2 Stars Reviews

Book Review: The Roommates by Rachel Sargeant

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When Imo starts university, she dreams of a fresh start, or rather a chance to return to the Imo she used to be, before her whole family was turned upside down. Moving into her halls, she quickly becomes friends with her flatmates; the well-off and haughty Tegan, the level-headed and Mumsy Phoenix, and the eccentric and somewhat manic Amber. But Imo can never fully relax, especially as she keeps noticing a strange man keeping watch around campus. When Amber takes off without a word, Imo is convinced something terrible has happened. She refuses to let a girl go missing without a trace. Not again.

I had been looking forward to The Roommates since last year, but in the end it turned out to be different to what I had been anticipating, leaving me a little disappointed.

I am in somewhat of a slump right now so maybe that hindered my enjoyment of the book, as it felt like it took me forever to get through. It was pretty fast paced but I didn’t find myself desperate to continue reading it, other than for the reason that I wanted to finish. I found the characters a little annoying and I think that was down to the writing style. For the first quarter of the book it felt like every other paragraph was reminding me that every character had some ~terrible secret~ and it just got really tiring. Way too heavy handed. The story itself was interesting to an extent, though I figured out pretty early on how everything would end. It felt a little spoon-fed.

Also, I get that the whole premise of the book was the idea of ‘do you ever really know anyone?’ but it just went way too far. The characters would be annoyed or suspicious if they found out some mildly unusual fact about someone, as though they’d hidden a huge secret for years, but in reality they’d only known each other for mere days. Of course they’re not going to know every personal detail about each other’s lives. Also, people are entitled to a little privacy.

There were some aspects of the writing that really rubbed me the wrong way, particularly a case of completely arbitrary fatphobia towards a random woman on a train towards the end of the story which served no purpose other than to confirm that I definitely wasn’t enjoying the book any longer.

Maybe in another reader’s hands this could be a fun and easy thriller, and if I hadn’t had such high expectations for this I may have enjoyed it more, but I felt pretty disappointed having looked forward to it for most of the year.

Rating: 2 / 5 stars

The Roommates is out November 28th.

*I received a free e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

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