by Lauren Oliver

Other Format(Unabridged Library Edition)

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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 of The 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781483028521
Publisher: Blackstone Pub
Publication date: 09/23/2014
Edition description: Unabridged Library Edition
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

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.

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Rooms: A Novel 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
AdamSilvera More than 1 year ago
When I heard ghosts would be (partially) narrating "Rooms" I thought I was in for in a tale of vengeance or some human/ghost buddy cop journey toward resolution so the ghost can move on to the afterlife. But being familiar with Lauren Oliver's previous novels I should've known she'd defy convention and breathe new life to ghost stories. The ghosts in the novel, Alice and Sandra, are former residents of the house they inhabit. Alice and Sandra died in the house much like the most recent resident, Richard Walker, who has just died when the book begins. Richard's family (ex-wife, teenage son, unforgiving daughter) show up to collect their inheritance and clean the home, which is the setting for the entire book. Oliver divides the book by room, and manages her entire cast seamlessly as they explore each section. The narrators are all so well-developed anyone could've been "the main character" which is an enviable feat. I'm personally partial to Alice and Sandra because their histories captivated me, but Trenton (the teenage son) was another favorite. The prose evokes humanity in each character and is simply damn beautiful. What really drives the novel along to its glowing finish is an unearthed family secret and the appearance of a new ghost (spoiler: not Richard Walker, it's much cooler than that). A good pick for fans of Neil Gaiman's "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" and readers who are ready to welcome a ghost story into their homes that will haunt them in a truly unique way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was intrigued because this book got pretty good reviews, but I thought it was weird. Definitely not worth the $13.59 it cost for the nook book. The story itself was interesting enough but the characters left me feeling like I needed a bath. I didn't hate it, but wouldn't recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I returned this book. It was not what I expected from the description. The writing style was poor. I would not recommend reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for your typical scary haunted house story, do not get this book. This story is so much more than that. It is beautiful story about the ghosts and people who dwell together and how some of us can so easily get lost and how everyone deserves to be heard. I would have given it five stars but the writing got a bit sloppy at the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read
BooksVertigoandTea More than 1 year ago
Explaining exactly what I experienced with Rooms is going to be a challenge. It was not what I was expecting, but I am not sure my own expectations were very clear. First of all, this book is one big heaping pile of mess. I do not mean that in the sense that the story is improperly executed, because if anything, this is probably where Rooms shines the most for me. The execution is flawless! What I am telling you, is that this is a story surrounding several very dysfunctional and broken lives. The cast of characters are seriously suffering issues. There are no “feel good” moments to be had. Seek those out in another title. These pages are teeming with memories. Memories that are elegantly presented in a way that weaves an eerily magical and fantastic tale of lives entwined and the home they have built and become attached to. “Memory is as thick as mud. It rises up, it overwhelms. It sucks you down and freezes you where you stand. Thrash and kick and gnash your teeth. There’s no escaping it.” ― Lauren Oliver, Rooms The characters presented to us range from previous occupants Alice and Sandra who now take up residence within the walls of the home in Coral River and the most recent owner’s family that has come to tend to affairs after his passing. We have a bitter ex-wife Caroline, a lonely and desperate daughter and single mother Minna, and a socially withdrawn and depressed teenage son Trenton. Finding the ability to love this family is no easy task, as they arrive with some pretty intense baggage. Caroline is determined to drown her feelings in vodka, while Minna fills the void inside her with vanity and promiscuity. Trenton is on the verge of suicide and quickly learns he is not the only lost soul within the home. Seriously, they are a train wreck. It was their sorrow though that continually drew me to each of them. Through all of the chaos that is their lives, there is pain that can be seen. On that level I found my ability to connect and appreciate. Narration is provided as courtesy of the two deceased residents, Alice and Sandra. They occupy every space of the home and seem to have actually become a large part of the home over the years. Unable to escape the walls within or one another, the events that unfold as Richard Walker’s family prepares for his memorial service are seen through their eyes. There are an unrelenting presence. “I can’t stop thinking about what Caroline said to Minna about death. It isn’t an infection, she said. She might be right. Then again, we’ve nested in the walls like bacteria. We’ve taken over the house, its insulation and its plumbing – we’ve made it our own. Or maybe it’s life that’s the infection: a feverish dream, a hallucination of feelings. Death is purification, a cleaning, a cure.” ― Lauren Oliver, Rooms But this is not your average ghost story. This is a story about life, the choices we make, our abilities to cope and eventually let go. Sometimes it is not always a ghosts that haunts us, but our own past and regrets. Broken into 11 parts (each centered upon a room of the house) we are taken on a journey that dives deep into human relationships, the memories that are built and the objects that those memories can become attached to. The author presents a raw confrontation of life in the most hauntingly and beautiful manner. The exquisite and almost poetic writing flawlessly creates a melancholic tale that resonates long after the final page.
BooksCatsEtc More than 1 year ago
This is, hands down, one of the best and most original ghost stories I've ever read. It centers around the highly dysfunctional family of the recently deceased Richard Walker -- his alcoholic ex-wife, their nymphomaniac adult daughter, and their suicidal teenage son. Also in the living mix is the nympho daughter's little girl, who is still too young to have gotten twisted out of shape. They've gathered at Walker's house for a week to hold his memorial and get all the legalities taken care of before going back to their own home. Also in Walker's house are two ghosts, Alice and Sandra, previous residents who died there and are still inhabiting the place. When I use the word "inhabiting", I mean it literally. The ghosts are not separate from the house, their disembodied consciousnesses are using the house as a body, just as in life they used their human forms. Their physical senses and perceptions are now filtered thru the house they are both bound to -- here Alice, the older ghost, describes ghostliness and losing the sense of a human body: "Day is no longer day to us, and night no longer night. Hours are different shades of hot and warm, damp and dry. We no longer pay attention to the clocks. Why should we? 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. And night is shivering, and the feel of mice sniffing around our skin." "But as time went on, as I learned to see by touch, and hear by echo, as air does, and smell the ways walls do, by absorption, the old body receded further and further into the past, and so did my ability to affect things in the physical world." Their personalities, however, remain the same and their "color commentary" on the Walker family makes for some interesting reading. This is Sandra, the younger ghost, describing the teenage boy: "He stands up -- which is to say, he slurps his way off the chair and oozes out of the room." In case you're wondering, the recently late Richard is not around, much to Alice and Sandra's relief since neither of them liked the man. They both believe it's because he died in the hospital rather than at home. They turn out to be wrong about what binds the dead to the living world, and that is the meat of this story. "Rooms" is about the poisonous nature of secrets -- those we keep from others and from ourselves -- how they distort and deform things, causing the living to ruin their lives and the dead to be trapped in the place where their secrets originated. Only by letting go of the secrets and accepting the truth, however painful, can any of them move on. Aside from being an interesting take on the nature of ghosts, this story is beautifully written. I was very much surprised to find that Oliver's reputation is largely as a young adult fiction writer, as this book does not read as young adult to me but then I admit not reading much of that genre so what do I know? In any case, I strongly recommend this book, even for people who don't usually read ghost stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Favorite book by lauren oliver
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I loved this book and the way it is completely different from everything I have ever read
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
A death has occurred and the family has now returned to settle the estate. The estranged spouse and grown children have now returned to their childhood home to see what their father has left for them. Walking throughout the structure brings back memories, some pleasant and other not so pleasing but it is the other guests who cannot be seen who bring life to the story. As the individuals open the door, you can feel the hostility and the bitterness as they walk through the two-story home. There seems to be no sorrow for the loss of a life but more resentment for the task for which is now presented to them. I felt anger and frustrated, for this was their father/ex-husband and this was the feeling that they harbored towards him. What happened to cause such feelings and why did he left this mess, I had to know. As the tale progresses, each chapter is told by different individuals some living and some not. The ghosts tell another side to the story which the human characters do not reveal, it is their honesty and their reflecting back into the past that lets us see how all the individuals were really like and paints for us a true picture. Trenton, I felt for his boy, he really is searching for something or someone and I don’t think his family is the answer. When I think of ghosts, I think of séances in dark rooms with candles, holding hands and calling for those in the world beyond and they attempt this in the book. They try to talk to the ghosts and they get is the one part that I loved, the one part that I had been waiting for. I was hoping this book would be more chilling, more creepy but it more a story, a tale that told of people bringing their lives together once more under one roof with all their issues. Their problems then escalated, everyone pointing their fingers, within a house that is possessed with its own secrets.
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