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Ratings and Book Reviews (12 14 star ratings
12 reviews
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Overall rating

4.6 out of 5
14
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    A satisfying ending!

    Many thanks to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Megan Goldin for an ARC in exchange for an honest book review of The Escape Room. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advance copy. The Escape Room. Those popular places for millennials (and now families and birthday parties are jumping in the mix), where you pay to get trapped in a room with a bunch of people. You have to figure out the clues to escape. This is something my kids have expressly forbidden us from doing. They claim we wouldn’t be able to get past the first clue. Too much arguing over who’s right. I’m not sure they’re wrong. In this story, Goldin juxtaposes Sara Hall against 4 people stuck in an elevator by alternating point-of-view chapters. Sara Hall comes from humble beginnings. She is broke, working as a waitress to make ends meet and desperate for a real job. By chance she meets Vincent (in an elevator of all places!). He hires her to work at Stanhope, a Wall Street finance firm. The job is demanding with no room for a personal life. You work 7 days a week, with people who are hardcore, highly competitive, unfriendly and unhelpful. If you make a mistake or can’t keep up, you’re fired. So sweet little Sara goes to work with the sharks. Her story arc shows her climbing up the corporate ladder even though she never fully fits in. The alternate chapters are about four of Sara’s co-workers trapped in an elevator. They were lured there on a Friday night under the pretense of a team-building activity. Nobody wants to be doing the escape room challenge, but all are too scared to not take part in a company-mandated activity. As a reader, you get the sense that this escape room is not all that it seems and it quickly goes to hell-in-a-hand-basket and they start to turn on one another. I felt very good at the end of this book. It was a satisfying read. The kind of satisfaction when people get what they deserve. I feel good when that happens. Sometimes in revenge fiction, the author backs off, so I appreciate it when they go full throttle. It’s fiction, not real life, so I like someone to gets their comeuppance. In the beginning, it is obvious that Sara is not in the elevator with the rest of her team. You know there’s a reason. I felt like it took a long time for the real story to start. I get a little impatient with how long it takes to get to this part of the story. Yes, there has to be the setup. I understand. But why does it have to take up so much of the book? My experience reading is that it feels like preamble until the author acknowledges this and then I can move on. I felt like ninety percent was waiting to get to the last ten percent. Another example is that we know that there is something important inside the record Lucy leaves Sara. So why do we have to wait so long for this to be addressed? I’m not going to forget about it. Not in a mystery/thriller. After a certain point, it just isn’t suspenseful. But, I really liked the ending. So I felt good when it was over. I had other issues, so without giving any spoilers, I will try and explain. I like the whole idea of being ten steps ahead, chess move type situation, that a character will take on. But I thought that many of the chess moves were unnecessary and didn’t even understand why some of them were happening. These issues weren’t major, as they are in some books, so I still overall enjoyed the read. I liked the characters and how they interacted. They were juicy. The rotten ones were rotten and not apolegetic. I like Sara and her development. The story also stayed focused on what it was about and it didn’t meander down unnecessary paths. I think that lately I have been looking for something in the mystery/thriller genre that I haven’t been able to find. It might mean that I am harder than need be on these books that I have been reading because I feel unsatisfied. Lots of people loved this book and it has won a few awards and has a starred Kirkus review. I’m not sure if it is a “me” problem or a “them” problem. Maybe I have just read so many books that I can see the writing on the wall. I am just waiting for that thrill. Have you read a really good thriller lately? Have you been satisfied with the level of suspense? Or are you disappointed with what you have been reading? Let me know in the comments below what you think about the offerings of late in this genre.
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    Is it a game or a game of revenge?

    The Escape Room was a very entertaining read, fast-paced, hard to put down, with the suspense ratcheting up every minute. Jules, Sylvie, Sam and their manager Vincent are summoned to a mysterious meeting in an unfamiliar building. When they enter the elevator it stops between floors. Momentarily concerned, they soon decide it’s an escape room exercise and set about trying to solve it. These four people are driven, ruthless, hard, and that elevator seems pretty small with them in it. The longer they are trapped in it the more we learn about them, and about the firm’s history and recent events, including what happened to former employees Sara and Lucy. Learning about their introduction and indoctrination (brainwashing?) to the company reminded me of the book The Firm – new hires are wined and dined and then bluntly told work comes first or they will be sorry. The Escape Room is well-written, smooth and easy to read but not too simple or without complexity or detail. It was a very fast read, with quick chapters, not short but moved quickly and the jumping back and forth with people and time works well. It looked like they were going to find and solve all the clues and get out of that escape room pretty quickly, but then the code they discovered didn't work and I realized I was only a third of the way through the book. I was happy, feeling there was still a lot of excitement to come. From that point on, though, it began to be a little obvious how things were going to end. Maybe not exactly but enough to take a little of the edge off. I understand what the author was trying to do with building suspense through the prologue and the way the chapters were structured but she didn’t quite pull it off. I don’t need the big surprise or reveal so common in books these days to enjoy a story, but this author did try to ramp up the suspense as if the clues weren’t so obvious and there was a big surprise coming. There were a lot of small surprises I didn’t see coming, but unfortunately I figured out the big surprise way too early for me. A book also doesn’t have to be totally believable for me to enjoy it, but some of the events near the end of the book were a little too far-fetched. That said, it was still a gripping, very entertaining read. There are no heroes in The Escape Room but it provides a frightening portrayal of what greed, ambition and fear can do to people who just start out wanting a comfortable life. Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for providing an advance copy for my honest review.
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    Psychological Thriller

    The Escape Room by Megan Goldin What are you willing to do to succeed? Is money everything? Who would you step on or perhaps even kill to come out on top? And, what about revenge? What would it take to make you seek it? Such a well-crafted book this book proved to be! It begins with the nightwatchman hearing something then moves on from there to move in alternating chapters that tell of the four in the elevator and of a woman named Sarah Hall. It took a few chapters to figure out what part Sarah had in the lives of the other four but as the story unfolded her part and that of another member of the team, Lucy, became abundantly clear. What I liked about this book: * It drew me in little by little * I was invested in the outcome * I was given insight into the corporate finance world * It made me think about values * It was intriguing * I just liked it – and am thankful that I cannot see myself as a character in this book What I did not like: * Most of the characters * What happened to the innocent (there were a few) * Probably exactly what I was meant not to like I am not sure about the ending. I saw it coming...eventually...but knowing it was coming still left me unsettled and wondered how those that may have survived would carry on in the future. Did I like this book? Yes Would I read more by this author? Yes Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 5 Stars
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    Secrets do not stay buried.

    It took a bit to get into, but I loved how the revenge played out. It was interesting and not straight out obvious. I recommend this story. I received a copy of this story through Netgalley, and this is my unsolicited review.
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    A real page-turner

    What happens when 4 money hungry greedy co-workers get the word they need to attend a mandatory meeting on a Friday night in a building under construction in the bad part of town?? Sylvie, Jules, Sam and Vincent enter an elevator which takes them 70 stories up and then stops. They are under the impression that this is an "escape room" challenge and they will be out in an hour. Clues turn up in various places in the elevator and on the screen which are supposed to let them solve the puzzle and release them. This is one of the best psychological thrillers I have read. The book hooked me from the first page and had me mesmerized until the very end. The author did an outstanding job meshing all the different threads together to make this a fantastic read with an unforgettable ending. Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC of this book which was a real page turner.
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