Rooms, by Lauren Oliver

Rooms 27.09.14

Not your average ghost story.

Publisher: Hodder & Stroughton | Publication date: 25th September 2014 | Edition: Hardback (own copy)

After getting this book I was so looking forward to reading it. I thought, what a great concept? No dead people hanging around and scaring the living, but rather the actual house communicating and reacting – perhaps with a creak here, a smashed light bulb there, sometimes a groan – always there, just not quite.

All things considered, this book was very different from what I expected. It was erring more on the side of a ‘family crisis’ than your typical ‘haunted house’ story. When I finished it my main question was: exactly how dysfunctional and unfortunate can one family be?!

Richard Walker has died leaving his estranged family behind. They arrive at the old family home to sort out the will, the belongings and remember a few things they had all forgotten.

Considering the fact that Minna launches herself at anything with a pulse and her daughter did get to witness her mother ‘entertaining’, despite this, the little one appears relatively unaffected and is the most switched on. Minna’s brother, Trenton, has some manic depressive issues following his car accident and is a little more sensitive than the others. And if that wasn’t enough, their mother, Caroline, likes a drink or three. Even the house-ghosts have their share of ‘life issues’ that they’re still affected by.

I liked the way you got to learn a little more about each character as you moved through the book with small ‘chapters’ that were titled with the character’s name. Also the way it was sectioned with the part of the house you were in. But after working my way through these I kept expecting something more to happen, I can’t put my finger on it.

Would I recommend it? Well, yes, probably BECAUSE it’s different. And there is one part that keeps you on the edge of your seat, if only for 2/3 chapters with the arrival of a new ghost…I won’t say any more ’cause it’ll spoil it. Just don’t expect a lot more tension and suspense – it wasn’t that sort of book.

Rating: 3.5/5

You can follow the author on Twitter: @OliverBooks