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A Room on Lorelei Street Audible – Unabridged

4.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A Room on Lorelai Street is a story of a young woman trying to make it from one day to the next and attempting to rise above her less-than-stellar unbringing.

Zoe once had a family consisting of a mother, a father, a younger brother and herself. By the time she was a teenager, everything had fallen apart. Her father died. Her mother turned to alcohol. Her brother was sent away to live with relatives, but Zoe had to stay, for the sake of her mother - and her overbearing grandmother.

Zoe finds a small house on Lorelai Street with a room to rent. It is owned by a kind elderly woman, and the rent is cheap, something she can afford on her salary as an afterschool waitress. She is at first hesitant to move out of her home, but when her mother does one more thing - the straw that broke the camel's back - Zoe gets out of there.

What makes protagonist Zoe remarkable is that she does not lament her childhood nor blame others. She never whines about her situation. She never drowns in self-pity. She is a likable, fallible character.

Set in modern-day and written in present tense, A Room on Lorelai Street is something which can be read cover-to-cover in one sitting. Not only that, but this book should appeal to teenagers and adults alike, reading it with different perspectives.

Anyone who has ever struggled to make ends meet, no matter what his or her age or situation, will appreciate the numbers Zoe has to crunch, the sacrifices she has to make, and the consequences she must face. Congratulations to Mary Pearson on creating a character with heart and writing a book that will stick with readers years after they have finished it.
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Format: Hardcover
Mary E. Pearson's A Room on Lorelei Street is gripping and well-written, a bleak story with streaks of hope. A Room on Lorelei Street is the story of Zoe, a 17-year-old girl burdened by a difficult family. Her father is dead, under somewhat mysterious circumstances, and her mother pretty much lives inside the bottle. Her beloved younger brother has been sent away to live with a more stable aunt and uncle, who have no room for Zoe, while Zoe is left to care for her irresponsible and needy mother.

One day Zoe sees a sign advertising a room for rent in a gracious home on Lorelei Street. She is unable to resist the lure of getting away from her mother, and of being in a place that's all her own, clean and quiet and safe. She rents the room (more of a studio apartment) from the quirky but kind Opal, and finds it everything she has dreamed of. However the ties of family and guilt are not so easy to break, and Zoe struggles with continuing demands from her family. She also struggles financially, not really able to afford living on her own while working part time while attending high school. But she's not willing to go back, either.

This book made me think about all of the things that I took for granted growing up: clean clothes, abundant food, parents to attend any plays or recitals that I was in, siblings who lived in the same house. Zoe is painfully in need of someone to care about her, to put her needs first, to be what family is supposed to be. When Opal attends one of her tennis matches and cheers for her, it brings tears to Zoe's eyes. She considers it the nicest thing that anyone has ever done for her. How sad is that? How many kids are there who have no one to care about them?
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Format: Hardcover
Secrets can hurt, and Zoe Beth Buckman and her family have way too many of them.

When Zoe's father died, her family fell apart. Her little brother, more hers than either of her parents', was sent to live with her aunt and uncle. Now, her mother drinks too much and doesn't go to work when she says she will. Zoe, straining from the effort of keeping the household together and waitressing to make ends meet, acts out in class. She realizes, though the decision is anything but easy, that she must have a room of her own if she wants to regain control of her life.

The answer to her needs comes in the form of a room at 373 Lorelei Street. Opal Keats, in order to make ends meet and pay her taxes, rents a room to Zoe. In Opal, Zoe finds an ally, someone who has seen much of the past but always looks to the future. Zoe swears she'll never return to her mother's house and the life she left. But when expenses are high and her only income comes from waitressing at a diner, she knows she might have to go to an extreme or two in order to keep her room.

With strength, resolve, and a little help from an old woman with a big dog, Zoe tackles her problems one by one. Even though there are no happy endings, Zoe is able to overcome her family's troubles as well as her own, and the reader can feel all of her frustration, love, sadness and determination.

--- Reviewed by Carlie Webber
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Format: Paperback
A Room on Lorelei Street is the story of Zoe, a girl desperate to escape a scarring family situation, and be acknowledged by a world that does not see her. Zoe's character is wise and vulnerable and very fallible. I found that I could identify with many of her thought processes, even when I disapproved of some of her decisions. She was not a selfish person, but she lived in a world where others preyed on her to fulfill their own needs: her mother, her grandmother, the slimebag at the diner, etc... Though the book takes place most often in Zoe's mind, it was not a boring book, nor does it lack action. The author is able to create tension by sharing Zoe's tensions as she struggles to break free of her past and everyone and everything that is trying to drag her down. I had a hard time putting this one down, and I actually wish it had been longer or that there was a sequel. Zoe is very likeable, and I wanted to see what the next part of her life is.
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