Book Review: Dark Room Etiquette

Posted September 8, 2022 by geograph in contemporary, review, thriller, YA / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Dark Room EtiquetteDark Room Etiquette by Robin Roe
Published by HarperCollins on October 11, 2022
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Physical & Emotional Abuse, Young Adult Fiction / Thrillers & Suspense / General
Pages: 512
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: Netgalley

We Were Liars meets Room in this masterfully plotted psychological thriller from the critically acclaimed author of A List of Cages, Robin Roe.

Are you afraid of the dark?

Sixteen-year-old Sayers Wayte has everything--until he's kidnapped by a man who takes it all away. A man who tells him that the privileged life he's been living is based on a lie.

To survive, Sayers must forget the world he once knew and play the part his abductor has created for him. But as time goes by, the line between fact and fiction blurs, and Sayers begins to wonder if he can escape without losing himself entirely.

A dark journey with a poignant return to hope in its finale, Dark Room Etiquette matches edge-of-your-seat-suspense with lyrical, powerful writing to create an unforgettable tale of survival that will resonate with fans of Black Ice and Hatchet.

Okay it’s been about three hours so I do finally feel qualified to think about this book. This book is intense, and very interesting, and very long. It’s 512 pages, and it absolutely does not feel like 512 pages — it feels like it’s 200 max, and I finished this book inside of four hours. (I’m also a VERY fast reader, so, there’s also that). And yet? I wish there was more? I need more information pre-trauma (I literally do not think Sayers had a personality pre-trauma, or if he did, it wasn’t a very strong personality, and also I could not keep his friends apart At All) and I need SO much more information post-trauma. It’s the aftermath! I need the ‘real’ information! The reader (me!) is left with questions still at the end! And yet it’s still really good! If this novel was a fanfiction, it would be hurt/comfort with emphasis on the hurt — I needed More Comfort at the end. I needed a newspaper article at the end that was like “these are the events that actually happened, not according to our unreliable narrator”. Also they never say “dark room etiquette” or really refer to the metaphor of the title, and I think it’s a really good metaphor/title so I’d really like to have that. But I AM still thinking about this book, so. Four and a half stars, rounded down for NetGalley/Goodreads. Booksweet link. Storygraph link.


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