September 22, 2014

Blog Tour Review + Interview: Rooms by Lauren Oliver

Title: Rooms
Author: Lauren Oliver
Release Date: September 23rd, 2014 
Page Count: 320
Source: ARC from the Publisher
(I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest
review. No favors were exchanged, my opinions are my own.)
Target Audience: Adults/Lauren Oliver fans/People who like good (slightly more mature) fiction
Barnes & Noble | Amazon | IndieBound | Book Depository  
The New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy makes her brilliant adult debut with this mesmerizing story in the tradition ofThe Lovely Bones, Her Fearful Symmetry, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane—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.

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.

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.


Lauren Oliver has written yet another book I couldn't put down.

To clarify, I'd say Rooms is most like Before I Fall or Panic. It's not quite the same, as it's written for an older audience, but it has a paranormal aspect, like Before I Fall and has all the introspection of both Before I Fall and Panic.

And I say Rooms is for an older audience not because there are themes in the book that someone younger can't comprehend, but because of the mature content. Sex, drugs, and other non-youth friendly elements are woven through the book. So, buyer beware.

Mature elements aside, Rooms is a wow kind of book. It's never quite clear what's going to happen next and, as the story unfolds from multiple points of view and in 11 different parts, you can't help but wonder who or what's going to show up next. The mysteries, murders, ghosts (both the ones haunting the house and the ones metaphorically haunting the individual characters) paint a picture so vivid and creepy I can't help but continue thinking about these characters

Finally, of course, no one can really mimic or match Lauren Oliver's prose. If you want to read a book so well written you'll want to underline every other sentence, this is the one.

Now, since this is a blog tour post and I'm very lucky, here's a brief interview with Lauren Oliver!

Gaby: Three of your books (Leisl & Po, Before I Fall, and Rooms) are about ghosts. Is there a reason you keep returning to this theme?
Lauren Oliver: Oh, I don't know. I guess I'm just fascinated by the afterlife and our sense of it. Maybe it's because I didn't grow up with any standard religion.

Gaby: In the same vein, what's your favorite ghost story?
Lauren Oliver: The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James, definitely. Also, although it isn't technically a ghost story, We Have Always Lived in The Castle, by Shirley Jackson. It's a breathtakingly strange and suspenseful, creepy novel about a family's decay in the aftermath of an enormous tragedy.

Gaby: If Rooms were a YA novel, what would it look like?
Lauren Oliver: That's a great question. For one, there would be no adult POVs, which means the structure would have to completely change. And then it couldn't be ROOMS at all. Or maybe the ghost would be a hot teen girl and she and Trenton would end up snogging, as the British say.

Gaby: Rooms is written from multiple perspectives. Which is your favorite perspective and why?
Lauren Oliver: I loved writing from Trenton's POV. It's so fun to think like a boy, and I just really felt like he was my little brother: I sympathized with him and felt sorry for him and was annoyed by him at the same time.

Gaby: If Rooms had a theme song, what would it be?
Lauren Oliver: Ooooo, I don't know! It's hard to pick just one. I did a great playlist of ROOMS-themed songs. You can check it out HERE.

                        ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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. 

                      Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Thank you to Lauren Oliver for joining me on the blog today! Rooms comes out TOMORROW so if you like what you read here, make sure to grab your copy ASAP!