28 March 2014

(ARC) Book Review: Roomies by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando

by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Expected publication: December 24th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format Acquired: ARC from publisher via NetGalley (thank you!)
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
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.
I wasn't overly excited about the plot at first because, even if I'm in college, I really can't relate to EB and Lauren's story. Since my school is only 40-minutes away, I can stay at home with my family. I've always wondered what it would be like living in a dorm though. Especially if I had a roommate. So once EB and Lauren started sending emails back and forth, I began enjoying the story.

I liked the contrast between the two girls and the very different stories they tell. EB's well-off compared to Lauren. You can tell from the very beginning when EB asked Lauren which dorm room appliance she would like to bring with her like it's no big deal. Naturally, Lauren did think it was a big deal because that meant getting extra cash out to look for a cheap but usable microwave. It was because of that first email that Lauren started hating EB a bit. Not to worry though because along the way, she started liking her more. It wasn't a smooth beginning to their friendship, but they became friends nonetheless. I also liked that because of their differences, each side of the story had a different focus. It's like you could relate to either girls in some way. There was family issues and romance but ultimately, both girls had to deal with moving on and letting go.

I guess in a way, I could relate with both girls. The idea of entering a new chapter, such as college, is both exciting and nerve-racking. Moving on to new and bigger things is thrilling but that means everyone in your life will too. Once reality hits, you've got no choice but to keep going. EB and Lauren felt this at some point in the story. What made everything bearable was the fact that they had each other. Through many emails, they told each other about their summer. They had this one person who didn't exactly belong to their life (yet) so they could easily tell the other what's up. It's comforting, I suppose, and I understand how they feel. I love that they were able to get to know each other and to grow close despite not meeting in person yet. When they finally did meet, it was... simple. But beautiful. A perfect ending if you ask me.

Roomies is a great story about life and the changes you go through even before you're ready. It's simply the kind of story that you won't get all crazy about but will definitely stick with you for a long time. Because in one way or another, we can all relate to EB and Lauren.

1 comment:

  1. Aww, this sounds like a lovely book and great review! Yep, you're definitely right. I've always wondered how it was like to live in a college dorm room. In the US most people move out at age 18, which is so different here, HAHA!