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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Book Review: In Your Room by Jordanna Fraiberg

I know there are different schools of thought on interior decoration. There is the minimalist school of thought, the 'This painting matches my sofa' school of thought, there's the modern approach where everything is sterile looking and I'd be afraid to sit down.

My personal philosophy is to mix and match. Well, the living room furniture all matches because I bought a set, but everything else is very eclectic. I like to collect odd trinkets. So not only do I have mementos from my travels and souvenirs given to me from my friend's and family's travels, I also have medieval accents including Vlad the Impaler, Asian accents including masks, Gothic and macabre accents (Halloween isn't just for, well, Halloween. Some of the stuff stays out year round), some folk art looking pieces.

Even though there is a lot of things all over the house, when the house is tidied, it never seems overly cluttered. It's sort of a feast for the eyes. There's something every where and lots to look at. To me, it feels very comfortable and homey.

How a room or a house is decorated says a lot about a person. It's a reflection of the person who occupies that space. How do you think you would feel, though, if you had to give up your space for a couple of months and allow a stranger access to it? I'm not certain I would want someone touching my things when I'm not there, but I do like inviting people into my home. My house says things about me, things that I could never communicate. And yes, my house tells people I'm a little strange, but I'm okay with that.

Book Description (From Amazon):
Release Date: October 16, 2008
Molly and Charlie have fallen head over heels in love, even though they've never met Molly is a fashion-conscious city girl in L.A. Charlie is an earthy, mountain-biking dude from Boulder, Colorado. Each of them has big plans with their respective friends for the summer until they discover that their parents decided to swap houses!
Luckily there's no amount of homesickness that a bit of snooping can't cure. Charlie and Molly begin crawling under beds and poking around in closets to find out a little more about each other, and they like what they find.

Can Charlie and Molly's long-distance romance survive jealousy, misunderstandings, and the thousand miles between them?

MTV's Room Raiders meets You've Got Mail in this sweet, old-fashioned love story for the digital age. . .

My Review:
This is a book I just chanced upon in the book store and I really liked the concept. Two families do a house swap for the summer with both having a teenager the same age. One is a girl and one a boy and they are both less than thrilled to be giving up their home and staying in someone else's house for the summer. As it happens they are both staying in each other's rooms.

It all started with a cat in the window.  He climbs up into the window and meows all night long. Charlie doesn't know what to do about the cat, so he finds Molly's name and looks her up on Facebook. He then sends her a message asking about what to do with the cat and that is the start of their summer correspondence.

This is a 'he said, she said' book with alternating chapters. I found it to be a really sweet tale. At the start of the book, Molly and Charlie are resentful and less than thrilled about the swap. When they first find themselves in each other's rooms, they form opinions about each other, none of it too flattering.

Molly is horrified to find that Charlie has Star Wars sheets on his bed and that he must be the biggest geek. He has bicycling posters on the wall and dirty laundry under the bed.  Charlie thinks Molly is stuck up as she has a bulletin board full of pictures of herself, but always with other people, so he is not sure which girl is Molly. The room is girly and has floral patterns and it's very clean.

Molly responds to Charlie's message to tell him what to do about the cat. She calls him Cheese as she doesn't know his name. It is not her cat, but he visits and she feeds him. Molly and Charlie start corresponding and exploring the rooms they're staying in, finding that first impressions are not always correct and that rooms can tell a lot about a person. As they continue their correspondence, they find themselves being drawn closer and closer together.

Charlie gets Molly to start taking his mountain bike out for rides. He even gives her directions for some of the best trails. He convinces her to take a chance and go for her dreams, by entering a competition for an intern position at a fashion design studio as she would like to be a fashion designer one day.

Molly, for Charlie, is someone he can relate to and he can share his passion for biking. He has had lots of girlfriends, but it was always very superficial. He has never felt a deep connection with any of the girls he's dated, but he feels very comfortable with Molly, like he can tell her anything.

They get closer as the summer progresses and then Charlie tells Molly he has to meet her before the end of the summer. He just can't wait that long. They make plans to meet, but Charlie gets caught doing something stupid that could jeopardize the plans to meet and their future together, if there is going to be one.

I like the anonymity of conversing strictly through electronic medium. I believe it would allow a person to be more free, to say things and share things they might not otherwise. Is it enough to build a relationship on? I'm not really sure, but I think it could be possible.


  1. That sounds interesting. :) It's the first I hear of this book, thanks for the review!!

    1. I never heard of it either and it came out in 2008. It just jumped out at me from the shelf and I couldn't ignore it. It is a quick, light read and I really like the format. Since one chapter was Molly and the next was Charlie, I kept wanting to read to the next chapter to see what the character would have to say next. I couldn't put it down.

  2. Sounds like a great read! And don't you just love those books that call our to you from the bookshelf and demand that you take them home? And btw, your house doesn't say you're strange, it says you're creative/artistic/eclectic! I seriously have to resist taking anything home every time I visit! :)

    1. Yeah. This one would not be ignored. The premise was too interesting and I likes that both characters had a serious attitude about the switch. I liked seeing how their first impressions based on their rooms changed slowly over the time of their correspondence.
      Eclectic? Yes, but strange compareed to some people's standards. Then again, I don't allow those people into my house. Everything's tagged by the way, so I'll know if they've been moved. I still haven't forgotten what you used to do to my Han and Leia figures.

    2. What Han and Leia figures? No idea what you're talking about... *whistles innocently*

    3. All I'm saying is that they needed to have a time out thanks to you. While Han is at work, Leia is in a box in the storage facility. I may never let her out again.