By Lauren Oliver
Compulsive and powerful ghost story narrated by two spirits who inhabit the walls of an old house. It’s a tale of family, ghosts, secrets, and mystery, in which the lives of the living and the dead intersect in shocking, surprising, and moving ways.Tweet
Our group agreed that this book was easy to read, although not very memorable. The characters were quite complex but not likeable. There were many things unexplained. The ghosts were not at all frightening and were written in a very ‘matter of fact way.’
The book was not plot driven but relied on the characters, which were well described. There were light-hearted parts to the book.
During the book Trenton changed and matured, Mina changed a little, but the other characters stayed very much the same.
The ‘plot’ was unpredictable, with time going back and forward quite easily. The author tried to make the house a character in the story, but did not really pull this off.
All the characters, including the ghosts were looking for closure of some type and the ending (i.e. the fire) was predictable.
Trenton knew about the ghosts from quite early on in the book this could be because he was going through puberty, or possible because he was slightly brain damaged as a result of the accident he had earlier in his life. This would have made him receptive of the supernatural.
We understand that the author had previously written for teenagers and this came through in this book. If we could ask the author a question, we would like to know if this book was based on her own experience in any way.
A likeable, easy to read book, our group gave it an average mark of slightly above 6.
I quite enjoyed this book although I thought the story would be better without the ghosts playing a part.
It over complicated the book which to my mind would have been better just written from each of the characters' point of view - namely, the ex-wife Caroline, son Trenton, daughter Minna and granddaughter Amy.
All in all, not a very happy family but a relatively happy ending.
I enjoyed this book as it kept you guessing what had happened and what each character's outcome would be. Well written and a definite page turner!
My reading group were lucky enough to receive copies of this to review from the team at Reading Groups for Everyone.
I found this to be a slow burner with the second half much better than the first. I found the characters eminently unlikeable. (Somehow their indolence and arrogance reminded me of the dislike I felt for characters in the Great Gatsby. I was then pleased to find out the author was influenced by said book.) I was disappointed that I didn't find it scary at all, the ghosts were merely other 'dramatis personae'. It would seem I'm in the minority though because the rest of my group liked it better than I. They rather liked the gentleness of it and the way the ghosts were part of the furniture, part of the fabric of the house and still had their own secrets and regrets to deal with along with the living. 'Melancholy and loneliness has never been so palpable' said on of our group. Another said although there were no real cliffhangers it had a suspense all its own and she found it hard to put down. So, overall we give this seven or even, eight out of ten and most of us would recommend it to other friends and reading groups.
We read Rooms for our reading group and we thought it was an easy read but that the ending was a bit predictable and that the characters weren't particularly likeable.
We really enjoyed the fact that it was narrated by the ghosts and we felt that the book could be turned into a good film. We thought that it was a clever device to have the book split into sections which covered the different rooms of the house.