Cover Image: Dark Room Etiquette

Dark Room Etiquette

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Member Reviews

Iโ€™m not sure how I feel about this one still. I liked it while I was reading it but I found it very forgettable. I did really like the characters and the story line.

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Thank you to the publisher for providing a digital arc of this title for review.

This was an absolutely horrifying read. I marveled at the author's ability to develop her character and her character's reactions to the changes in his life. I found myself having strong reactions to this character that changes as he changed throughout his circumstances. This is a testament to the writer's skill.

I will be purchasing this for the library.

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A true ride for the reader that is moving, gripping and eye-opening.

We are in the main character's head as he is swooped up in his life as a privileged, popular, shallow teen who feels the pressure to keep the status quo (and makes us think, "WHEW what a jerk" more than once), gets kidnapped, realizes how he might survive this experience, and the fallout from there.

Fascinating and heartbreaking and thought-provoking.

Note: This book deals with trauma and crimes against youth in a way that never felt contrived or gratuitous. Nothing in this book was triggering for me, which was absolutely more about how the author wrote the content than the content, itself. I applaud her for this.

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The time between Robin's debut and this was well worth the wait. This story felt like I was reading a real account of the trauma of being kidnapped - and the will to survive. Plan to read something light after this one!

(included as part of a larger recs post)

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Thank you so much to @RobinRoe and @Harperteen for my e-arc of the book in exchange for my honest review.

First off Dark Room Etiquette is unputdownable! I was reading it on my lunch break and quickly flew through 100 pages of this 500+ page novel.

The prologue does a great job of setting up the creepy, uneasy vibes that you feel throughout the entire book.

The entire time I was reading I was just thinking about kids that this kind of situation actually happens. We hear about child abductions and we get Amber alerts on our phones and devices but Robin was able to artfully create a story that is both real and fiction at the same time.

The character development or should I say undevelopment of Sayers was amazing. He went through so much and his character definitely changed throughout the entire novel which was just amazing to see.

The only thing I had a problem with was some parts towards the end of the book seemed a little far fetched. I mean I understand the amount of trauma that Sayers was going through and realize that a lot of that was hallucinations but there are some parts that I just did not understand.

Regardless Dark Room Etiquette was one of my favorite books of 2022.

Rating: 4 stars

TW: child abuse, child abduction

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A young man is kidnapped. And everything he thought he knew and felt about himself and the world takes a dramatic turn. He no longer really knows who he is or who he was or who he will be. This is an incredible story of the psychological effects of being held hostage and the fear, the terror, the sadness, and everything else that goes with it. Itโ€™s incredibly real and horrifying and heartbreaking!

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This book surprised me a lot, in a very good way. At first it reads like a straight-forward thriller, rich kid who doesn't care about anything or anyone else getting what he deserves. But it becomes so, so much more than that. Sayers goes through very complex character development and the book really becomes about what happens after trauma. His relationships with Penny and Evan are beautiful and healing. While at times difficult to read, the book is very well done and the progression appropriate. My only complaint was the time he spent captive felt a bit drawn out at times.

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Learn. Lie. Survive.
Sayers Wayte waits for nothing. He has everything a high school junior could ever want: money, popularity, a gorgeous girlfriend and fun friends, but when heโ€™s kidnapped everything changes. The man who took him says Sayersโ€™ real name is Daniel and that he was taken from him as a child. He tells Sayers he is his real father and keeps him locked up in a house, far away from civilization, so that he can never lose him again. In order to survive, Sayers must tap into a part of his mind that allows him to change his reality to fit his new life. As time passes Sayers begins to forget whatโ€™s real and whatโ€™s not and wonders if heโ€™ll ever escapeโ€ฆor if he wants to.
@z_brarian and @whiteleyreads have been on me to read this YA thriller by @robinroewriter for a while and now I understand why. Thereโ€™s no denying this is a dark novel but it is so important to highlight what trauma can do to kids. There simply are no words for the horrors Sayers faces in this book. The authorโ€™s note at the end did a great job of addressing the psychological aspects of trauma experiences in our societyโ€™s youth and the lasting impacts they can have. This novel will stay with me for a long time and I think a prequel would be an amazing idea! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Fans of Mindy McGinnis will love this one. Thanks @librofm for the ALC.

CW: bullying, alcohol, drug use, sexual assault, PTSD, kidnapping, physical assault, brainwashing, Stockholm Syndrome, abuse, starvation, poisoning, suicide, car accident, blood, psychological trauma, brainwashing, violence, death, grief

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If youโ€™re looking for a harrowing, suspenseful, unnerving horror story- pick this up! This is a book about trauma, but itโ€™s also a book about post traumatic growth. Itโ€™s not a light read but the author did something really unique & itโ€™s worth going through the dark to get to the dawn.

Thank you so much to Netgalley & the author for the advanced copy!

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2.5 stars โญ๏ธโญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ซ

Sayers Wayte lives a charmed life for a teenage boy. as one of the richest & most popular kids in school, he has not a care in the world; until heโ€™s kidnapped by a man who tells him his whole life has been a lie.

upon being trapped, the man claims to be his actual father, demanding that his real name is actually Daniel, & that his parents kidnapped him years ago to undergo numerous โ€œexperimentsโ€.

the longer Sayers is held captive, the more brainwashed he becomes, forgetting who he really is, his age, & any semblance of the life he once lived. while once dreaming only of his escape, Sayers begins to question what exactly he is escaping from.

I found the context to be interesting & suspenseful, but some of it was lost in its execution & extensive length. for example, we get soooo much of an intro into Sayersโ€™ high school life before he gets kidnapped, that I almost wondered if I misinterpreted what this story would be about. but then we do get a good chunk of suspense in the middle of the book, which I enjoyed!

Sayers starts out as a kid who is pretty entitled, ungrateful, & a bully, making him a pretty unlikeable character. while kidnapped, he goes through severe Stockholm syndrome, making a connection with his kidnapper & morphing into his expected role in the process. It was definitely creepy to see such drastic psychological changes happening as time went on. that being said (without giving too much away), I thought some aspects in the latter half of the book were unresolved & left me with questions.

this book is heavily focused on the impact & aftermath of trauma. i was a little surprised by the turn in which the story took towards the end. the authorโ€™s note put some things in perspective, but also left me with more questions about the decisions behind certain parts of the writing. but overall, I respect the instability & inconsistencies in the plot as being a direct reflection of the nature of those suffering from trauma.

YA writing generally isnโ€™t for me, but there are some great reviews of this book that I encourage you to check out if the synopsis of this book is up your alley!

thanks to @netgalley for my #arc!

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๐™Ž๐™ž๐™ญ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™š๐™ฃ-๐™ฎ๐™š๐™–๐™ง-๐™ค๐™ก๐™™ ๐™Ž๐™–๐™ฎ๐™š๐™ง๐™จ ๐™’๐™–๐™ฎ๐™ฉ๐™š ๐™๐™–๐™จ ๐™š๐™ซ๐™š๐™ง๐™ฎ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œโ€”๐™ช๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ก ๐™๐™š'๐™จ ๐™ ๐™ž๐™™๐™ฃ๐™–๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™™ ๐™—๐™ฎ ๐™– ๐™ข๐™–๐™ฃ ๐™ฌ๐™๐™ค ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ก๐™ก๐™จ ๐™๐™ž๐™ข ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™ž๐™ซ๐™ž๐™ก๐™š๐™œ๐™š๐™™ ๐™ก๐™ž๐™›๐™š ๐™๐™š'๐™จ ๐™—๐™š๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ซ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™—๐™–๐™จ๐™š๐™™ ๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™– ๐™ก๐™ž๐™š.

๐Ÿ“ Read if you like:
โ€ข Emotional Reads
โ€ข Lovable Main Characters
โ€ข Terrifying Scenarios
โ€ข Impactful Stories
โ€ข Beautiful Writing Styles
โ€ข Dark And Disturbing Books

This bookโ€ฆ oh my goodness. I was blown away by how much I loved it and how much it touched me. I honestly went into it not knowing or expecting much, which I would highly recommend. Youโ€™ll be surprised by how much our MC touches you.

Sayers Wayte (Saye) is such a privileged and spoiled teen at first, but he develops so much throughout the book. This is a five-hundred-page book, but I found myself so invested in the story that it flew through! The chapters were also quite short!

Thereโ€™s so much to this story that I think itโ€™s best to go into it blindly, youโ€™ll get a much better reading experience out of it that way. Therefore, Iโ€™ll try to be vague with my review (which probably wonโ€™t happen).

The whole idea of being kidnapped and someone telling you that your whole life is a lie is so terrifying. This is a young adult novel, but itโ€™s quite dark at times.

This book focuses so much on some serious topics and addresses some issues: especially our MCโ€™s PTSD and trauma.

At first, I hated Saye so much with how big of a douche he was, but then I realized how much he has struggled and I connected with him. His character grew so much from the very first page to the last page. I couldnโ€™t imagine being as traumatized in the afterlife and how much I would suffer. Saye deserved a huge hug!

I think this will be one of those main characters that will stay in my mind for so long, even the story! I canโ€™t imagine this scenario happening in real life - how scary!!

This was the perfect dark young adult read. I loved it so much and itโ€™ll go down as an all-time favorite. This is a book I would recommend to everyone, despite what you readโ€ฆ just because itโ€™s such a touching and impactful story. I promise you the 500 pages are worth it! I got emotional reading this book and the front cover will be facing out on my shelves so I can remember how beautiful the story is.

I do advise checking out the trigger warnings, but I would highly recommend this book!

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Now, Iโ€™m not really a YA fan; I like them a teensy bit darker and straight up brutal but this bookโ€ฆ! Iโ€™m not going to say much as I donโ€™t want to give away any spoilers, but I FELT this one.

As a mental health professional, I felt Roe did a remarkable job of taking us through the journey of trauma. Itโ€™s powerful, itโ€™s raw, itโ€™s grippingโ€ฆ itโ€™s visceral! The story is split into three parts - Sayersโ€™ privileged life, his kidnapping, and thenโ€ฆ well youโ€™ll need to read to find out as I wouldnโ€™t want to spoil it ๐Ÿ˜‰

Itโ€™s not a short book either, but I seriously flew through this one. It had me captivated from start to finish. Itโ€™s compelling, and her characters are fantastically written. A remarkable book that I would highly recommend.

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This was a really good story that was way more than I was expecting. It's dark and sad and an overall emotional rollercoaster. I thought it was a bit long and could have been shortened in some parts. I don't typically read a lot of YA but this felt mature and the writing was excellent.

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Do you ever have a book you go into and think, โ€œI have a fairly decent idea how this is going to make me feel,โ€ and then you were totally wrong?
This was me in the best way with Robin's DARK ROOM ETIQUETTE. Yโ€™all: I knew I wasnโ€™t going to want to read this one at night (because Iโ€™m a weenie and psychological thrillers are enough to send my scrambling), but I didnโ€™t know I would SOB at the end, too. We contain multitudes, and so does this book and its characters.

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Thank you Netgalley and the publisher of an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Quite enjoyed this one. I loved how the characters were written and their story. Quite enjoyable

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If you're on a hunt for a fast-paced, riveting thriller for your fall reading list, I have the perfect recommendation for you! It's not a secret that one of the few books that made me cry was "A List of Cages" by Robin Roe and thinking about that book now, I can still see vividly remember how I sobbed my way through it. So when @robinroewriter reached out to me and asked if she could send me an early reading copy of her new book, of course I had to say yes!

Dark Room Etiquette is Robin's new dark psychological thriller that will surely put you at the edge of your seat. It follows Sayers, a boy who has everything life has to offer. Until one day, a man kidnaps him and tells him that the life he's living was built on a lie. To survive, Sayers has to live in the world his abductor has created for himโ€”until the line between fact and fiction begins to blur.

I was so engrossed with this book and I know a lot of you will love this page-turner too! I can't remember how many times I gasped, felt for Sayers, and also rooted for him along the way. What I love about the story is it also shows how people live and break through the trauma life has given them. It's one of the best books I've read this year!

๐Ÿšจ TWs may include (but not limited to) kidnapping, trauma, mental illness, torture, bullying, sexual assault. Please practice self-care by looking up additional content warnings.

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Sayers Wayte is sixteen, privileged and arrogant. He seems to have it all....adoring friends and girlfriend, a castle of a house and a community that bends to his will. What he also has is a dysfunctional family, cruel friends and no accountability. And then.....he's kidnapped by a crazed man, Caleb, and held captive and chained in darkness.
Sayers loses all sense of time and all sense of himself. His captor is intent on convincing Sayers that his life is a lie and he isn't who he thinks he is. As the brainwashing takes hold, Sayers vacillates between what he knows to be true to becoming the person his captor has convinced him he is. Even though he knows Caleb is crazed, he grows so attached to him as Caleb gives and withdraws his approval and affection.
Can Sayers survive this ordeal, or will Caleb be able to convince him that he actually rescued Sayers from a life of lies?
Promoted as a young adult fiction but this book was quite intense! There are many heartbreaking, complex and mature scenes, both before and after Sayers' abduction. There are other characters in this book that you grow to care about and some, you will be disturbed by. Unfortunately, I think they accurately represent the high school hierarchy, if slightly exaggerated.
A character driven book that will keep you on the edge of your seat. There is a lot packed into this book. It's not only a mystery thriller, but a thought provoking book highlighting the ripple effect of one's actions.

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This was a weirdly creepy book to me. Made my throat close up many times because i hated and truly felt sorry for Saye

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I have considered List of Cages one of my all-time favourite YA contemporaries for years, and so of course I was excited to check out Robin Roe's new book. And it blew me away.
I sat with this story for a couple months (unintentionally) and I still don't have the words to piece together an adequately thoughtful review.

I will say: Do check your content warnings, if that's something you may need. Though - all sensitive content did feel incredibly well handled.
But other than that ? All I can muster for a review is that this is one of the best books I've read this year.

I may continue to pull away from YA, a little more every year, but this is an author I will always wants to keep up with. I already can't wait to see what Robin comes up with next!

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TW: kidnapping, abuse, mention of SA, death, suicide,
As excited as I was for this release, I put off reading this book because I knew it was going to turn me inside out. I read Roeโ€™s first book, A LIST OF CAGES, in 2017 and I still think of it almost daily. I saw my grief for my dad in those pages, and that book will always be a part of me.
DARK ROOM ETIQUETTE was just as impactful. Itโ€™s dark and heavy, so you should go into this with the right mindset, but wow. I flew through this book. I didnโ€™t want to put it down, and in the end I wished for more because I wanted to stay with these characters. I love them so much. I wanted more of Evan, Luke, Penny and Nickel. I already want to reread it. I need to get a physical copy so I can tab it. Really, all I can think to say is: wow. I want everyone to pick up this book.
5/5 stars, DARK ROOM ETIQUETTE by Robin Roe is available now. Huge thank you to HCC Frenzy and Netgalley for providing an eARC to review.

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