December 2, 2013

Review: Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Netgalley
Release Date: December 24, 2013
Pages: 217

Goodreads | Amazon

It's time to meet your new roomie.

When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl's summer -- and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.

As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they've never met.

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr and acclaimed author Tara Altebrando join forces for a novel about growing up, leaving home, and getting that one fateful e-mail that assigns your college roommate.

When I first saw Roomies on Edelweiss I knew I wanted to read it immediately and when I finally got a Review Copy to read I was ecstatic.

Roomies centres around two girls about to embark on their college journey. Elizabeth (EB or Ebb as Lauren refers to her) and Lauren are polar opposites, but somehow they each help the other out their last summer. Both girls are going through similar fears. Leaving your friends and family behind, finding that one boy and not knowing what the future brings, family issues, etc. What starts as an innocent email to organize some simple logistics of living together evolves into a complicated relationship.

Going to college is a scary, but an exciting time. This book totally brought me back to that moment and hit all those feelings you have prior to that big change right on the head. Roomies was a sweet book about the summer before everything changes. The authors did a wonderful job at keeping the voices of Lauren and Ebb distinct. I do find in a lot of dual POVs the voices gets muddled and I can’t always tell who is telling their story, but that wasn’t the case with Roomies.

Each girl had a similar story, but complete opposite at the same time. Lauren comes from a family with five other siblings and craves five minutes alone when she’s not a babysitting duty. Ebb always wanted to know what it was like to have a family, being she’s is often on her own as her mother is a serial dater. Even though both girls embark on a relationship during the summer, neither relationship was on the same level. They might have started that way, but one gets a lot more serious compared to the other by the end of the summer.

Even though their friendship was based around emails (which I love stories with letters and emails) Ebb and Lauren fight like real friends. Their friendship wasn’t perfect with sunshine and lollipops. They talked about their feelings, issues, and fears that they couldn’t talk about with their besties and helped each other through that last summer.

My Rating:

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