Dark Room Etiquette

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Dark Room Etiquette
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
14+
Release Date
October 11, 2022
ISBN
978-0063051737
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SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD SAYERS WAYTE HAS EVERYTHING.

Popularity, good looks, perfect grades—there's nothing Sayers' family money can't buy.

Until he's kidnapped by a man who tells him the privileged life he's been living is based on a lie. 

Trapped in a windowless room, without knowing why he's been taken or how long the man plans to keep him shut away, Sayers faces a terrifying new reality. To survive, he must forget the world he once knew, and play the part his abductor has created for him. 

But as time passes, the line between fact and fiction starts to blur, and Sayers begins to wonder if he can escape . . . before he loses himself.

Editor review

1 review
Who Needs Sleep? A MUST Read Story!
(Updated: September 25, 2022)
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5.0
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5.0
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5.0
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5.0
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N/A
What I Liked: This is my first time reading anything by Robin Roe and wow is she very talented with the phycological drama. First off, plan a chunk of time and start early on this book. Don’t be like me, who started this 502-page book early evening and then finished it at 3 AM.
This story is told in 3 distinct phases of a traumatic event. We have plenty of time to meet and dislike Sayers Wayte. He has too much money, freedom, and absent role models not to be apathetic to others’ plight, unmotivated, self-confident, and extremely popular. That was Sayers before his kidnapping.
Then Sayers is drugged and kidnapped and awakes chained to a bed and completely at the mercy of a man who has had a pretty sharp departure from sanity. For somebody who used to be the most powerful person in the room and who can waive cash at his problems, he is utterly unprepared for what happens during this portion of the book. The author’s background in psychology makes the breaking down and rebuilding of Sayers feel very believable. It is a different spin for these events to be happening to a male character. There is a certain amount of shock and impact that despite being male and strong he is completely at his kidnapper’s mercy. Sayers has his own internal torment due to the societal expectations that he has internalized. He torments himself with thoughts that he should be able to escape and his fear of pain makes him somehow a coward. This internal disconnect may even be why he so successfully embraces being what the kidnapper wants him to be.
Then there is the Sayers that come after the rescue. I appreciate so much that this is a part of the book. So many times, characters in movies and books have a major trauma, then they are rescued and that is the end or they shake it off and are ready to move on. Not here. This new Sayers is heartwarming and has so much processing to do. Once again, the author’s background as an adolescent counselor makes this portion feel authentic and hopeful despite the turmoil.
There are many points in the story that unfold in expected ways. Those twists and turns take an already suspenseful story and turn it into something that will climb into your brain and make you feel like you are holding Sayers’s hand, rooting for him to be okay.
The character of Evan Zamarra is an unexpected delight. His importance before and after the trauma Sayers goes through is unexpectedly rich. Evan has his own trauma thanks to Sayer’s callous inattention before his kidnapping. His capacity to forgive and be the lodestone Sayers needs afterward is wonderful.
What Left Me Wanting More: There were a couple of times since this was a single perspective novel that Sayers doesn’t know or isn’t concentrating on details that I would have liked to know. I want to know what happened to his car. Did the police ever find it? If they did why do they not find him sooner and if they didn’t find the car why is that? What is the press telling the public? Sayers isn’t talking about his ordeal so what do others know or think happened to him based on the news? How do the events of his rescue come about the way they did? Penny’s part in the after-events was lacking even if it was a likely outcome. I wanted so much to see her progress and see more into her mind during events. The ending was lovely but I would have been okay with a few hundred more pages to see their interactions.
Final Verdict: This is one of those books where I realized during reading that trying to sleep would be futile because Sayers’s plight was too engaging to put down. If you like the feeling of being emotionally hungover and are prone to keeping books just so you can recommend them and discuss them with all your friends and family, this definitely should be added high to your TBR list. Thank goodness this is a work of fiction because our character goes through some things. Due to the intensity of what this character experiences and Roe’s amazing writing skills it should definitely be geared to older more mature YA audiences.
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LOVE SPELL
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5.0
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5.0
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