The Healing Room

A Young Adult Novel

Young Adult - Social Issues
417 Pages
Reviewed on 05/01/2020
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Author Biography

Michaela James is an on-air personality for a local radio station.
She lives near Reno, Nevada, where there are lovely walking trails and lots of sun. Michaela grew up in Hampshire, England, where there is less sun, but better chocolate! Happily married with two sons, Michaela enjoys watching great movies and taking long walks.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Healing Room is a work of fiction around social and emotional issues written by author Michaela James. Penned for young adult and adult audiences, the work does contain sensitive themes such as the termination of a pregnancy and some milder curse words. The conceptual background of the story surrounds the mysterious No Divide company, which claims to present peace and solace for those who have lost loved ones via The Healing Room. With the prospect of knowing that there is indeed a hereafter, our young protagonists Bronwyn and Mateo grow suspicious of No Divide’s motives and seek to investigate what’s really going on behind the scenes.

This was a really intriguing concept from the outlook and one which is sure to hook readers in and keep them invested as the mystery elements of the book unfold. Amid the set-up issues of grief and loss, there are also multi-genre elements going on in the plot such as romance, speculative fiction and plenty of interpersonal drama. I liked the switching points of view, which bring us closer to both central characters and allow author Michaela James to deliver some excellent character development in their thought and speech presentation. This makes for a compelling narrative with characters you can easily root for, and also gives a lot of food for thought when the conclusion of the mystery element is brought about. Overall, The Healing Room is a recommended read for fans of YA fiction looking for convincing teen drama and an interesting high concept mystery.

Tiffany Ferrell

In Michaela James’ The Healing Room, we are introduced to two main characters. Bronwyn is a high school senior who isn’t like her older sisters and pays the price for it. After a brief fling with a college boy, she becomes pregnant and chooses to have an abortion which has a serious effect on her mental health. In an attempt to get their daughter back to normal, Bron’s mom and dad have her take a temporary live-in nanny position with her father's business partner. The wife of her dad's coworker had recently lost her twin sister and has no will to take care of her newborn daughter. This temporary position soon becomes long-term and after some months, Bron becomes friends with the baby’s mother, Diane. One day Bron receives a message from a lady named Amshu who works with a company called No Divide, saying that she has a message for Diane from her deceased sister. Then we have Mateo, a young man fresh out of college who gets the job offer of a lifetime, or so he thinks. Hired at No Divide, Mateo immediately starts getting a strange feeling about the company and more so how secretive they are about these messages that people record for their loved ones before they die...

I really enjoyed reading The Healing Room. Michaela James has done such a wonderful job with The Healing Room and instantly draws her audience in. The main characters were well written and very in-depth. I really liked how Bron and Mateo were alike in some aspects and how they ended up becoming involved in the same drama. It wasn’t a matter of if the two characters would collide while reading; it was when. The overall story plot was thrilling with a bit of horror tossed into it. It gave you the feeling that something like this could actually happen. There are so many naive people in the world and, just the same, there are many companies and people that do target the naive and grieving as victims. It’s definitely a book I would recommend.

Sandy Masia

Seventeen-year-old Bronwyn is a social enigma; she is quiet, analytic, and individualistic. Being this way casts her as difficult and uncompromising, not a girl's girl at all. Because of this, she is still trying to figure herself out. Mateo is a recent graduate who is trying to land his first job. The tenacious, curious, and perceptive young man gets his first break with a company that is not very open about what it does or how it operates. The Healing Room tells the story of these two as they grapple with themselves, their ambitions, and the mysterious company.

The Healing Room by Michaela James is a suspenseful read that is absorbing and gripping. A current of depth consistently runs through it, giving it weight. It is a story that is successful at marrying sensibilities and themes of several genres into something wholesome and closer to everyday human experience. In it, you can find hints of mystery, thriller, young adult general fiction, and touches of new adult fiction. All these characteristics create a multidimensional cross-genre landscape that closely resembles the often nuanced nature of life and its challenges. This has given The Healing Room the powerful gift of reading like real-life accounts instead of mere fiction. This is despite the suspension of disbelief required in certain parts. Michaela James gives her characters a voice that is introspective, perceptive, and unabashedly human and succeeds in creating an intoxicating intimacy between the characters and the reader. In the end, The Healing Room is an enamoring read that is immensely satisfying. It is highly recommended.