I was super busy/distracted this month but somehow managed to read 9 books. I read a great mix of nonfiction, YA, graphic novels, LGBT fiction, and fantasy! Here’s a breakdown of my ratings:
The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel (graphic novel): 5/5 stars
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (fantasy): 3/5 stars
Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman (fantasy): 4/5 stars
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler (YA): 2/5 stars
Redefining Realness by Janet Mock (memoir): 5/5 stars
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters (LGBT historical fiction): 5/5 stars
Room by Emma Donoghue (fiction): 3/5 stars
Annie On My Mind by Nancy Garden (LGBT YA): 5/5 stars
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (fantasy): 4/5 stars
Room by Emma Donohgue
Rating: 3.4/5 stars
Jack has just turned 5 years old, and his world consists of an 11×11 foot room. This doesn’t bother him much because he knows nothing of the outside world. Now that he’s 5, Ma begins to tell Jack that grass, ice cream, and other kids actually exist on the other side of Wall and Roof and not just in the TV. Jack and Ma create a plan to escape Room, but it’s extremely risky. If they were able to escape, how would Jack cope with being outside in the fresh air, with other people for the first time?
This book was just okay. There was nothing really special about it and I honestly don’t understand what all the hype is around it. I didn’t feel attached to any of the characters, so I was really ambivalent to any of the big events that happened to Ma or Jack. There were horrible, traumatic, and sad things that occurred throughout the book, but I didn’t have that emotional attachment to care about them enough.
I think the problem with Room is that its entirely narrated by a five year old kid. This, obviously, makes his world very bias. The book would have been so much deeper if it had switched between Ma and Jacks POVs. By sticking only to Jack’s POV, it’s almost like Donoghue was taking the easy road. Ma could have been such a complex character, but we merely got a glimpse into how she was feeling.
I understand that this is a great bookclub book– there are a lot of controversial issues to discuss. Despite this, as a pleasure read, I’m disappointed with it. I was really hoping for better.