This review is for the audiobook version of Rooms, by Lauren Oliver.
This isn’t a book I probably would have come across on my own, but sometimes I trust the Overdrive algorithm and choose a book based on its recommendations for me, and occasionally it works out. This was one of those books.
The story revolves around a house, one that has seen life, death, love, and sorrow. It has also absorbed a couple of ghosts, both women who had lived and died in the house. We begin with the ghosts talking to each other, wondering what will become of the dying man who lives there, and then dealing with his family as they try to clean out his cluttered home, only one of who suspects they are there. The story is less linear than most, bouncing from the experiences of the family back to memories of the ghosts, tying together themes of love and loss and family.
I probably liked this more as an audiobook than I would have in print, the different readers bringing different personalities to the narrators as it switches between the ghosts and the members of the family. It isn’t a happy story; the family doesn’t learn an important lesson and begin to treat each other better, they leave being as horrible as when they arrived.
There were a few plots that seemed unnecessary: a secret daughter and a missing child. It could have used more lighter chapters from the 6 year old child’s point of view and her obsession with the book-within-the-book. I found it very entertaining and I painted most of my home while listening to it.