Sunday, October 9, 2011
Room, by Emma Donoghue
It sure looks as though I haven't been reading many books these days. Well, I did finish reading the old classic "Wuthering Heights", which took me weeks to read. But now I've finally got a fantastic book that is worth posting about. My favorite aunt, Lisa, recommended it to me. As soon as she told me about it, I looked it up on the iPad and downloaded a sample from the iBooks app. (I have discovered that reading samples is even better than borrowing from the library, because this lets me know whether a book is really worth reading or not! For example, I got to read a sample of "The Death Cure", by James Dashner, and it's not even out yet! It was just a few chapters, but it is awesome! I can't wait to read it for real!) After getting my first taste of "Room", I knew it was gold, so I reserved it from the library, and it came in surprisingly quick. Now I'm done with it.
What a great story! Told from the point of view of five-year-old Jack, it's the tale of a boy and his mother who have lived in the same small room all of his life. It's where he was born, and he has never been Outside, so all he knows are the things in Room. He addresses all the objects in the room as if they are his friends, like Bed, Wardrobe, Rocker, and TV. When he watches TV and sees all the wonderful shows, he believes that none of it is real, and everything outside of Room is Outer Space. The only real people in the entire world are him and his Ma. Except, perhaps, the mysterious and scary Old Nick, who brings them food and other important things and comes in at night sometimes...
It wasn't always like that. When Ma was nineteen, she got kidnapped by Old Nick and became trapped in Room. Seven years later, she is still in that room, and Jack has gotten so big that it is even more important that they find some way to escape. When she tells her son the entire truth, that there is a world out there, that all things from TV are actually real (except for Dora and Spongebob, of course), it is almost too much for young Jack to comprehend. Even scarier is when she proposes their escape plan, where he has to pretend that he's sick, so that Old Nick will take him Outside and Jack can run to a police and rescue Ma. It is the biggest thing Jack has ever had to do in his young life, but he does it, and the pages turn themselves as you race to find out what happens next.
I loved reading this, because it was so wildly original. The childish narration is incredibly charming with it's many grammatical errors, but you totally accept it, because after all, this is a kid telling the story. Also, this book started out with such a unique idea that really makes the reader stop and think, and look at the world a little differently. You don't come across books like that all the time. I say get your hands on this book right away and get ready to sink your teeth into an awesome story.