been held captive with her son in an 11 x 11 foot square room for seven years. They have the basic comforts of home except for their freedom. This was an interesting premise and it did not disappoint. I read it inside of two days. The story is told entirely in the point of view of Jack, so it reads like it was written by a five year old and it does take some getting used to, but it is well worth it. I loved this book and the characters and I was sorry that the book had to come to an end!
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I wouldn't recommend this to anyone! I couldn't make it past the first chapter, the writing is so terrible, written from the view of a 5 yr old boy, the mentality of it is worse than that, being around a 5 yr old I found this more like a 3 yr old. The first part of the book where it has 'quotes' from various persons must be from the unknown, I didn't recognize any of those names or who they supposedly wrote for, therefore I have my doubts they exist and it is just the publisher trying to make it sound 'great'--well don't be fooled--it's terrible!
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I couldn't put it down!
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Engaging. Well done, which is hard for a book written in a child's voice. I really wanted to know what was going to happen, especially in the second half of the book, although I felt that the restraint that got the reader through the first part was a little stifling for the second half. I just wanted to know so much more than little Jack could tell me! But if he were old enough to tell me everything, I never would have made it through the first part, so.

I'm not sure I would recommend it, given the difficulty of the circumstances. I guess if you can stomach hard crime stories you'll have no problem with this novel, as the details are given with minimum gruesomeness. If you're just expecting for a novel about people's interior lives under unusual circumstances, you may emerge from this one feeling a little battered, as I did.
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Fascinating story, sad, because of the situation, but uplifting because of all this young girl does to protect her son. If you are looking for something different, this is it. Very well done.
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I loved this book. Totally written from a 5-year-old's perspective, it takes an unimaginable confinement & makes the story digestible. Hard to put the book down.
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A heart wrenching, heart warming, heart stopping novel that keeps you turning the pages well into the night. A mother's love that stops at nothing to care for her son the best she is able. And a child's love so powerful it could light up a room. Loved it.
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I know I'm in the minority here, I don't know anyone else who disliked this book. I found it very disturbing and forced myself to finish it. I could not stop thinking about the story and the horror that woman went through. Not my kind of book!
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Currently listening to it on CD in the car. They use different readers for the different voices, and the effect is very moving. I am finding excuses to drive places just to listen...Done now: listening to the book was great: loved Jack's voice. The kid who did it was amazing.

I thought the book was wonderful. The ending was perfection. I had a little problem with the mother (and to a lesser degree, the grandmother). Some of her reactions to Jack's behavior/questions/statements were troubling, but then I suppose the author did not want her to be too perfect. The "pre-great escape" chapter was the weakest point in the plot - I could not believe that Ma would ever think that such a scheme would actually work, and it seemed that the whole plan would put Jack into so much danger.

SPOILERISH ALERT: Did anyone wonder why Ma did not try to figure out the door code? If you had all the time in the world, wouldn't you develope a system for trying different combinations?
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Great book. Totally plausible when you read about people like Jaycee Dugard, Elizabeth Smart, etc.
This book is about a girl who was kidnapped and kept in the "room" for many long years. In that time she becomes pregnant with Jack. He is the narrator of this story.
It was done quite well with seeing how Jack sees "Room" as home since he knows nothing else and how his mom sees it as prison since she knows so much more. Donoghue does such an excellent job with this and makes it so believable.
There was only 2 minor problems I had with the book and they by no means would keep me from recommending it. I enjoyed the fact that Jack narrated it but at times he wasn't consistent. Most of the time he talked like a little kid (as should be) but then at times he all the sudden knew these big words that made it not quite as believable. Like he didn't know the word for vomit or throw up and used this long description for it but he did know omnivore and other big words. This was not consistent. I feel that he should have either been shown to be a kid with quite an extensive vocabulary or one with out. Not both. The other problem I had was the mother at the later part of the story (don't want to give too much away) but it seemed like she went from Jack being her whole world to just thinking about herself. I know she was fully traumatized but it did cause me to dislike her a bit. Like I said though, it is still a book to read if you haven't.
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This is an incredible book, and extremely well written! It's from the headlines of a few months ago even though it was written a few years before we ever heard of that dreadful man who kidnapped three women off the streets of Cleveland and held them hostage for ten years, fathering a child by one woman and kicking the other woman until she lost the baby. In this novel, there is an amazing bond between the mother and her son. I shuddered when she asked him to play dead so that her kidnapper would take him out of the "room" and into the back of his truck to bury him. The child is amazingly intelligent and when he needs comforting he reaches for his mother's breasts - which shocks most people that she is still breast feeding him. But as the mother says, "There was nothing else to do." This book is exceptional!
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The story of Room is dark and disturbing, but the author softens the blow a bit by allowing a 5 year old child to narrate. I think it makes the story more interesting seeing it through Jack's eyes. It is amazing how a mother's love can color even the worst situation for her child, making it a happy place for him.
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I was looking forward to reading this book even though there was conflicting reviews. I did like the book even though the story was about a delicate subject. I think the author did a great job writing about something that is usually left alone.
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Spoiler alert

Overall, it was well written.

There were a few places where one had to work to continue to suspend disbelief, the most glaring being the escape. In real life Jack would have ended up buried in that rug (because he had been firmly instructed not to speak until he ran, and because he couldn't have gotten out), the person on the city street would not have been that involved, etc.

Some characters (the grandmother, the people at the shelter, old nick, even ma) were much less well drawn than they deserved to be.

Jack can be a brat, and he obviously is too much of an equal to his mother (the candles on the cake v pain killers discussion.

Ma is somewhat one dimensional. Maybe because it is the perspective of a small child. In Room she is The Perfect Mother. Outside she is neurotic and defensive, but there is no greater depth than that.

Finally, I think that the psychological aspects were greatly exaggerated. For a small child what matters isn't the number of people, but that the people they have love them. Once Jack acculturates, he will probably be socially and academically ahead of his peers for all the time his mother was able to give him.
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First i loved the book. The writting was fantastic. Told by a child of 5 years old who had been born in a room and never been out. My head was swimming thinking what would i do? By the time i got to the middle of the book, i knew there would be no sleep until i could finish it. Without giving anything away, the second half of the book had me turning pages so quickly and bawling and in awe of this author. Again my mind is thinking how she even came up with this idea for this story and then decided how to write it. Who would tell it? How would a child in a room think? Beautiful even though the book is somewhat sad an amazing read. One of my top favorites this year.
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I enjoyed this book very much. It was hard to adjust to the lingo of a five year old but once I did I was hooked. The subject matter isn't for the faint of heart but as I was crying through the book it made me appreciate my life of freedom.
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I have to say there were moments when this book really gave me the creeps. That being said, I could NOT stop reading it! The story really seems pulled from real-life and is very believable. I would definately recommend reading it as it really is a peek into something we really do not want to think about.
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Expect tears. Expect your heart to hurt. Above all, expect to not be able to put this book down until you finish it. Donoghue achieves that most elusive of things, a truly original tale, one not told before. This book is unlike any other.
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Wow, what a disturbing book! Unbearably thrilling throughout the whole story. What an amazing way to understand the "outside" world around you when seeing it through the innocent eyes of a 5 year old. Ma shows what it means to be a mom and doing what you have to and can do. Very powerful, will stay with you long after you finish the book.
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This is an amazing book, uniquely written and engaging. The story is about a woman held captive and her struggle to live her life as a captive and as a mother of a 5 year old son. The storyline is gut wrenching and, at times, disturbing. That said, the author does a terrific job of putting us in the shoes of a captive and her son as they endure a situation most people cannot fathom.

Admittedly, before I read the book I was skeptical of the author's decision to tell the story through the voice of a 5 year old. But, the child's innocent view of the world and the careful dialogue between son and mother work very well to reveal the true darkness of the situation. The book is inspired by actual events, and I often felt like I was reading a true story rather than a fictional interpretation of true events.
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This incredibly well-written book is from the perspective of a five year old boy who only knows Room. While it could have sensationalized the position of Jack and Ma, what you get is an innocent boy's perspective on the world. Wardrobe is where he sleeps; Meltedy Spoon is his favorite to eat with.

I couldn't put it down. It was a book where I needed to know what happened to sweet Jack and Ma.
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I started to read this book and people told me just make it through the first 100 pages and it will get better. Well it didn't I just couldn't take Jack's voice in my head. I just didn't see it as conquerable love, I saw it as horrifying circumstances that I just didn't care to have in my head.
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This was not the greatest book that I've ever read, but it was good. I really liked how it made me think about what happens to people in these situations, after they are "rescued" from their captors. The media tells you how wonderful it is that they are "free", but I never thought about how they cope with the "outside world" afterwards- especially the children who are born in captivity, and don't know about "normal reality". It was very thought provoking for me. Sad, but good. It is written differently, and takes a while to get used to; not easy at first, but worth it, in the end. I'm not usually fond of "though provoking" books; I prefer action and books where I can lose myself from reality, but I think this is worth a read. It's short and easy, once you get used to way Jack talks.
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Phenomenal, unusual and gripping story told in the voice of 5-year-old Jack. I couldn't put it down.
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It's been maybe over a month since I finished this book, but still find it hard to review. It's an incredibly emotional book about a mother and son held captive in a small shed and their experience surviving in and out of that shed. Written from the perspective of the 5 year old boy, Jack. Being a stay at home mom of a young child so many themes in this book hit home for me. It's a thrilling read and will keep you wanting more all the way to the end.
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I was a little slow getting into this book, but once I did I couldn't put it down! I loved the beautiful portrayal of the bond between mother and child. I thought the author did a good job with the story, especially the creativity she used in describing the day to day life for two people in one small room for such a long time. Even more interesting was seeing the whole situation unfold through the eyes of a child! Good read!
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I only read this book because my book club told me to. I suffered through it and I will join the minority by saying that I really did not like it.

First, I have a 5-year-old boy. That fact alone made this book difficult to read. And because my son is 5 and asks a million questions a day, this book wasn't much of an escape for me to read.

Second, the writing style was terribly annoying. I got used to it eventually, but that doesn't make it easier to read. However, the 5-year-old voice and perspective make this book bearable. I could not have read the same story had it been narrated with the mother's voice, thoughts, and reflections.

This book was interesting but it was difficult to read both emotionally and logistically. My book club loved it. I just couldn't get excited very about it, and I cannot say that I would willingly recommend it to anyone else.
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This book is very intense. Told from the unique perspective of a five-year old boy. As the mom of a five-year old boy I found it disturbingly true to life.
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The dialogue told in the voice of a 5 yr old boy is tough to get past...but once you do, this book will make you cry, laugh, angry, sad, happy....its a work of art...Donoghue did an excellent work here and I do not read too many books a 2nd time but this one I definitely will. Its a quick read as you can't put it down. Like another reviewer said "Thanks Lil Jack for showing me what I take for granted on a daily basis".
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I really enjoyed this book. It took a little getting used to reading a book from a five year old boys angle, but I got used to it. Yes it was a sad story but I also found it uplifting as well
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Couldn't put this book down!
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Very interesting book. Well worth reading.
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Read the book first and saw the movie. It is a bit confusing at first, but stay with it. This young mother shows exactly what mothering is about.
The movie did the book justice also.
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I was riveted by the story, but I got sick of reading it about the last third. It is written in POV of a five year old and it is very aggravating because he is socially disfunctional.
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I'm not sure I loved this book. It kept me interested throughout, but I felt it was missing something. It is narrated by a five year old boy, but I felt his language was far exceeding the norm. Which can be from being stuck in this room with his mother his whole life. I don't know. I would read it anyway, I want to know what others think.
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I only read this book because my book club told me to. I suffered through it and I will join the minority by saying that I really did not like it.

First, I have a 5-year-old boy. That fact alone made this book difficult to read. And because my son is 5 and asks a million questions a day, this book wasn't much of an escape for me to read.

Second, the writing style was terribly annoying. I got used to it eventually, but that doesn't make it easier to read. However, the 5-year-old voice and perspective make this book bearable. I could not have read the same story had it been narrated with the mother's voice, thoughts, and reflections.

This book was interesting but it was difficult to read both emotionally and logistically. My book club loved it. I just couldn't get excited very about it, and I cannot say that I would willingly recommend it to anyone else.
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A great book that leaves a lasting impression. Once I started reading it I couldn't stop. Very well written. A book you won't soon forget.
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I only read this book because my book club told me to. I suffered through it and I will join the minority by saying that I really did not like it.

First, I have a 5-year-old boy. That fact alone made this book difficult to read. And because my son is 5 and asks a million questions a day, this book wasn't much of an escape for me to read.

Second, the writing style was terribly annoying. I got used to it eventually, but that doesn't make it easier to read. However, the 5-year-old voice and perspective make this book bearable. I could not have read the same story had it been narrated with the mother's voice, thoughts, and reflections.

This book was interesting but it was difficult to read both emotionally and logistically. My book club loved it. I just couldn't get excited very about it, and I cannot say that I would willingly recommend it to anyone else.
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Such a riveting book to listen to!

As mentioned above, the story is revealed through the eyes of Jack, a 5 year old... a precocious, curious 5 year old. It's a terrifying premise - a kidnapped woman kept hidden alone in 11 by 11 room for 7 years as a sex slave. In year 2, along comes a baby boy whom she names Jack. She raises Jack as if "room" is the entire world with a television as a window to "other planets."
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Some people felt the main character, the child, had a vocabulary that did not match his age - I disagree, and it is besides the point of the story. This is an amazing account of a horrendous crime. Wonderfully written, heart-wrenching, characters to fight for and characters to hate and yet others to try to understand and shake your head at. Highly recommended.
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I didn't know what to expect from this book after the reviews I read. Very engaging although disturbing at the end as the immediate and intimate experience of 2 characters is exposed to the world. Great skill on Ms Donoghue's part writing from a child's perspective in a believable manner that drew the reader into his world. Worth getting.
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For such a depressing topic, this was a surprisingly engaging read. It's less about graphic details of kidnap and rape, and more about parent/child relationships and coping and creating normalcy in horrible circumstances.
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This book was awesome. The perspective was just so different It was defiantly a good read.
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wonderful book
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Did not care for this book at all !!!
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Told from the perspective of a little boy, this book is both startling(given the nature of the story) and innocent in the way the child perceives his world. Saw the movie and loved it -- then read the book. The movie follows the book pretty consistently, just with a bit less detail. I highly recommend both.
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Like another reviewer, I didn't like the writing style at first - took some getting used to, but once past that hurdle, I found this book to be enthralling. Excellent read! Don't let the language in the beginning put you off - the story itself is worth it. D.
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Amazing book! I literally could not put it down and ended up reading it all in one sitting. That's all I've done today!

With a premise like the one in this book, it would have been easy to get mired in the darkness and horror of everything they (Ma, especially) had to endure, but thankfully Donoghue doesn't go for the shock value. She doesn't shy away from the many difficulties they face even after escaping, but by having Jack be the narrator, his young age and innocence provides just enough distance from the major horrors that the story instead becomes much more focused on the ways humans manage to survive and create lives for themselves even in the worst of circumstances.

Amazingly written, very powerful novel.
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Can you imagine living your entire life in an 11X11 room? Now imagine living this life as a five year old child, then trying to exist on the outside. The child and his mother had a closer relationship than any mother and son should have, and that bothered me a little, but what else could she have done in such circumstances? Great read, and I can only hope that no child has to live like this boy does.
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Amazing! I couldn't stop thinking about this book.The narrator's voice was really authentic & haunting.
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I really enjoyed how it causes the reader to question family relationships and dealing with trauma.
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A very good book written in a very unique way. An excellent story, but sad. I enjoyed it.
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A good read.
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I thought this book was very well written.. This book made me laugh and made me cry.. I could not stop reading this book I found myself spending all my free time and even some of my not so free time with this book..
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I heard rave reviews about this book but I was very disappointed. I really didn't like the mom, and the story - as told by the 5 year old - did not ring true. This child was supposed to be very bright for a 5 year old, yet his speech was worse than my three year old granddaughter's.
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Really unique book written from a 5 year old's point of view. It gets a little Repetitive at times but you get through it easy enough. At least two parts will have your heart thumping and you really have no idea how things will turn out. I think it might be a tad over-rated with a lot of 5 star ratings on Amazon but I give it a solid 3 1/5.
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Really interesting, really different. If you ever want a compelling imagining of this kind of situation, try this book.
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Thinking of Jaycee Duggard's actual imprisonment while reading this novel, although of course the circumstances were different. Disturbing story, but it captivated me and I read it straight through. I think it is sort of brilliant the way the author writes through the child's perspective. Don't want to spoil the ending, but it was really satisfying.
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Jack's story of how he and his mother live in Room and their life after leaving it is an absorbing story.
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Once I got used to the writing style of this book I really enjoyed it. I am the mother of a 5 year old little boy named Jack and I really admired Ma in this book. The relationship between Ma and Jack is extremely special and it just shows that a mother's love can stand the most difficult circumstances. I strongly recommend this book.
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Best book I've read in a really long time.
Had do finish it in ONE DAY because I couldn't wait !
Touching, really touching.
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WOW! A must read!!
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Loved it on audio book. It made it so much easier to get used to the 5year old narrator.
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I kept turning pages, hoping that I'd develop some attachment for the characters, some feeling for their plight, but it never happened. The story was simply too long and too flat, with unbelievable characters and a predictable plot.
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Imagine being born in captivity, living your whole life believing that the world outside was just make-believe, and that the real world only existed in one single room. This is Jack's perception, and the story is narrated through his five-year old eyes. Now imagine that you are taken from the only world you know into an entirely different world, where what you thought was only make-believe is real indeed. Room brilliantly explores themes like freedom and normalcy. Does having freedom make you free? What makes a person normal? The emotional readjustment that Jack's mother, or Ma, goes through as she attempts to reintegrate herself into society is palpable. Excellent read and one that really makes you think.
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Could not put this book down.
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Hard to put down! I thought it would be dark and depressing, but I loved Jack and his story.
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Thought provoking. It's a good story and makes you think. A little hard to read as it's narrated by a 5 yr old. But I enjoyed it and would recommend it.
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This was a very interesting read. Quite unlike anything I've read before. I highly recommend it.
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I really enjoyed reading this book! It surprises me that people didn't enjoy it. A very sad, but realistic story.
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Good book; sad.
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Before starting this book, I was not exactly sure what to expect. I had heard so many things about it and all of them seemed to be good, which seemed very unlikely to me that I had heard nothing but praise about this book. When it became a monthly read for an online book group, I knew it was time for me to give it a try. This story was entrancing and yet dark at the same time. This isnt some fluffy, happy, cutesy story but it is very deep and emotional.

This story is told through the five year old eyes of Jack. I think he was the right narrator for a few different reasons but it also presented a challenge. How do you accurately describe some of the horrific things that happen in this book if your narrator is a mere 5 years old and may not understand it? Its a dilemma and there were times that I felt the author struggled with her narrator, but it also made the story better. In my opinion, having a child be the narrator for the story made the subject matter easier to get through. As an adult reading his descriptions you knew what was going on, but it was less gritty and thrown in your face and so it made it easier to deal with. A story about a woman who was kidnapped and held captive as a sexual slave for nearly a decade and who gave birth in this room to her kidnappers child is really tough and emotional to read about. Having it filtered through the eyes of a child lessens the horror a little bit, which allows you to see the story as a whole.

I had two issues with this book, one of them is small and one is rather big. The small irritation is that sometimes Jack talked like a adult, or made observations that no five year old child would ever really care about. For example, when Jack makes an observation about how people in the world are always busy and never have time for anything and so stressed. A kindergarten age child doesnt look around and think about other peoples stress. It was moments like that when I felt that the author struggled having a child narrator who couldnt realistically portray what she wanted to portray in certain instances.

The bigger irritation was how the adults insisted on treating Jack after they were rescued from Room. Even his Ma kept treating him as if he should have been acting and responding differently. When he said he wanted to go back to Room his Ma would get angry with him. I understand that for her it was a prison cell and a torture room, but for Jack it was the ONLY life and existence he ever knew. It was never a negative place, it was home. Its only natural for him to want to go back. And the other adults did it too. When Jack took something from a store and tried to leave with it, they were angry with him. Hes a child for Gods sake! And a child who has no experience at all in functioning in the outside world! It made me angry and it made me dislike most of the adults in the book.

The ending of this book, however, washed away any irritation I had with the book. They get to put their experience to rest and that part brought me to tears. The moment that Jack stands in the door and says, this isnt Room anymore, my heart broke and I knew that I loved this book. Its very rare that a book brings tears to my eyes, but this one did. It wasnt perfect, I mentioned my problems with the book, but it did touch my heart.

Review also posted to my personal blog and other book sites.
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Like some, I could not put this book down. I have never read anything like this before. I would highly recommend giving it a try.
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Couldn't put it down! Disturbing but sweet at the same time. A very engaging read.
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This was a "can't put it down" book! Seeing the world through Jack's eyes makes me look at things differently. Read this book!
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I thought this book dragged at the end. It was a good story but listening to a five year old constantly was boring. I think the last chapters where he lives with his Grandmother could have been eliminated from the book or shortened a lot.
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Great story. Slow at the beginning. Interesting narrative perspective.
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Couldn't put it down. So close to current news stories that you forget it is a novel!
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Wonderful read.
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I really enjoyed reading this. Completed it in a few days.
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Hard to read, but a must read none the less.
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This is the creepiest book I have ever read. Jack has been brought up in a room by a 19 year old college student who knows the correct grammar. Then why does a bright boy as is Jack use poor grammar? He has never heard poor grammar. The emphasis on the breast feeding is totally creepy. The mother a is sick and creepy person and her boy is a little monster. I see no difference between Old Nick, Ma and Jack. Sickos.
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Very predictable