Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Review: Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

Title: Roomies
Authors: Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Little Brown Books For Young Readers (December 24, 2013)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Contemporary
My Rating: 3.5 Stars!

Book Description:
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 and Review:
I love reads about college life, living in a dorm, eating cafeteria food, getting up for classes, moving far away from family and friends and just finally being on your own and ready for life to truly begin. There is just something so appealing about it to me, so of course when I saw this one and I knew I wanted to read it.

I was expecting something fun, different and just ready to have a good time with it, and maybe even hoping the authors would throw in a good life lesson or two along the way for good measure. 

Elizabeth (EB) and Lauren are going to be roommates the upcoming college year and though they live 3000 miles apart with very different lives when the story begins, over the course of the summer through emails they slowly get to know one another as they both prepare for college life. 

What starts out a little awkward and rocky grows into a friendship (albeit sketchy at times) where before too long, the girls are sharing their life story with one another. In the course of doing so, we too, get to know Lauren and EB. 

This was cleverly done both through first person perspective (flipping back and forth from Lauren to EB) and through emails back and forth between the girls.

This was a great story about two very different people coming together, growing up and learning about themselves as much as about each other. 

I think it was a very realistic story about what it means to get older and make those tough life decisions that we all have to make once we get older and become adults. I liked watching the girls grow over time through each other and alone as well. The two dynamics of their family life was a really well done and added a lot to the storyline. 

I would definitely pick up another book from these authors in the future.

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*


  1. For some reason your review isn't coming through for me. I can read "My thoughts and Review" and then there's a big blank space and then the disclaimer at the end. I want to know what you think Ali!!!!!! :)

  2. Sorry Jenny! I have it fixed now. Once in awhile I forget to add my review LOL! You would think I would remember to check but with the holidays and school out I spaced it.

  3. I really love Tara but I haven't read any of Sara's books. This does sound good though. I love the college setting but do they actually get to college in this, or does it mainly take place before they arrive?

  4. This sounds like a good coming of age tale, low on angst and I like the dual perspectives.

  5. Zarr is such a great author, or so I hear, so she probably didn't resort to cliches and whatnot. This is the type of realistic lit I generally avoid, but I'll have to read both these authors sooner or later, so why not together?
    I'm glad you liked it, Ali!

  6. I agree Maja, this was a good start to get a feel for both authors.

  7. aww sounds like a very different and cute read. I never had that kind of college experience so I'd probably enjoy books like that myself!

  8. I really like books that take place in a college setting to. This sounds cute. Great review!

  9. i have this one, and have been meaning to read it. Now I'm even more excited to start it. I don't think I've ever read a book that realistically portrays the roommate experience, and becoming part of each other's lives in college, then going through big life changes. This sounds like a wonderful, realistic story. I'll have to start this one soon. Lovely review!