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Rooms: A Novel

Rooms: A Novel


Rooms: A Novel

valutazioni:
3.5/5 (26 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
9 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Sep 23, 2014
ISBN:
9780062350701
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Nota del redattore

Spooky & engrossing...

Beloved YA author Lauren Oliver makes her adult debut with this moving story of a family living in the past—and surrounded by ghosts trapped in the present. Intricate, engrossing, and, yes, a bit spooky, “Rooms” is a page-turner.

Descrizione

After a number of highly acclaimed New York Times bestsellers, including the Delirium trilogy and the standalone novels Before I Fall and Panic, Lauren Oliver returns with a spellbinding tale that confirms her place as one of our finest storytellers. Fueled by the same inspired feel for plot and character that drew readers to Oliver's earlier works, Rooms is a mesmerizing and suspenseful story of guilt, love, and family secrets.

Estranged patriarch Richard Walker has died, leaving behind a country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His alienated family-bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna-have arrived for their inheritance.

But the Walkers are not alone. Alice and Sandra, two long-dead and restless ghosts, linger within the house's claustrophobic walls, bound eternally to its physical structure. Jostling for space and memory, 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 lightbulb.

The living and dead are haunted by painful truths that 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.

Elegantly constructed and brilliantly paced, Rooms is an enticing and imaginative ghost story and a searing family drama that is as haunting as it is resonant.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Sep 23, 2014
ISBN:
9780062350701
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Informazioni sull'autore

Lauren Oliver is the cofounder of media and content development company Glasstown Entertainment, where she serves as the President of Production. She is also the New York Times bestselling author of the YA novels Replica, Vanishing Girls, Panic, and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem, which have been translated into more than thirty languages. The film rights to both Replica and Lauren's bestselling first novel, Before I Fall, were acquired by Awesomeness Films. Before I Fall was adapted into a major motion picture starring Zoey Deutch. It debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017, garnering a wide release from Open Road Films that year. Oliver is a 2012 E. B. White Read-Aloud Award nominee for her middle-grade novel Liesl & Po, as well as author of the middle-grade fantasy novel The Spindlers and The Curiosity House series, co-written with H.C. Chester. She has written one novel for adults, Rooms. Oliver co-founded Glasstown Entertainment with poet and author Lexa Hillyer. Since 2010, the company has developed and sold more than fifty-five novels for adults, young adults, and middle-grade readers. Some of its recent titles include the New York Times bestseller Everless, by Sara Holland; the critically acclaimed Bonfire, authored by the actress Krysten Ritter; and The Hunger by Alma Katsu, which received multiple starred reviews and was praised by Stephen King as “disturbing, hard to put down” and “not recommended…after dark.” Oliver is a narrative consultant for Illumination Entertainment and is writing features and TV shows for a number of production companies and studios. Oliver received an academic scholarship to the University of Chicago, where she was elected Phi Beta Kappa. She received a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from New York University. www.laurenoliverbooks.com.

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3.5
26 valutazioni / 29 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (3/5)
    I liked the concept of the ghosts "living" in the house and commenting on the lives being lived there. I like the dysfuctional family trying to figure out what comes next after the death of the father. The characters were all good, but something about this book didn't come together for me. I don't know if it was the ghosts history being referenced obliquely all the time and only coming out in pieces or how they tied to the main story, I don't know. It just didn't work for me.
  • (5/5)
    The creaks and groans you hear in your house? Those aren’t just the house settling. Those noises are whispers of ghosts, of people who died in your house and have to stay there. They see everything that happens, they remember their own lives, and, if they try really hard, they can make things happen in the house. When the patriarch of a family dies, his estranged family comes to settle the estate. Family drama, long buried, comes to the surface, and the ghosts in the house are agitated by it. There are many layers to this story, building suspense, mystery, and a great deal of satisfaction with the ending.
  • (3/5)
    Okay, fairly average. Nothing unexpected but engaging enough to finish. Not as dark as I had hoped or eerie, but an interesting premise. Predictable.
  • (2/5)
    During the progress of this book, I found myself feeling frustrated trying to follow the number of different entwined stories. By the end of the book, I still couldn't quite fit all the pieces together. However, this book was a very "real" book, in the sense that it touches on everyday real-life problems, emotions, and psychological barriers - definitely not a feel-good type of book. For that, it was a little tender, but overall, it was quite dark.
  • (2/5)
    During the progress of this book, I found myself feeling frustrated trying to follow the number of different entwined stories. By the end of the book, I still couldn't quite fit all the pieces together. However, this book was a very "real" book, in the sense that it touches on everyday real-life problems, emotions, and psychological barriers - definitely not a feel-good type of book. For that, it was a little tender, but overall, it was quite dark.
  • (3/5)
    This wasn't a bad book--just not what I was expecting. It is a "ghost story" in the sense that there are ghosts as characters. It was mostly a family drama where a dysfunctional family gets together after the death of the ex-husband/father. The ghosts are POV characters that also inhabit the house and there is some mystery around why they are there and what happened to tie them there. The book jumps between different characters, living and dead which didn't seem necessary most of the time. Some stuff happens and the "mystery" is solved but so many things that happened in the book seemed so random. Maybe I should have passed on this one since it is compared to The Ocean at the End of the Lane and I thought that was way overrated as well.
  • (3/5)
    When Richard Walker dies, his family returns to their old house in upstate New York to settle his estate: his estranged alcoholic wife Caroline, their depressed teenage son Trenton, their lonely older daughter Minna, and Minna's six-year-old Amy. But the house the family returns to isn't quite empty after all. Like most houses, this one has a storied history including the ghosts of a few former residents who haven't quite moved on.The premise of the book is really excellent, but it doesn't live up to its potential. The characters are kind of boring and stereotypical. Minna literally has sex with every man she meets within an hour of meeting them (due to daddy issues, of course). Caroline "secretly" drinks vodka all morning because her husband cheated on her. Trenton is a teenager with acne who has trouble with girls and wants to kill himself. It's all been done before. The ghosts living in the house were slightly more interesting, but their stories were similar and I had trouble remembering who was who. In the end, all the issues are tied up in a neat, little, unrealistic bow. And then a tighter bow. And then a tighter bow. And then one more bow, just in case you didn't get the picture.
  • (4/5)
    I'd probably actually give this one 3.5 stars, if half stars were possible. Since they're not, I'll give it the edge into 4.

    "Rooms" is Oliver's first foray into adult fiction, and I have to say it's a marked difference from her YA novels that I have read (Before I Fall and the Delirium series). That's not a bad thing, though. In Rooms, she really explores a lot -- family, secrets, and what it means to be alive (or dead). The story begins with the death of Richard Walker. His death necessitates his family's return to the house -- his ex-wife, son, daughter, and granddaughter. In addition to his family, there are 2 resident ghosts who reside in the home, having died there - Sandra and Alice.

    The chapters alternate perspectives, switching off between the two ghosts and the members of the Walker family. As the story progresses, all of the characters are forced to face truths about themselves and their lives, even if their lives are no more. The Walker family's secrets are layered over those of Alice and Sandra, and the lives they lived in the house, and the secrets they kept.

    While I noticed very mixed reviews of Rooms, I have to say I enjoyed it. I don't know that any of the revelations were all that shocking, but they weren't overly predictable either. The characters were interesting, and nuanced, though there were quite a few to keep track of. It was a enjoyable, worthwhile read.
  • (4/5)
    Rooms is a different take on the classic haunted house story. The house in question is haunted by two women whose spirits have essentially merged with the house and can observe--even experience, in a sense--everything that happens inside. When Richard Walker, who owns the house, dies, his estranged, extremely dysfunctional family returns to clean up the place. There is a suicidal teen, his sex-addicted sister, and their alcoholic mom. Essentially, this is a family drama with ghosts--not scary, more sad. The overall theme is the need to let go. Not letting go of their hurts and mistakes has caused all the current dysfunction of the living as well as trapped the ghosts in the house. About midway through the story, two new characters show up: another ghost, this time a young girl, and a manic pixie dream girl type. Their purpose is to demonstrate to the others how to let go. Oliver hits us over the head with this message quite a few times, as she does with the "rooms" metaphor--essentially, we are all spirits trapped in our own haunted houses, our bodies, which are full of rooms, and rooms can conceal secrets even from ourselves. But the writing is quite good, the house itself is a fully realized character, and the end is satisfying. Oliver may be best known for writing young adult fiction, but this is an adult novel, a meditation on what we regret doing and not doing in our lives.Read in 2015 for the SFFCat.
  • (4/5)
    Not my normal kind of book, but turned out to be a great read.
  • (5/5)
    Brilliant! Purely memorizing! I did not want to put this book down! Why, oh why, have I not read one of this author's books before? Sheer genius! I absolutely loved this! Her writing style is wonderful-the words flow across the pages so smoothly. I could read this all over again, from beginning to end. Wonderful!
  • (3/5)
    Appropriately I read this book over the Hallowe'en season. It is a very well-done ghost story with a little human interest which is revealed piecemeal through the characters in the book - both living and dead. The big old house in the book is as much a character as the people, and the two long-dead ghosts in the house speak to the Walker family through the house and its rooms. It is an interesting way to reveal a plot, but this book does it through the observations and interactions between the two ghosts. The Walker family is there to bury the father of the family and to empty out the old house. It is a troubled family with an alcoholic mother, a nymphomaniac older sister with her six year old daughter Amy and a sixteen year old troubled boy who is the one that seems to hear and communicate with the ghosts in the house. The book is quite well-written and moves smoothly along. It is a collection of narratives from the point of view of everyone sharing the house including the ghosts. Family secrets are uncovered and an explosive ending puts the old house out of its misery. The book, even though it is about the paranormal, keeps a sure foot in reality and in human feeling.
  • (3/5)
    I wanted it to be more Gothic than it was; it's much more like mainstream fiction that happens to have some ghosts than like a ghost story.
  • (4/5)
    I had never read anything by this author and I wondered why. Then I discovered this is her first adult fiction and I'm glad she crossed over, she's good! I didn't get hooked until half way through the book and I'm so glad I stuck with it. Really interesting how everything melded together at the end and I hope to see more from Lauren Oliver!
  • (3/5)
    I wasn't hooked until about 1/2 way through. Although there were times of beautifully written passages, more times than not I found myself struggling with her use of passive voice. Still, in the end ROOMS was a unique ghost story.
  • (4/5)
    3.5 First offering in adult fiction for this YA author and it is a very unusual ghost story. Two adult ghosts are stuck in a house, they don't remember why, only bits and pieces of their death. It is a house that Caroline, Mina and Trenton along with Mina's young daughter are returning to after the death of their estranged father, and in the case of Caroline, her husband. All seem to have negative memories of Richard but they are there to do their duty, hear the will read, clean out the house and attend Richard's memorial service. When I first started reading this it reminded me somewhat of the tone of Beetlejuice. Entertaining and amusing, a not very scary ghost story, but as you read on you realize there is much more to this book. Yet, in its presentation is still remained fun to read. All these people have secrets, bear grudges, remember things incorrectly and are unable to move forward in life or death. The back stories of the living and the dead are revealed in bits and pieces, a new younger ghost arrives at the house and stirs things up even more. A comedy of errors with some serious undertones ensues.A good and fun read, well done for this first adult effort by Oliver. A ghost story for those who don't like the scary and the macabre.
  • (2/5)
    this story is disjointed.I enjoyed it when I was reading it,but difficult to pick up again when it was time to read. Interesting to read the story form the ghosts views. I feel like I wasted my reading time with this one.
  • (3/5)
    A decent modern ghost story that focused mainly on the characters. I would give it 3.5 stars if possible. It was a fairly short book that was worth the read.
  • (4/5)
    Lauren Oliver once again proves what a multitalented author she is with her first adult novel, Rooms. This book is a multifaceted ghost story with layers of secrets, betrayals and disappointments. After his death, Richard Walker's family returns to his home to hold a memorial service and to ready the property for sale. Unbeknownst to his family there are ghosts of the previous inhabitants watching the family and commenting on their daily lives. When a new ghost arrives at the house, Richard's young son finds that he can communicate with her and the two worlds come together with interesting results. Rooms is a wonderful read with luscious prose, rich atmosphere and intriguing characters. I know this book hasn't gotten mixed reviews but I enjoyed the book and this dark and haunting story.
  • (1/5)
    Dull. Boring. Pointless.
  • (3/5)
    Meh. Well-written, I suppose, but ultimately it just wasn't really about anything I'm interested in.
  • (3/5)
    Rooms by Lauren Oliver, is a chilling mix of a ghost story, gothic, and paranormal, with ghosts who cannot leave the house, and an estranged family drama in which the ex-husband dies, leaving his alcoholic ex-wife, angry daughter and teen son to clean out their former home, not knowing that it's haunted.

    A house full of rooms, characters, ghosts, and unresolved issues. Upon Richard Walker’s death, his scattered family returns to clear out his house, which they hope to inherit. His ex-wife, Caroline, soothes bad marital memories with alcohol. His grown daughter, Minna, brings along her own six-year-old daughter, Amy, and a deep-seated resentment of her father, while his suicidal son, Trenton, struggles with teenage angst in the aftermath of a debilitating car accident.

    Trenton first senses the haunting presence of others in the home. The spirits of Alice and Sandra, two women who lived in the house at different times, now find themselves confined there together, squabbling with each other as they watch the family cope with Richard’s messy legacy.

    Soon a new female spirit close to Trenton’s age enters the house, and Alice conceives a dangerous plan to free herself of its prison. Some wacko crazy dead and living character, all tripped in the past wanting to escape. The living and dead are haunted by painful truths, mystery, mistakes, sadness, buried secrets, pain, and regret for a haunting tale.

    Again, I listened to the audiobook narrated by Orlagh Cassidy, Barbara Caruso, Elizabeth Evans, Noah Galvin, Cynthia Darlow (so I did enjoy the different voices and had a few favorites with a full 9 hrs and 20 min length). After a while they became a little annoying, and slow, so was not fully engaged, as I currently have too many “A” books to read; however, while driving or doing other work, I like audiobooks (my “B” list). So not a lot to choose from when you have read most of the new releases in advance, so trying to expand my reading.

    If you enjoy this type of genre, sure fans will love. Myself – not so much. This was my first book by Oliver, so will give her other books a try, as have heard great things about the author's work, as a talented writer (I need to like the characters).
  • (3/5)
    Richard Walker has just died, and his estranged family comes back to the house to pack up his things. His alcoholic ex-wife Caroline and very troubled kids Minna, 28 (who has a daughter Amy), and 16-year-old Trenton are not alone in the house, however. Alice and Sandra, long-dead ghosts, also occupy the rooms, and have plenty to say about the family currently occupying them, as well as about their own secrets in the past.The narration goes back and forth between ghosts Alice and Sandra in the first person, and the living people in the third person, a sort of nice ironic touch. As the story continues, the secrets unfold of both the living and the dead, revealing why each of the characters is in need of some sort of closure.Discussion: Not all the aspects of ghost-ness held together for me; a few of the premises seemed inconsistent. Moreover, some of the metaphors used to describe the sensations of the ghosts seemed a bit nonsensical to me, such as “Noon is the taste of sawdust, and the feel of a splinter under a nail. Morning is mud and crumbling caulk. Evening is the smell of cooked tomatoes and mildew.” That neither means anything to me, nor evokes anything identifiable to me. I also thought there were a few too many references (irrelevant, as far as I could tell) to the awareness of the ghosts to what people did in the bathroom. But most importantly, there isn’t really anyone remotely likable in the book with the possible exception of Trenton, who is, however, so (justifiably) miserable, that it was difficult to consider him a “bright spot” in the book.Evaluation: This book didn’t work well for me, but I’m not such a fan of dysfunctional-family books or ghost stories at any rate.
  • (4/5)
    Yes, there are ghosts here, but if you are looking for a horror story this is not the book for you. If you like stories that draw you in and are filled with flawed characters then get comfortable in your favorite reading chair and give this one a try. Richard Walker has passed away and his ex-wife, daughter, son, and granddaughter come to his remote house to settle his estate. We find that all of the characters, including the resident ghosts, have their issues. The author takes us room by room through the house as she slowly reveals each person's darkest secrets as they all come to grips with Richard’s death. As I said even with ghost this is not a horror story. Yet, it will haunt you in another way as it tugs at your emotions as we explore each person’s pain and suffering.
  • (4/5)
    The Walkers are a Dysfunctional Family. After Richard Walker’s death, his ex-wife and their two children arrive at the former family home to claim their inheritance, prepare for a funeral and maybe come to terms with the past. As they move further into the house and from room to room to pack up Richard’s possessions, so the reader also delves further into their troubled and unhappy lives, and we discover that the living aren’t the only ones inhabiting the house. The resident ghosts take a keen interest in the earthly goings-on, and long-buried secrets are revealed.This novel is told in the first person from the point of view of the two resident ghosts, Alice and Sandra, and in the third person following the rest of the Walker family: alcoholic ex-wife Caroline, single mum Minna and daughter Amy, and sullen teenager Trenton. I really liked the set-up of dividing the narration into different parts based on the rooms in which most of the action took place, and though none of the characters is particularly likeable, I felt sorry for all of them. At times it appeared as if I were an intruder, witnessing their intensely personal periods of self-loathing, pain and grief, and there are some beautifully crafted passages, especially those spoken by the ghosts. But as with Lauren Oliver’s other book I’ve read, Panic, I believe that the author feels she has to pull all the threads together at the end and leave nothing unresolved or unexplained; the end result is too neat and, with the messiness of the situation and the personal lives of the characters, packs less of a punch than if there was a degree of ambiguity or open-endedness at the conclusion.A gripping enough read that is let down slightly by its somewhat predictable, too-tidy ending.(This review was first written as part of Amazon's Vine programme.)
  • (5/5)
    Rooms is about a family, returning to their old home after the death of the husband/father. Included are the ex-wife, the teenage son, the grown daughter and her six year old daughter. All were estranged from the deceased for some time. Rooms is also about the two ghosts that are part of the house, their frustrations at being trapped there and their secrets that hold them there.I’ve seen some reviews that complain that none of the characters in this book are likable. I disagree. Every character in this book does have some major problem, but that doesn’t necessarily make them unlikable. I think it makes them human. Caroline, the ex-wife/mother, has a drinking problem and a painful past history with her, now deceased, ex-husband. Trenton, the teenager, seems to suffer from depression. He is a loner, though he seems to want more friends, and he has poor self-esteem. He was in a bad car accident and wishes he had died then. He is having suicidal thoughts throughout most of the book. Minna, the grown daughter, has a history of sexual abuse and has indiscriminate sexual encounters with many men in her attempt to feel something. She also seems depressed. Amy, her six-year-old daughter, is arguably the most well-adjusted person in the house. The ghosts, Alice and Sandra, have been trapped together in the house for ages. They argue with each other all the time and each have their own past secrets they’re hiding. It is the guilt they carry that keeps them trapped.So, everybody has significant issues, but this is an adult novel, not a young adult novel, and it’s not at all uncommon for adults (especially in books) to be experiencing some kind of personal problem. If you try to compare Rooms to Oliver’s YA works, Rooms is going to feel depressing and the characters unlikable. You have to compare Rooms to other similar adult novels. If you do, you can see that, though flawed, the characters are well-developed and they grow through the novel and come to terms with some of their issues, at least to the point that they can now begin to heal. I thought the characters were more realistic in Rooms, there was no perfect guy rushing in to save the girl, no perfect girl to steal the bad boy’s heart. Don’t get me wrong, I love YA romances, even insta-love sometimes, but there’s a grittiness in adult novels that is usually missing in YA books. Just keep that in mind when tempted to compare Rooms to Oliver’s YA books.I enjoyed Rooms. It did move a little slowly at times, but I thought the characters were interesting and I genuinely cared about what happened to them and how they would all turn out in the end. The ghosts were intriguing and very unique as far as ghosts go. I was waiting through the whole book to find out what Alice’s real story was and what she was going to do to get free.My only disappointment with Rooms was that I saw some blurbs describing it as “creepy” and “a good October read”. Therefore, I expected some creepiness. There was none, at least in my opinion. I mean, I read ghost stories as a child from books written for children that were ten times creepier than Rooms. It was a good read, and there are ghosts in the story, but this was much more of a drama than a ghost story. Visit my blog at bookwormbookreviews.com for more reviews and other features.
  • (4/5)
    This novel is billed as a ghost story, and it certainly qualifies, but it isn’t typical of the breed at all. Instead of getting second or third-hand accounts of hauntings and some sort of mercurial revenge against the living, Oliver gives us first person narratives from two ghosts occupying the same house. They didn’t know each other in life or even lived in the same decade, but both are incapable of leaving and are stuck with each other. Like roommates who don’t know each other, but have to live together, Sandra and Alice have an uncomfortable relationship made worse by the fact that neither can turn off the sensory net that engulfs them. In death there is no sleep apparently, as much as I’d like to believe what Warren Zevon had to say about it. They have, in some mysterious way, become part of the house itself, experiencing and influencing the physical world through its doors, windows, floors and ceilings. They perceive everything that is going on in the house at once and it’s sort of like a Total Perspective Vortex except they are the most important piece in their universe (like Zaphod), but without the need for fairy cake.As in any ghost story, there are the living as well as the dead. In this case a family who has come back to deal with the house after the owner (father and ex-husband) has died. To say they are estranged is putting it mildly. Even though they have plenty of bickering and complaining to do, we never get a clear picture of Richard, the dead man whose house they have to clean out. He was a borderline hoarder and while probably a jerk, wasn’t deliberately cruel to his children or wife. Still, he did leave behind a huge mess both literally and emotionally. Without giving anything away, I’ll tell you that the mystery of why the ghosts persist is done very well. Each is an unreliable narrator of sorts, denying much and hiding more. When a new ghost shows up (what is with this house?), things get worse and the mystery of who she is and why she’s there begins to unravel. Nicely done and I’ll probably read more by this writer.
  • (4/5)
    This is a story with ghosts in it, but it is not a traditional ghost story. There are no chains rattling, no dishes being thrown, no bleeding walls. Two ghosts inhabit the house of the late Richard Walker: Alice and Sandra. They spend most of their time getting on each others nerves, until Walker’s ex-wife, Caroline; their daughter Minna and son Trenton; and Minna’s four year old daughter Amy come to deal with the funeral and estate. Things change rapidly for them at this point. Everyone, living or dead, has secrets and problems that start coming out. Caroline can’t face anything- including getting out of bed- without alcohol. Minna only seems to find life bearable if she’s shagging someone- anyone at all. Trenton is still recovering, both physically and emotionally, from a nasty car accident along with being one of those kids whom everyone in school picks on. They are all absorbed in their own pains and cannot really see each other- until Trenton meets girls both living and dead. This is a great family drama as well as a mystery; why are the two (and then three, as another joins them part way into the story) ghosts stuck in the house? What do some missing girls have to do with them? The story shows the perils of being trapped in the past and not facing up to things. The characters, other than Trenton, are very deeply flawed and, in fact, not likable at all. They are the kind of people who, if they were your neighbors, you would wish they would move away. But they are capable of learning from their mistakes, and this made me feel better about them. The book lacks somewhat in depth- there are too many characters to get deeply into most of them- but I understand that this is the author’s first venture into adult fiction and this could be the reason. I’m willing to give this book 4 stars and look for more of the author’s work.
  • (2/5)
    The description sounded interesting and promising but either it didn't deliver or I just didn't understand it. I tried listening to the audio version but there are 5 different readers and most of it was mumbled. So...I thought I'd give the book a try. Frankly I can't remember when I have been more bored with a book.