Dark Rooms by Lili Anolik

Dark Rooms

The Secret History meets Sharp Objects in this stunning debut about murder and glamour set in the ambiguous and claustrophobic world of an exclusive New England prep school.Death sets the plot in motion: the murder of Nica Baker, beautiful, wild, enigmatic, and only sixteen. The crime is solved, and quickly—a lonely classmate, unrequited love, a suicide note confession—but memory and instinct won’t allow Nica’s older sister, Grace, to acc...

Details Dark Rooms

TitleDark Rooms
Release DateMar 3rd, 2015
PublisherWilliam Morrow
GenreMystery, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Suspense, Adult, Psychological Thriller

Reviews Dark Rooms

  • karen
    unlike The Secret History, this book has some problems. i was prepared for it, since so many of the reviews on here have been thumbs-down; people expecting a donna tartt or a gillian flynn and getting something altogether different. and i can't say i hated it - it's a very fast read, and it was a fine summer diversion, but it takes some frustrating shortcuts down build-the-suspense road.nica baker is sixteen when she is murdered on the grounds of...
  • Jaidee
    5 "snarky, jagged and twisted psychosexual" stars!!!! 2016 Honorable Mention Read with High Distinction This is an ancient Greek tragedy in a contemporary private school New England setting.This book absolutely blew me away. It is sooo raw, soooo sordid and yet so poignant.A 17 year old girl is murdered and her older sister seeks out her killer.Do not let the casual contemporary tone fool you. This book is full of primordial emotion. primitive l...
  • Diane S ☔
    If this book did nothing else it made me so incredibly grateful for the mother I have. Not that my family was perfect by any means but the mother in this book is a piece of work. Seriously she makes Joan Crawford look like a nominee for mother of the year. grace is the eldest, the quiet sister, the good one. Nica, one year younger is popular, considered by many to be wild. Despite these differences the sisters were close, so when Nica doesn't ret...
  • Blair
    If 2015, so far, has been the year I've started being more selective about psychological thrillers (post- Girl on the Train disappointment) and discovered that I seem to like all the films everyone hates and feel ambivalent towards all the films everyone loves, it might also become the year I finally abandon my persisting affection for any story that resembles, or is compared to, my favourite book, The Secret History. The latest disappointment i...
  • Heather *Awkward Queen and Unicorn Twin*
    Well, thank god that's over.I've read more than my share of one and two star books lately, so I really wanted to like this. Actually, I thought it was going to be amazing. But it was just awful.Whose bright idea was it to compare this book not only to The Secret History and Sharp Objects, but also Twin Peaks?The main character jumped to basically every single conclusion she made. And she had flashbacks all the time, usually in the middle of talki...
  • Zoeytron
    Murder, drug addiction, rape, sex, illicit affairs, secrets and lies, messed up family dynamics. Really too much going on here for my taste. Too many twists, turns, and red herrings made this into a story that was so busy that it detracted from the overall effect. I would have given only two stars but there was something really original in here that deserves the extra star. (view spoiler)[The mother and her own especial artwork, endlessly photogr...
  • Leanne
    Haunting, poetic and addictive, despite the teenagers who act like they're 25 rather than 16 (I don't even know if I can say that, considering I'm 25 and I'm nowhere near as deep or "mature" as the sisters in Dark Rooms) and the convenient clue-finding that crops up in almost every one of these types of novels. The privileged prep school murder story has been done to death, but I don't think I'll ever really get tired of it. And this one does bri...
  • Bridget
    Did you hate how clever and charming and well written Veronica Mars was?Did you find Bella Swan to be too nuanced and well-written a first person narrator?Is your favorite episode of Law and Order: SVU the Season 5, episode 15 "Families"? (this would be a spoiler)Do you love Mary Sue narrators?Then you will love this pop culture pastiche masquerading as a noir with no stakes and the weakest rape apology I've ever read in my life.
  • Bonnie
    My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars ‘I hauled my body along, through the trees, over the fence, toward what I knew–knew because it was there, all of it, in that piercing mechanical wail, knew because it was prophesied in my dream, as elusive as a scent, a shadow, a ghost, knew because it was written in the very blood flowing through my veins—would be as bad as it gets.’ Grace and Nica both attend Chandler Academy, a private boarding school in Hartf...
  • Laura Hogensen
    Don't make my mistake and be seduced by the well-written synopsis. It's about the only thing that's well-written about this book. DR is poorly written. Not only does it use up every gender/socioeconomic status/sexual orientation/addiction/grief coping mechanism trope that's out there, the author has no sense of voice. Her characters are supposed to be either high school juniors and seniors or college freshmen. They all sound like they are in thei...
  • Amber Nicole
    I feel like this book should not have been published. This was at best a first draft, I don't know how all of these fragments and typos escaped the editor. The toed the line between fantasy land and reality the entire book. Not to mention this whole book made me sort of uncomfortable. Grace had an unhealthy obsession with her sister to the point of Bates Motel incest. The only reason I completed this book was because I wanted to see how the autho...
  • Taryn Pierson
    The jacket description makes this book sound like a home run: sixteen-year-old prep school student Nica has been murdered. The case is closed, solved tidily without much fanfare, but Nica's sister Grace thinks the real killer is still out there. She sets out to uncover the truth about her sister's death, but she's going to have to dig through a whole lot of dirt before she reaches it. Let me stress that—a LOT of dirt.It's that sordid, seamy qua...
  • Melissa Klug
    I need to cite this book as an example of something about the book world that I find maddening, and also remind myself that I have to stop buying into the blurb game. I chose this book because it was described as all of the following: "Megan Abbott meets Twin Peaks" (fantastic), "for fans of Marisha Pessl" (great!) and "Secret HIstory meets Sharp Objects" (are you kidding me? AWESOME! Sign me up!) i MUST REMEMBER THAT THIS IS MARKETING. BOOKS DES...
  • Rebecca
    Well, this was awful. Normally I feel guilty for giving a book such a low rating, but this book was not just bad, it was offensive. I had the same problems as everyone else. First of all, Dark Rooms is nothing like The Secret History, Dark Places, Sharp Objects, Twin Peaks, or any of the other "edgy" mysteries out there. But hey, at least it wasn't hailed as the next Gone Girl like every other book!But a misleading blurb is not the offensive part...
  • Samantha
    Lili Anolik's "Dark Rooms" pretty much defied all of my expectations. I had anticipated something along the lines of Donna Tartt's "Secret History" and Tana French's recent novel, "The Secret Place," but was pleasantly surprised by the strong and gritty protagonist, and an unpredictable story. “Dark Rooms” centers around Grace Baker, who attends a Connecticut prep school with her younger sister Nica. When Nica is found murdered, the case is s...
  • Bill Kupersmith
    As the ending of Dark Rooms drew near, I could almost hear the voice of George Benson, but with the lyrics just a wee bit altered:Let me haunt you one more timeHold me closer, now you're mineLady, haunt me one last timeLady, haunt meHo, haunt me, lady.Indeed Nica Baker is the most haunting schoolgirl character I’ve encountered since Megan Abbott’s Beth Cassidy, but while it takes us a while to find out that Beth is ill-fated, Nica is dead, su...
  • Hannah
    Thank you to William Morrow for my advance reader’s edition of Dark Rooms, by Lili Anolik.Dark Rooms has been variously promoted as a combination of Twin Peaks, Megan Abbott, and The Secret History. To me, these descriptions didn’t fit the book, and so, I felt disappointed.There is a little of the wonderful creepy, quirky, hallucinatory quality of Twin Peaks, especially in one scene at the end of the novel, but the strangeness that made Twin ...
  • Samantha
    Oh, Dark Rooms. I wanted to love you. The synopsis sounds just up my alley and I heard Marisha Pessl comparisons-Pessl being my favorite author. But while I compulsively tore through this novel, and it succeeds as a thriller insofar as it makes you anxious to discover the ending, it is a deeply flawed novel. Like holy-moly, do I have issues with it.First of all, there is no reason based on the text for Lili Anolik's debut novel to be titled Dark ...
  • Tracie
    Damn, you guys - that one was rough. Two wretched "suspense" novels in a row are making me wonder if I've lost the ability to enjoy books, or at least choose them.First, this book has *nothing* in common with either *Sharp Objects* or *The Secret History,* nor does it have any of the atmosphere you would expect from a novel set in "the ambiguous and claustrophobic world of an exclusive New England prep school." That's my fault for being sucked in...
  • Darcy (Daydreamingofbookdragons)
    DNF @ 4%Ain't nobody got time for that amount of description. I do not need to know what what the doors of a balcony look like followed by the rails of the balcony . Just fucking call them balcony rails. Boom. Done. Ugh.
  • Rachel
    I picked this book up because Flavorwire highlighted it for fans of Veronica Mars. It's certainly true that the plot is almost exactly same as the first season of the show (murdered sister instead of best friend), but Dark Rooms lacks the wit, character development, and nuance that made Veronica Mars so compelling.All the characters feel sketched out and underwritten. Most frustratingly, I never felt like I knew Grace, or understood her choices. ...
  • Ash
    My immediate thoughts after reading Lili Anolik's Dark Rooms:1. Wait, that's it?2. Seriously, that's freaking IT?!!3. That's bullshit.4. Well, I guess that's one weekend I can never get back.I should have known. I was on a roll; I was reading some good, some not so good but entertaining books and then I read Dark Rooms and my streak came to a screeching halt. I knew within reading the first paragraph I wasn't going to like it but I kept trudging ...
  • Sasha
    "The Secret History" meets "Sharp Objects"? Not so much. The premise of this book was great. But the writing was awkward, the flow of the story jumpy. The people were bizarrely one dimensional, even the motivations of the main character felt wooden. The descriptions were off, too. For example, there were constantly descriptions of photographs taken from behind one of the characters - photos of her back - but then it would go on to describe her fa...
  • Marisa Turpin
    Sometimes after I finish a book, I ponder on it for a few days and grow to appreciate it even more. Not in this case, though. I find that as more time passes, the more irritated I get with this book. It started off very promising. And I was very intrigued with the mystery of who killed Nica. I even had trouble putting it down, so I lost a couple of nights good sleep as a result. However, it could have been so much better if some parts had been le...
  • Andrea Clemson
    Kirkus Reviews glowed about this book and I know they're really tough and quality critics. When it specifically said "In the process, she begins to find her own identity, an identity that is—for the first time—separate from her sister’s. As much as this is a crime drama, it's also a coming-of-age novel" I became very interested. I gave it a try and was hooked from minute one. Total surprises and quality writing. The author brings a consiste...
  • Sophie Quelle
    Amazing! Couldn't put it down. (Got my hands on an ARC and flipped.) I want a movie.
  • Amy
    Grace Baker has always been the girl who causes no trouble. She is a good student, she is a dutiful daughter, and she is a loyal sister. If here is drama to be found, Grace leaves it to her younger sister Nica.Until, that is, Nica is murdered.The police think they identify the culprit, so Grace, her parents, Nica's friends, and the school community where they live should find peace, right? Peace is a difficult commodity, however, when the real ki...
  • Allison
    This novel was marketed as "Megan Abbott meets Twin Peaks." The Megan Abbott part has to do with the troubled teen girls at the center of the book, Grace, and her murdered sister. The Twin Peaks part has to do with Grace having full blown conversations with her dead sister, and showing up to a party dressed like her. I guess it's not VERY Twin Peaks, just trippy and disturbing, but that's where I think the blurb comes from. ANYWAYS.I liked this b...