by Tara Altebrando and Sara Zarr
Read: November 24, 2013
Published: December 24, 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers **UPCOMING**
Source: NetGalley - THANK YOU, LB!
Category: Contemporary YA, anticipating college
Find: 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.
Elizabeth (EB) lives in New Jersey with her single mom. She is very excited to be going across the country for college at Berkeley in the fall. When she receives her roommate assignment, she can't wait to start getting to know the person she'll be living with at school. She eagerly sends an email to introduce herself.
Lauren lives in San Francisco with her parents and four younger siblings. She even shares a room with two of them. She is never alone and because of that had requested a single room for the fall. She's a bit dismayed to receive an email from her new roommate, because it means she will have to share her space again.
Told in a combination of email and narrative, Roomies is the story of two girls living on opposite coasts, whose lives become linked because of their college room assignment. EB and Lauren's conversations start off a little rocky, but as different as their lives are, their experiences also run parallel in their last summer before college. Both come to terms with the fact that their places their families are changing. They learn to deal with relationships maturely - both friends and romance. They ask questions about race, make decisions about sex. Have break ups, fall in love, and make mistakes. Both EB and Lauren discover that there are a lot of ways to misunderstand each other thru email, but they also experience a lot of growth and even some bonding through their summer conversations.
When I started Roomies, I was particularly nervous about both of these girls starting new romances, because for me the summer before college was much more about ending things. But I really liked how both relationships were handled in this story, with a dose of hope and realism. I also wasn't quite as reflective as these girls are, and I don't remember that period in my life being all that life changing for me. More anticipatory. Still, this book made me do some thinking back to my life right before college. I went to school six hours and 4 states away, although I did room with a friend (whose name was also Lauren. We were Lauren + Lauren or The Laurens and lots of other cute nicknames), but I enjoyed getting to know these girls and watching them grow up individually and learn to communicate with each other as friends and adults. I have a feeling they're going to be the type of roommates that still get together years later.
Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone
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