The Rooms We Hide: The Secrets Duet – Book 1 is the debut novel by J. S. Mercier, and it follows our main character Jenevive Martin as she struggles to move forward in a life where her father was brutally murdered.
Talk about a book with a goddamn plot twist! I think this is the first book, in my entire career of reading, where I actually had to put it down to process the plot twist. At least the first one. It hit me like a goddamn train when it happened and I was left stunned.
The plot of this books is essentially Jenevive (Jen) has to cope with her father being brutally murdered in a mugging attack. At least that is what the police say, but Jen cannot quite believe that is true. While she and her two best friend, Daniel and Brandon, are trying to cope, some old friends (Ryan and Evan) that disappeared four years ago come back into the picture.
Suddenly her coping mechanism needs to work extra hard as she has to process all of this new information.
I will be honest, there is SOOO much I want to say about this book, that I am completely unwilling to say because you need to read it yourself. That being said, the beginning of the book is a bit slow and can take some time to get involved in. Just give it a minute and keep reading. If you do, the characters are well worth it, bringing intrigue and mystery with them.
There is something that I do absolutely have to talk about. And that is the relationship between Jen and Brandon. One is male, one is female, and they are best friends and have been for many, many years. And J. S. Mercier does something so incredibly with their relationship. At one point in time, after Ryan and Evan have come back into the picture, Jen and Brandon crawl into bed together to snuggle. There is nothing romantic involved in this action. NOTHING. Instead, it is two friends seeking the comfort they need, normalizing the need for human touch. They hug, they joke, they get along, and it is so amazing to see the author NOT shy away from this kind of touch.
The one bad thing about this book, is a relationship between Jen and someone else does end up developing, and it feels like it moves so fast, without much context as to why it is moving so fast. And yes, I do end up understanding it, and I am fine with how it turns out, but I wish the author had spent a bit more time (maybe a few sentences here and there) giving more life to this relationship.
Overall – this was a fantastic book with so many twists and turns that I was not expecting. The second book in this series will be coming out at some point in time in the future and I for sure plan on reading it ASAP. That being said, this is NOT A BOOK FOR CHILDREN. It is also not a book for adults that cannot stomach some darker things. If you can handle that, pick up the book, and read it!
Plot – 10/10
Characters – 8/10
Originality – 10/10
General Joy of Reading – 8/10
Overall Score – 36/40
The Rooms We Hide: The Secrets Duet – Book 1 by J. S. Mercier
Cost* – Kindle is $2.99 Paperback is $14.99. Book is included with Kindle Unlimited
*Cost is based upon what the book cost when book review is published