What Did You Think of…Room?

What did you

Today we are going to talk about April’s book of the month, Room by Emma Donoghue.  But first, let’s check out this book and see what it is all about.

Synopsis

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.
Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.
Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

Questions to think about and/or answer:

  1. Why do you think the entire novel is told in Jack’s voice? Do you think this narrative approach is effective?
  2. Discuss the ways in which Jack’s development has been stunted by growing up in Room. Has he on any level benefited from the seclusion?
  3. If you were Ma, what would you miss most about the outside world?
  4. What would you do differently if you were Jack’s parent? Would you tell Jack about the outside world from the start?
  5. If Ma had never given birth to Jack, how might her situation in Room have been different?
  6. What would you ask for, for Sundaytreat, if you were Jack? If you were Ma?
  7. Describe the dynamic between Old Nick and Ma. Why do you think the author chose not to tell us Old Nick’s story?
  8. What does joining the outside world do to Jack? To Ma?

    9.  Discuss the role that the news media play in the novel.

(From Hachette Book Group)

What did you think of Room?

Mocha Girl Tiffani

When I first heard about Room I was scared off by the subject matter—a woman is kidnapped and held captive in a shed for seven years.  During those seven years, she becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son named Jack.  Room came out not too long after there were a few big stories in the news about real women who had been held captive for several years. This story seemed too real and too recent so I shied away from Room. Then I listened to a discussion of the book on Slate’s Audio Book Club, and though the subject matter still turned me off I was intrigued.

The entire story is told from five-year-old Jack’s point of view. Jack was born in the shed (or rather the room) and has never known anything other than the room.  It’s his whole world.  His mother has worked hard to create a safe world for him, a world where they sleep, eat, learn, and play.  He doesn’t quite understand why his mother doesn’t love Room as much as he does. I was worried a story written entirely from a five-year-old’s point of view, but it worked. Jack is smart, but not annoyingly so. Somehow Emma Donoghue manages to convey the mother’s desperation and fear, while at the same time showing the wonder of the world as only a child can see it, all through Jack’s voice.

I’m so glad I picked up this book. It is amazing. If not for work and other life matters, I would have finished it in a matter of hours.  I actually knew many of the plot twists before picking up the book from listening to the podcast and yet I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what was going to happen next. This is one of the best books I’ve come across in awhile. Definitely recommend.

Mocha Girl Ash

Engrossing and captivating do not give Room any justice. They’re quite limiting but they are the best I can do. Room is an absolute fantastic read. It’s told from Jack’s point of view. He recently turned 5. His Ma and Room are the only world he has ever known.

Jack’s very smart for his age but is still only a kid. He is prone to temper tantrums and has a wondrous imagination. The slow realization is that his Ma had been kidnapped 7 years earlier by a man refer to as Old Nick. Room is actually an old garden shed behind the garage.When Ma finds out that Old Nick lost his job and that his house will go into foreclosure, she makes the decision to escape. What results is the most harrowing and tense experience?

I was afraid to read Room because I thought it was going to be too gimmicky and cutesy. Only because it was told from Jack’s point of view. I thought he would be a little too smart for his own good but he wasn’t. He was a cute brave kid. I loved this novel.

So what did you think about Room?

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Review: The Lost Years

Author:  Mary Higgins Clark
Genre:  Mystery Fiction
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Release Date: April 3, 2012

Paperback: 304 pages

Buy The Book: The Lost Years

Book Description

In her long career as America’s most beloved suspense writer, Mary Higgins Clark’s The Lost Years is her most astonishing and dramatic novel to date. At its center is a discovery that, if authenticated, may be the most revered document in human history—“the holiest of the holy”—and certainly the most coveted and valuable object in the world.  Dr. Jonathan Lyons, a seventy-year-old biblical scholar, believes he has found the rarest of parchments—a letter that may have been written by Jesus Christ. Stolen from the Vatican library in the fifteenth century, it was assumed to be lost forever.

Under the promise of secrecy, Jonathan attempts to confirm his findings with several other biblical experts. But on the eve before his own murder, he confides to Father Aiden O’Brien, a family friend, that one of those whom he trusted most is determined to keep it from being returned to the Vatican.

The next evening Jonathan Lyons is found shot to death in his New Jersey home. His daughter, twenty-seven year old Mariah, finds her father’s body sprawled over his desk in his study, a fatal bullet wound in the back of his neck, and her mother, Kathleen, an Alzheimer’s victim, hiding in the study closet, incoherent and clutching the murder weapon. The police suspect that Kathleen, who in her lucid moments knows that Jonathan was involved with a much younger woman Lily Stewart, has committed the murder.

But Mariah believes that the key to her father’s death is tied to another question: Where is the missing parchment? Whom, among his close circle of friends, might he have consulted? And did one of them kill to keep possession of the letter?

What Mariah doesn’t know is that there was an eyewitness to the murder, someone whose unwise attempt to blackmail the killer begins a new circle of death, with Mariah as the ultimate target of one person’s obsession with a priceless historical treasure.

With all the elements that have made her a worldwide bestseller, Mary Higgins Clark’s The Lost Years is at once a breathless murder mystery and a hunt for what may be the most precious religious and archeological treasure of all time.

Mocha Girl Book Bloggers

My Little Pocketbooks

Mocha Girl Reviews

Mocha Girl Rochelle: Greetings to my Mocha Girls I have been reading The Lost Years this book has kept me in suspense, I would think that I had solved who the guilty party was only to keep reading and discover not lol pretty good easy read. Tempe Chapter, Rochelle

Mocha Girl Yvette: I’m reading it too! It’s pretty good. Can’t wait to discuss with the group.

Mocha Girl Alysia: The book is a quick read and I thought the overall storyline was interesting. What would people and the church do if there was a real letter from Jesus in existence? Mary Higgings Clark throws that out there with an affair and a murder. I liked the pace of the book and I actually thought I knew what was going to happen in the end.

Did you read The Lost Years?  What did you think of the book?  Leave your review in the comments section below.
Please use the 1 click Review as well.  Pick one of the following selections for your overall feeling of this months book.

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Review: Assata: An Autobiography

Author:  Assata Shakur
Genre:  Autobiography

Publisher: Lawrence Hill Books
Release Date:  November 1, 2001
Paperback: 320 pages

Book Description
On May 2, 1973, Black Panther Assata Shakur (aka Jo Anne Chesimard) lay in a hospital, close to death, handcuffed to her bed, while local state and federal police attempted to question her about the shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike that had claimed the life of a white state trooper.  Long a target of J. Edgar Hoover’s campaign to defame, infiltrate, and criminalize Black nationalist organizations and their leaders, Shakur was incarcerated for four years prior to her conviction on flimsy evidence in 1977 as an accomplice to murder.

This intensely personal and political autobiography bellies the fearsome image of JoAnne Chesimard long projected by the media and the stare.  With wit and candor, Assata Shakur recounts the experiences that led her to a life of activism and portrays the strengths, weakness, and eventual demise of Black and White revolutionary groups at he hands of government officials.  The result is a signal contribution to the literature about growing up Black in America that has already taken its place along side The Autobiography of Malcolm X and the works of Maya Angelou.

Two years after her conviction, Assata Shakur escaped from prison.  She was given political asylum by Cuba, where she now resides.

Reviews by Mocha Girl Book Bloggers
Mocha Girl Tazzy’s Review:  Loved it! A very interesting read! A powerfully strong woman of color!
Mocha Girl Sherrill’s Review:  Interesting, enlightening, and thought provoking.

 

Did you read Assata: An Autobiography?  What did you think of the book?  Leave your review in the comments.
Please use the 1 click Review as well.  Pick one of the following selections for your overall feeling of this months book.

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Black History Month: Black Books #3

Welcome to the first annual Black History Month Hop hosted by Reflections of a Bookaholic and Mocha Girls Read a month long blogging event which focuses on giving black authors, books, and those who support them a month in the spotlight.

For the fourth week of the hop we have a few things planned for you. What’s a hop you ask?  At the bottom of each post you will find a list of other sites participating in the hop.  This way you can easily hop from one blog to another.

Weekly Topics for the Black History Month Hop
1st – 7th Black History Month Giveaway Hop
2nd – 4th Around Town
    5th – 11th The Business of Black Books
   12th – 18th  Black Love
    19th – 25th  Black Books
26th – 29th  The Best of…

We have a lot of giveaways going on right now from great Black authors.  All winners will be announced on 2/29/2012.

Beverly Jenkins’s Book (2 winners) (Ends 2/21)

Delaney Diamond’s “The Temptation of a Good Man” (Ends 2/22)

Reene Jacob’s “Regina’ Story” & “Brandon’s Story” (Ends 2/24)

Monda Webb’s “7:33am” (Ends 2/25)

This is the week we introduce you to books by Black authors or with Black character.

Review by Mocha Girl Wendy of Hardware

Hardware Book CoverTitle: Hardware
Author:    Jayda McTyson
Series:      No

Genre:      Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense/Mystery
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing (November 1, 2011)

Book Description

Camille Moyston has managed to put the nightmare of a violent attack behind her. Having forged a safe, predictable life, the last thing she needs is a cliché, an oversexed Jamaican male expressing interest.

For Quinn Mayhew, life is too good to waste time chasing a haughty, irritable woman who is too cautious to accept him for the man he is, but somehow she symbolizes everything he desires in his future.

When Camille’s inner fortress finally starts to crumble, Quinn is arrested for murder and everything changes…

Review

I loved Quincy right off with his deceptively bad boy image. When at first we meet him, he is saving Camille from a savage rape and after seeing her safely back in her car he takes off and carries on with his life. A year later when we meet him again he’s a business client at lawfirm where Camille works. At the beginning he comes off brash and maybe arrogant. As we get to know him we see him  just as someone who knows what he wants and is willing to do what he has to, to get it. He’s a really solid character.

The other aspect I fell in love with was how J.L builds her supporting characters and makes them distinct and believable individuals. One of them that made her way into my heart was Penny. She is the perfect example of some of those who are raised in environments with a degenerated moral fibre. She has no sense of self worth or love largely due to her over bearing, critical and domineering mother whom we never meet but hear much about. She develops into an insecure adult who overcompensates for her shortcomings by being fast, loose and loud. We never hear of her father and so I gather that her long string of unstable, short lived relationships is as much as search for love as they are for a father figure. The biggest problem is her lack of confidence in herself has her believing she doesn’t deserve better and leaves her unconsciously picking rotten to the bone men. This vicious cycle predictably becomes her undoing as it leads to a tragic end.

The MC on the other hand was really not to my liking but she did keep me turning those pages. She is a strong individual with strong values and an equally jaded view of any life that includes men. Although I could identify with some of her decisions, I found her very petty, full of grudges she wouldn’t let go off and exceedingly uppity.

Once again in Hardware J.L has put together a compelling story of love, and betrayal that’s not always followed by redemption. It’s a highly entertaining read and the pace will set your heart racing with the twists and turns in the plot. But of greater importance is that as only J.L does it, Hardware leaves you pondering the themes and lives of the characters long after you’ve finished reading the book.

I gave this a 5/5 rating.

Check out the other blogs and the books they are talking about. Bloggers add your link to the linky as well. One lucky blogger will win a great prize for joining this week.



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Review: The Hunger Games

Genre:  YA Fantasy/ Dystopian
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date:  Reprint edition  (4/3/10)
Paperback: 384 pages
Buy the Book: Amazon
Book Description
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, “The Hunger Games,” a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed.
Reviews by Mocha Girl Book Bloggers
Mocha Girl Tia’s Review:  I really liked this book. It was unlike any other book I have read before. It kept me entertained the whole way through. I look forward to reading Catching Fire.
Mocha Girl Shannon’s Review:  There was so much hype surrounding the recommendation of this book that I feared it would be a big disappointment. How wrong I was! It may not be the most original idea, but it was an extremely refreshing read and incredibly well-written. I especially liked how the story ended, with loose ends still trailing along behind it instead of everything being all tied up nice and neat. I enjoyed the story from beginning to end and am looking forward to the second installment.
Mocha Girl Rochelle’s Review:  Good Morning Mocha Girls and Happy Monday just finished the book, this book kept me on the edge of my sit, it kept me intrigued and anxious to get to the end and then there is the end, (don’t want to spoil the end for those that have not finished,) overall good book.
Did you read The Hunger Games?  What did you think of the book?  Leave your review in the comments.
Please use the 1 click Review as well.  Pick one of the following selections for your overall feeling of this months book.

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