BOOK REVIEW ~ ROOM 212 BY KATE STEWART
February 7, 2019
Twenty-one year old Laura Sedgwick is a rebel without a cause. Her only plans for life are to make no plans. She revels in her fascination of the unexpected as she navigates her way through mid -1990’s Dallas nightlife. One very bad night brings her face to face with the one man likely to change her mind about…well…everything.
Twenty-three year old Seth Whitaker has every intention of seeing through with his well mapped out life. He is a hard working over-achiever that has no intentions of slowing his pace for anyone. With a fierce determination to not let life pass him by without taking a huge bite, he finds himself inexplicably drawn to the one distraction that could keep him from his best laid plans. Little did he know his determination to keep his life on track would be the very thing to trigger the events that change the course of both their lives.
In this life she had only done one thing right…
and she was his only chance at salvation.
2 STARSI think this is one of those books where it starts off wonderfully and as you gradually read, the original appeal of the story fades away and you start deducting stars because of the ridiculous character dialogue and underdeveloped plot. Combined with a hard-to-get-into writing style and certain word choices that rubbed me the wrong way, this book was a huge miss for me.Some things I liked:The coverThe title and the meaning behind it – that was very unique and a nice twistThe premise – bad girl meets driven, dedicated good boy (nice chance from the usual bad boy)The blurbUnfortunately that’s about it.
Basically the book is about a young, wild rebel girl Laura who has no sense of direction in her life who meets Seth, a well-rounded and financially established guy. I have to say, I loved this part: it was a veryrealistic first chance encounter and humorous as well.“Look I’m really sorry…Uh, what’s your name?”
“Mad bitch with a busted lip.”Yes Seth busts her lips with a Frisbee hehe.The two of them take some time to know each other and pretty soon, there are signs of love from both. I think this is the point of the book where things started to go bad for me.For one, I never understood why Laura insisted on naming people “Barbies.” Whether it be “Marcia Barbie,” “Mrs. Barbie,” or “Ken Barbie,” I was just so sick of it. And the nickname “Laurs.” That would’ve made sense if only her name wasn’t Laura. Substitue the a for a s…hmm not really seeing how that’s a nickname.Another thing I had difficulty wrapping my mind around was how easily the characters threw around the term “rape.” In this book’s context I understand it’s for a light, semi-humorous effect; however I just can’t stomach the usage of such a term unless it actually applies to the situation, which in this book it did not.“Last night he came to my house and banged on the door. When I opened it, hair a total mess, in boxers, and a chocolate stained t-shirt, he raped me.”This sentence refers to Laura’s friend and her brother getting together. A very joyous, happy occasion but for me the rape term marred it.“I remember you almost raped me in a parking lot.”This sentence refers to Laura and Seth reminiscing about old times. Again, supposed to have a nostalgic effect but I felt creeped out. Like someone doused a bucket of cold water on my head.But most importantly, this book hit on my number 1 pet peeve in books and that is massive character stupidity that keeps interfering with their relationship. I’ll be honest with you, by the time I finished reading I did not want Laura and Seth to be together because they were that dysfunctional. I think the author’s intention was to make Laura appear tough and bitchy to reflect the hardships she’s been through; however, the use of her “Barbie” terms really diminished any kind of sincerity her character might have had. Needless to say, Laura’s character did not appeal to me at all.What saved the first part of the book for me was Seth. He’s drool-worthy, smart, and at the age of 23 works 3 jobs and is pretty much financially set. He knows what he wants and he works to get it.
With such a strong character profile, I expected his actions reflect that as well. Sadly, my impression of him was a big whiny baby who threw anger tantrums when Laura didn’t do what he wanted. I’m pretty lenient with my book heroes as I fall for them quickly, but in this one, Seth was just a plain asshole. And one thing he said after the first sex scene drove me up a wall and I was tempted to DNF right then and there.
I pretty much got tired of their back-to-back arguments. I can totally understand if there were a few because let’s face it, life isn’t always pretty and perfect and having fights/misunderstandings weaved into a story makes it realistic and easy to relate to. But gosh. Even with a nicely executed time gap, the characters didn’t seem to mature at all, especially Seth. Just know that at the 80% mark I was ready to tear my hair out from all the unnecessary and ridiculous things Seth demanded of Laura and to see her finally acquiesce to them made me want to weep. Whatever happened to female dignity?Overall, this could’ve been an easy 4-4.5 star read. However, the usage of some terms (this is my personal preference of course) combined with a lack of character development pretty much blew it for me. However, this is one of the few times I would still recommend it: one, the ratings are crazy high so there has to be something in the book that appealed to readers and two, most of my complaints with the book are of personal preference, which means you may not feel the same way and might end up really enjoying it.