Perhaps the best way to start my review of Lauren Oliver’s ROOMS is to say that I have read stranger books. And this book is the good sort of strange.
The “rooms” of the house are perhaps best described as the ghosts who inhabit the house. These ghosts aren’t your average shiny, see-through, wearing what they wore when they died sort of ghosts. There’s no real visible manifestation here. Alice and Sandy, the ghosts, can slam doors and making light bulbs explode so they are classic in that sense.
And they are the best part of the book because of the way they bicker like two touchy ladies stuck together in the same place. Which they are. They could not exist without each other even as they bother each other. I think it is clear that they know this.
The story that weaves things together are the living people who once lived in the house and return after a death. Minna, Trenton, Amy… they all have their own dark secrets, their own walled off areas inside their souls. And everything comes to a head when they enter the “haunted” house.
There is a simplistic air to the story that is deceiving. You think you know the truth about the dysfunction that is the living family and that is the women in the walls. You do not. Even with the sometimes abrupt flashbacks to Alice and Sandy’s pasts, the threads are all tied together neatly at the end for the most satisfying of conclusions.
(I received a copy of ROOMS through the Goodreads First Reads program in exchange for an honest and original review. All thoughts are my own.)