Monday, May 08, 2017

Room Empty by Sarah Mussi

2 Stars

I received a copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

First of all, this book definitely needs a set of trigger warnings. It deals with a lot of heavy stuff such as addiction, anorexia, self harm, suicide, abuse. If anyone is triggered by any of that then I definitely would recommend not reading this book.

I'm not someone who has experience with any of that so I'm not the most suitable person to make comments on the representation of these issues. I do, however, think the representation was a bit poor.  Some things seemed a bit off to me but again, I'm not exactly the right person to determine that.

My biggest turn off with this book was the 'love can cure all' notion. That's definitely not how these things work and I wish it would stop being such a common theme amongst young adult books. Love is not the answer to everything. It just annoys me because it's not really the appropriate message to be sending out to young people.

Another turn off, Fletcher kept trying to guilt and bribe Dani into eating. Which was very off to me. That's not really the appropriate message to be sending out either. It suggests that Dani is now going to over come this huge, long battle with food because she's in love with Fletcher and Fletcher wants her too. I don't have a lot of experience here but I know that eating disorders are more complex than that.

One thing I did like though, was the characterisation of Dani's illness as an Alien. I thought that was interesting and a good way to make it easier to understand. It took me a while to realise what exactly the alien was representing but once I got it, I thought it was pretty clever.

I don't really understand what the point of the book was. There was a bit of a mystery in there that didn't make a lot of sense to me. It just didn't seem to fit. It was very jumpy. It wasn't exactly my kind of thing. I don't really know that I'd recommend it to anyone, I struggled to get through it a bit since the issues are so rough. I didn't really like it.


  1. Interesting take - I found it to be anti-love-cures-all, b/c, at the end of the day, love *didn't* cure all. In fact, a lot of the time it f**ked things up more.

    Also, I've never been anorexic, but one of the symptoms of my depression at its lower point was an inability to eat - and the only reason that I did was because other people wanted me to. Not admirable, perhaps, but realistic.

    Still, an interesting take on the book and some points I hadn't considered from that angle :)

    1. Interesting! Looks like we've both interpreted it pretty differently. I suppose that comes from my lack of understanding or experience with the topics. Thanks for the comment!