Creative, Culture, Literature, Review

Book Review: ‘The Roommates’ By Rachel Sargeant Is a Shocking But Insightful Story About Student Safety

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The Roommates is Rachel Sargeant’s third book, about a girl who goes missing during a freshers fair with her new flatmates. Her flatmates take it upon themselves to find her, revealing secrets about themselves in the process. 

Even though the book starts off a little slow, there’s just something about these girls that makes you want to read on. They’re nuanced in a way that everything they say makes you question whether it was a hint to a secret they’re keeping or not. And their secrets are not what you expect at all. I found myself drawn to these characters, more-so their stories, and how they ended up at The Abbey.

The Abbey reads just like a typical university experience, which is a testament to Sargeant’s writing – she has encapsulated very extraordinary circumstances. I can somehow relate to these girls, and their day-to-day lives, even though they are on the hunt for a missing person.

I also enjoyed the way Sargeant let us hear from each of the girl’s perspectives. Although I understand that the situation was a replica of Imogen’s situation with her sister, I would have liked to have heard more from Tegan and Phoenix – their stories were so interesting and original. 

Whilst reading this I thought a lot about student safety. Particularly in Manchester, this has become an unavoidable conversation, one which is highly important. The ending took me by surprise – it wasn’t what I was expecting – which is definitely a good thing.

The book provided a clear insight into how there can be danger present in anyone or anything. However, it also showed the extreme lengths people will go for you, even if they barely know. Sargeant could have chosen to write this about friends who have lived together for years, neighbours, or even school friends, but she chose to make them strangers, which was heart-warming to read. 

Over-all, I enjoyed this book. It kept me on my toes, and never became too obvious. I was slightly underwhelmed with the reveal, but the build-up was beautifully written. This book is controlled and always has you looking over your shoulder. A fun read for sure!

The Roommates, available on Amazon.

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Emily Jones

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