Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Book Review: Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
(I received this book to review from NetGalley.)
Description from Good Reads
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.
Based on the description of the book, I figured it would be something I would like, but I didn't expect to absolutely fall in love with it!
The book switches back and forth between Elizabeth (or EB), and Lauren's perspectives. I really love books that switch perspectives so you can get to know more than one character and get inside of their head.
EB is an only child of a single mother. Lauren is the oldest of five brother's and sister's, and her parents are still married. They seem to be the same economic class, though EB might have an edge up. EB is from the East Coast, and Lauren lives in San Francisco, not that far from where they are going to college in Berkeley.
Of both the girls, I think Lauren's story overall is my favorite. I love her relationship with the boy she begins dating, I love her family life (even though it seems hectic)... she just seemed a lot easier-going than EB.
Not that EB was a badly written character- far from it! Both characters felt completely fleshed out, like they were real girls and we were just getting to peak inside of their e-mail accounts. And both girls relationships, both personal and familial, made me understand who they were and who you could see them becoming.
Some people won't like this type of story- if you have trouble following multiple storylines, for example, this book is definitely not for you. It doesn't skip around- you will know when you're reading Lauren, and you will know when you are reading EB. They are two completely separate characters- I think having the two authors also helps with this because the author isn't trying to write from two different perspectives while trying to resolve conflict, so it feels more real. If that makes sense. But if you have difficulties with more than one story line, I would skip this.
The "final" conflict between the two girls was a little hurried, but mostly I was okay with it overall. There was a couple of weeks between the start and conclusion, and that seemed like a good amount of time- a real amount of time for resolution. It, again, felt very real to me. The whole book basically just felt like a diary between two girls getting ready to go to college.
I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a fun story, a light read, or someone that is at this stage in their life. I think I would have loved this even more if I had been in high school when I read it, and not 28, looking back on my high school experiences. And that's saying something, because I loved this book so much, that I already want to re-read it!
This book is available to pre-order now on Amazon for Kindle and in Hardcover, and is set to release on December 24th.
FTC: I received this book to review from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This post does contain amazon.com affiliate links. All proceeds from purchases will be put back into this blog to purchase products to review.