I am thrilled to be today’s stop on Lauren Oliver’s ROOMS Blog Tour. The author is an incredible writer and manages to do amazing things with each of the genres she’s written for. And her debut adult novel ROOMS is no exception.
ROOMS releases next week and is definitely a must read whether you’re a fan of the author or you just like beautifully written stories that have depth, will make you think, will make you feel, and will stay with you. The description wasn’t wrong when it called this story “haunting.”
For my tour stop, in addition to sharing my thoughts about ROOMS, I was able to ask the author a few questions about writing, about ROOMS and about ghosts. If you’d like to check out both, they follow just a bit further down in this post.
And because I love this book I am offering up a copy of ROOMS for giveaway. So if you’d like the chance to win a finished copy, just enter in the Rafflecopter form.
The tour continues on through October 1st, so if you’d like to follow along, the schedule is at the bottom of the post and I’ll be updating it with direct links to all the stops.
Author: Lauren Oliver
Release date: September 23, 2014
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook
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.
Q. You’ve written novels for both YA and MG audiences and now you’ll be making your adult debut with ROOMS. What have been some of your favorite aspects about writing for each of the different audiences? What were some of the challenges?
The great thing about writing for different age groups is that you can tackle different themes, certainly, but you can also tackle similar themes in very different ways. So in my next YA book, VANISHING GIRLS, I also explore themes of family and the way families fall apart and reconfigure after tragic events, as I do in ROOMS, but in a way that is completely different, and in a tone that’s different. It gives me the ultimate ability as a storyteller to pursue whatever it is I want to do, which is the greatest blessing I can think of. In terms of the challenges–all stories are challenging, in their own ways. I’m not sure that it has much to do with the audience, per se.
Q. Did you have to change your approach when writing ROOMS? If so, what adjustments did you make, i.e., to style, voice, character development?
I don’t think I consciously changed my approach, any more than I do when tackling a new book or a new set of characters for the first time. Methodologically, it was still the same–I “wrote my way in,” meaning I just started playing in the world for a while before determining what should actually happen from a narrative perspective. And then, as always, I took a step backward and tried to nail down the story I wanted to tell.
Q. ROOMS has been described as “haunting” – and not simply for the fact that it’s a ghost story – and it’s not the first novel you’ve written that has been characterized as such. What is it that appeals to you about this quality in a story? And how are you able to bring this quality out in each of the books you write?
I definitely like books that stay with you. I think that’s what people mean when they say my books are haunting–that they linger with you, engage you, and force you to think about them afterward. I’m not sure how I achieve this effect, actually–it certainly isn’t conscious–but I know that I try to make hard or unconventional choices, and that I only tackle themes, stories, and characters that feel important to me for some reason, and that allow me to ask questions I think are important to ask.
Q. What made you choose to use both the living and the dead to tell this story? What were the challenges, if any, in creating each of their worlds and having them intersect?
It was a process I found my way into organically. I started, really, with two separate ideas: the idea of the family in crisis; and the idea of the house as a living, breathing, entity. I had numerous fits and starts, and multiple trashed drafts, before I found a way to unify both ideas into a workable novel.
Q. If you lived in a house that was haunted by ghosts, which of the ghosts in the Walker’s house would you not mind haunting yours – and why?
Oh, lord–I would hope none of them! I do actually have an old house and several of my guests have reported strange experiences–so it’s possible I do have ghosts. But hopefully our lives won’t converge in such…explosive ways.
About Lauren Oliver
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. You can visit her online at www.laurenoliverbooks.com.
Lauren Oliver’s ROOMS is a beautifully written story that is powerful and moving and dramatic and richly developed. Told from several points of view, each character’s story unfolds in a rather unique way, room by room. The description promises a story that is haunting and ROOMS lives up to that promise – it will make readers think and feel not only throughout the read but for a long time after the story’s end.
The author created characters who have vastly different personalities, traits and backgrounds, yet she managed to bring each of their individual voices to life in her novel. And while initially it might seem they have nothing in common, they have a connection that extends beyond the fact that at one point in time in their lives they resided in what is currently the Walker home.
ROOMS is an absolutely heartrending tale. Each of the characters – Alice, Sandra, Caroline, Minna, Trenton and even Richard Walker – have secrets that weigh them down and sorrow that is destroying them. Each of them yearns for an escape. Every one of their stories is so very sad.
I loved getting to know the living, barely living, and the no-longer-living characters in ROOMS. Each one of them was completely different from the other, which made this an incredibly engaging, at times fun and quirky, at others dark and disturbing, read. I connected with each character in a different way, but I did make a connection with them all. I empathized with what they were going through, what they went through and their inability to move beyond what was trapping them.
Lauren Oliver crafted a story that will stay with me for quite some time. It was filled with passages and thoughts and ideas that I want to revisit, think about for a bit longer. It put me through an emotional wringer. It left me feeling scooped out and empty. All I could think was “wow” when I read those final words and thoughts.
The author’s first attempt at a novel aimed at an adult audience was hugely successful. ROOMS has gorgeous writing and depth of characters and plot. The way the story is presented is creative and original. The residents of the Walker home are interesting, their stories fascinating. It is a story filled with secrets, mystery, tragedy, sorrow, loss and ultimately freedom. It is a story that is an absolute must read.
I’m giving away a hardcover copy of ROOMS by Lauren Oliver to ONE winner.
- Must be 18 or older to enter
- There will be ONE winner
- Giveaway is International
- Book will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location
- Giveaway ends on October 1st at 11:59 p.m. Pacific
- Winner will be chosen by Random via Rafflecopter
- Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter and contacted by email
- Winner has 48 hours to respond with their details or another winner will be chosen
Just enter in the Rafflecopter below…
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Tour Schedule
Sept. 15th – Andrea of Reading Lark – Interview
Sept. 16th – Wendy of Midnight Garden
Sept. 17th – Hafsah of Icey Books – Interview
Sept. 18th – Melissa of I Swim for Oceans – Review
Sept. 19th – Rachel of Fiktshun – Interview & Review
Sept. 22nd – Jaime of Fiction Fare – Interview & Review
Sept. 23rd – Jessica of Read My Breath Away – Review
Sept. 24th – Gaby of Queen Ella Bee Reads – Interview & Review
Sept. 25th – Stephanie of A Dream Within A Dream – Review
Sept. 26th – Anna of Anna Reads – Review
Sept. 29th – Katie of Katie’s Book Blog – Review
Sept. 30th – Valerie of Sweeps4Bloggers – Review
Oct. 1st – Gabrielle of The Mod Podge Bookshelf