Room 2 Discussion

Jessie: This is the first book I’ve read that has this many characters that have a disability. I listen through an audiobook and the voices bring a new light to the characters that really connect to the emotion of the story.

Sonia: Yeah Mia’s story is really difficult to read, but the intersectionality of trauma and disability that is presented here is something important to see, especially with the POV writing, which really connects you to the characters.

Maddie: The representation of Disability and Romantic relationships is also something that is really important to see, instead of the hypersexualization that we viewed previously.

Emily: I wish that there were less narrators, but I feel really drawn to a few of them. The representation of some of these characters having an angry personality and opinion is different from disabled stereotypes that are presented.

Sonia: The representation is also totally valid, they give a healthy viewpoint of justified anger.

Jessie: I appreciate Ricky and Jimmie. Having it read to me assists with my own disability and allows me to follow their story. Giving the different perspectives gives a different view of the world the author has created. Joanne’s perspective vs the other disabled “kids” vs the parents (who are dealing with having to provide for these kids what the facility can’t) vs Michelle and how she is struggling with her role in the corporation. Getting to see all of those factors together is really rewarding. It’s super complex, and presented in a wonderful way.

I personally believe the story is centered around Joanna and the way that the surrounding characters are going to help her improve the facility.

Sonia: The multiple narrators has to be done right, and I think that this author does. The speaking styles change for each character. They are all unique and it works really well, demonstrating their personality through narration styles.

Jessie: I agree, some books have really flat characters that don’t develop or change, but this novel is able to change and demonstrate development and gives you an image that you can see.

Maddie: I do think sometimes though, characters don’t change for reasons and teach intentional lessons that not changing has consequences. In this book, the growth and change are intentionally placed to see how trauma develops and shapes those with disabilities and also gives credit to representing those with disabilities as able to grow and change given resources and opportunity.

Emily: That’s why I think that the character selection here is also important, otherwise it could very much be a conversation about “poor disabled kids and the good adults who take care of them”

Sonia: There also a huge capital lens through Michelle’s character, which makes you doubt her intentions.