Author: Emma Donoghue
First Published: September 13th 2010
Series: Stand Alone
Available As: Hardcover, paperback, ebook
My Copy: Physical copy
My Overall Rating: 8.5/10
I absolutely loved this book! It's been on my bookshelf for so long and now I've finally got round to reading it. Most of this motivation came from the fact that I also want to see the movie... ;)
Room is told from Jack - a five year old boy's - point of view, which made the plot a lot more effective. Jack thinks the whole world is limited to Room and everything else is Outer Space or fictional (i.e. only exists on TV). With his capitalisation and lack of use of indefinite/definite articles shows us how young Jack really is and what he is missing. Jack is so innocent and ignorant of the world, especially since his mom (or Ma as Jack calls her) does this to protect him from the reality they are in. The two of them are so codependent on each other that it is probably quite unhealthy. Jack can't be in a different room from Ma and Ma needs Jack to be around. Slowly they start to adapt to being able to function in different areas, which shows how much they are getting used to things in the real world.
Of course, there were some moments where I found Jack extremely annoying and selfish, but who can blame him? He doesn't understand that being in Room is a bad thing and that escape is good. It takes Ma several tries to convince him that escaping and leaving Room behind is a good thing to do. Well, to be fair, he is only 5 years old. Everything must be very overwhelming for him. It isn't really his fault.
I think that by using Jack as the narrator made the book twenty times more powerful and intriguing. He's young and he doesn't really understand what is really going on, which leaves a lot of gaps in the story. Since Jack has spent most of his childhood locked up in a tiny room with only his mom to communicate with, how functional will he be when he grows up? I guess that is up to us to imagine. But judging from the way Jack is beginning to adjust to the real world, I think he is doing quite well. Even though the whole codependency thing makes me think that he will always be a mommy's boy.
I really liked the ending with the closure it gave. *Spoiler alert* With Jack and Ma re-entering Room after escaping and with Jack saying goodbye to everything, it really gives the image that this chapter of their lives is closed forever. They can finally move on! *Spoiler over* This was a really good ending to a really interesting book. Now, I have got to watch the movie! I wonder how they will portray it, especially since a movie would lose Jack's POV. :)
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