Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance.
But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb.
The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results.
Lauren Oliver is the author of the New York Times bestselling YA novels Before I Fall, Panic, and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem. Her books have been translated into thirty languages. She is also the author of two novels for middle-grade readers, The Spindlers and Liesl & Po, which was a 2012 E. B. White Read-Aloud Award nominee. Lauren's first adult novel, Rooms, will be published in September 2014. A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU's MFA program, Lauren Oliver is also the co-founder of the boutique literary development company Paper Lantern Lit.
Favorite Snack -Ready? Pasta with butter and hot sauce and parmesan. Don't knock it till you try it!
Rooms by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Richard Walker has just died leaving behind a house filled with memories and secrets. When his estranged family arrives at the house, the resident ghosts Alice & Sandra watch and reminisce about the past… but not all the memories are pleasant ones and as the story unravels so do the secrets hidden within the rooms of the old country house.
I was intrigued by the premise of Rooms by Lauren Oliver. I’m a big fan of her young adult books, so I jumped at the chance to get my hands on a copy of her the upcoming Rooms, her first adult fiction book.
This was completely different than anything I’d read by Lauren and I was pleasantly surprised. The thing that stood out the most for me in this story is the writing itself. It was just gorgeous and I found myself rereading passages just to soak up the words.
Rooms is told in 11 parts and from several different points of view, and to be honest, at first I thought this would be hard to follow because of that, but the flow and pacing of the story worked perfectly for me. While the story isn’t filled with action, the way it is weaved together definitely kept me interested in what was happening.
There is such a unique mix of characters here and I have to admit that I kind of like Sandra the best I think. She was the kind of woman I would have been friends with and I just connected with her thoughts and comments. That said, while I found some of the characters and their actions frustrating, I still understood them and I think it’s okay to not like everyone in a book like this!
This is essentially a ghost story, but it’s not your typical kind of ghost story that’s for sure. Oliver weaves both the normal and paranormal in this seamlessly to create a haunting story filled with layered characters and a riveting story.
Overall, definitely impressed with Lauren Oliver’s masterful writing here. This story has a bit of everything… drama, angst, humor and sadness. If you’re looking for well-written, wonderfully constructed adult fiction, look no further. You’ll definitely find it in Rooms.
Thank you to HarperCollins for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.