Monday, January 27, 2014

Roomies by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando- Review

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 was very surprised with this book, I was expecting something like Fangirl. I was prepared to read about two girls in their first year of college getting acclimated to the freedom, and new people, and class load... you know, all that stuff that we've all been through. I was so shocked when it finally occurred to me that most of this book was about Lauren and EB's lives the summer before college and the e-mail exchanges between them. My roommate and I pretty much stopped after we figured out who was going to bring the TV and who was going to bring the fridge (I was the fridge). I love that Lauren and EB sort of became each others confidants, we all know that it's easier to tell something to a complete stranger that the people closest to you.

There was so much character development in this book! It was so intense! Without giving too much away these girls really learn a lot their last summer home before college, it's amazing how over a three month period you can learn more about yourself and your wants, than in the four years of high school.

I don't feel like I can say anymore without spoiling, I'll just announce that I'm going to dub this my first 5 stars book of the year. I was pleasantly surprised, this book had a lot going for it.


  1. It totally reminded me of Fangirl at first, but it seems totally different. Seems like a fun one though, and I think I'd enjoy this one because of the emailing thing, I've been emailing someone for the past 8 years, and she's pretty much one of my best friends, though we've never actually met. But, she's someone I can talk to about anything, which like you said, is easier than talking to others. Glad you enjoyed it! :)

    1. When I read the description of the book I though it was going to be like Fangirl too, but I'm glad it was different. There are so many books that talk about the first or last year of college, but the summer before a persons Freshman year, has always been uncharted territory.

      Man, e-mail the same person for 8 years. I wish I could say the same. It's so easy to talk to someone who has an objective outside view of things. I wonder if there's a website or something where I can find someone my age to e-mail to. Modern day pen pals!

  2. Interesting. I saw this book, but honestly didn't think much about it, but now I think I'll give it a try. Thanks for your review!!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. I wasn't sure what to think about it myself but I was so surprised. If you get a hold of it I hope you like it!