{Blog Tour} Book Review: ROOMIES by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format Acquired: e-ARC
Source: NetGalley
Published December 24th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Purchase Links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Kobo / 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.

When I saw this at NetGalley, I just knew I have to read it. And so far, I'm not regretting it. I won't regret reading it. I can relate so much to these ladies, moving out for college. I just never felt the best part: having a roommate, or should I say, I roomie.

Roomies is a fun, light read contemporary with dual POV from Elizabeth (or EB) and Lauren. Elizabeth is basically living with her mom who dates guys who were married. And her dad is gay. She's having a problem with it since she knows the son of the guy her mom is currently dating. She can't tell her friend and she just want to go away from all of this. Whereas Lauren lives with her family, and she's got a lot of siblings. There were also times like she just want to take a break from her responsibilities at home. 

That is when EB decided to reach out to her assigned roomie. Not to blab about her problems, but to ask about the things they should bring into the new room they'll be sharing for the next four years. Well, that's what they're supposed to talk about over the e-mail, but they haven't realized how open they became to each other, to a stranger they won't meet until classes start. I love how open they are to each other, and that they care for what each other would think of the other. I understand that they were careful of what they say over the internet, since they might be misunderstood by each other. Of course you wouldn't want to unintentionally hurt someone you're supposed to be with for your whole college life.

They became comfortable telling each other some of their secrets and shared some about their lives. Like all friendship, they reached the point where conflicts came in. EB went mad to Lauren about something and Lauren was confused on why she became the bad guy in the first place. They even thought about having another roomie! But eventually, time heals. They finally understood each other and said sorry, gaining back the friendship they had before.

I totally enjoyed reading Roomies. Especially the part where they moved on to their college dorm. It felt like the day I felt the first time I moved away from my parents. I cried for months (yeah, I'm a crybaby) because I miss my family so much, especially my siblings. I miss our talks during dinner, the toys scattered around, everything about them. But now, I'm okay with it. I moved on, and call them every other night or whenever I'm free just to hear their voices.

Anyway, would I recommend Roomies? Totally! Especially to you who are going to college and thinking of what to expect in having a roommate!


Sara Zarr

Sara Zarr is the acclaimed author of five novels for young adults, most recently The Lucy Variations, which the New York Times called “an elegant novel.” Her sixth, a collaborative novel with Tara Altebrando, came out December 2013. She’s a National Book Award finalist and two-time Utah Book Award winner. Her books have been variously named to annual best books lists of the American Library Association, Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, School Library Journal, the Guardian, the International Reading Association, the New York Public Library and Los Angeles Public Library, and have been translated into many languages. Born in Cleveland and raised in San Francisco, she currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband, and online at www.sarazarr.com.

Author Links:

Tara Altebrando

In addition to my most recent novel, THE BEST NIGHT OF YOUR (PATHETIC) LIFE, I’m the author of three previous books for Young Adults, including DREAMLAND SOCIAL CLUB, which was a Kirkus Reviews Best Books for Teens of 2011, THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS and WHAT HAPPENS HERE.

Next up is ROOMIES, a novel I cowrote with Sara Zarr (Little Brown, December) and then my middle-grade debut, THE BATTLE OF DARCY LANE (Running Press Kids, May 2014).

I live in Queens, New York, with my husband and two young daughters, Ellie and Violet.

Author Links:

“Live in the present. Take care of the relationships in front of you now. Most friendships have a natural life, and when they've lived that out, you'll know.” 


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