Having read Allison Rushby’s “The Turnkey” (a historical middle grade mystery with fantasy elements), I was particularly interested to see how The Fifth Room compared. I could definitely recognise Allison’s ability to weave an interesting and intricate story arc.
The plot wasn’t what I expect and that’s an aspect I really enjoyed. Allison also managed to avoid too many cliches (although the last sentence left me kind of disappointed if I’m honest). The unreliable narrator certainly suited the plot and it allowed us, the reader, a sense of how the protagonist felt. The confusion and the uncertainty.
If you’re looking for an easy but not obvious psychological thriller which ends satisfactorily, then this book is perfect for you. I personally wanted more character development. I was really interested in Ryan’s motivation and Lauren’s lack of ethics. However, that would probably have made a nearly 300 page novel unwieldy and less accessible. I think The Fifth Room is especially suited to younger YA readers, or an older audience looking for a lighter read.