Van in front of Grand Tetons

Room For Rent – A Thriller I Had High Hopes For

Jackson Nielsen

As I scrolled my way through the endless TikToks that were on my for you page, I found myself being shown lists of books that have been labeled disturbing thrillers that will mess the reader up. This is where I first learned of Room For Rent by Noelle West Ihli. Being a lover of horror and thriller novels, I decided to purchase my own copy to see if the hype was real. And it was… kind of.

This book centers around Nya, a poor college student who is in her last semester of schooling with a heavy workload of 27 credit hours. But to her surprise, she finds a house for rent within her budget where she would be rooming with a stranger named Sidney. Upon moving in, she discovers a messy, rundown home and under the assumption that Sidney would be a girl, she is shocked to find a man awaiting her. From here, the story only gets stranger. With nowhere else to go, she decides that it is just one semester and she can tough it out. But after nights of waking up to strange noises and things moving around inside her room while she slept, Nya’s paranoia ever increases. Up to this point, my curiosity was piqued but I was not scared, more interested to see how things would play out. 

As the plot began to heat up, I found myself unable to put the book down. This is a quick read as I was able to finish it in less than a day. The ending to this story was definitely a plot twist that I did not foresee, however, I found it less horrifying than the online masses made it out to be. I really enjoyed the book and thought the plot was well thought out and would definitely recommend it to those lovers of horror and thriller novels. But a word of advice to those who do decide to read it for themselves. Don’t expect to have your socks knocked off and to be unable to sleep. A thriller it is indeed, but it is not a thriller that will keep you up at night. I will say it was an entertaining read but I believe my preconceived notions might have overhyped the story leading to a small sense of disappointment. With all that said, I would invite horror and thriller lovers to give it a read for themselves and form your own opinions on Noelle West Ihli’s Room For Rent.