Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Review: Roomies by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando

Title: Roomies
Authors: Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando
Sara Author Info: Website|News|Twitter|Facebook
Tara Author Info: Website|Blog|Twitter|Facebook
Genre: young Adult
Source: Netgalley
Publication Date: 24th December 2013

Tell Me About It
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.
My Thoughts
When  I got an email from netgalley about Roomies, and that there was a set amount of 'Read Now' copies available I quickly logged on to get a copy. Having already read a book by Sara Zarr I knew what to expect from her and knew I liked her writing.
Told in alternating chapters between Lauren in San Francisco, and Elizabeth in New Jersey, Roomies is a story about two complete strangers getting to know each other via email before they go off to college and have to share a room.
Lauren has lots of siblings and initially wanted a single room, finding out she has to share rooms was not in her plan, Elizabeth, eager to get to college, initiates contact between this duo and they slowly get to learn more about each other, even the parts they did not want to know.

I'm not going to say too much about the plot itself, but write how I felt about the book and the characters themselves. Roomies was an enjoyable read that I quickly found myself engrossed with. I enjoyed getting to see a friendship develop between two complete strangers, that have been thrown together in the roommate lottery, but also see how having two strangers with opposite personalities doesn't always work in the roommate lottery and while a friendship is built up, it is also quick to fall apart.  The girls have the usual ups and downs like with any friendship, but it's harder and takes more effort on behalf of both of these girls to keep that friendship going.

Having Roomies told in alternating voices also lets us look into both of these girls lives, seeing how they live and what they experience, even though they come from opposite ends of the social ladder they have similar struggles like other teenagers, but also struggles that revolve around themselves and their conscience.
Finishing Roomies I have no idea which author wrote which part, but it also has me interested in Tara's work, so that's more books for me to research.

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