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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

(Blog Tour) MICHELLE'S REVIEW: Roomies by Sara Zarr, Tara Altebrando

Title: Roomies
Author: Sara Zarr, Tara Altebrando
Format Acquired: Borrowed ARC
Publication Date: December 24, 2013
Publishing House: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780316217491
Source of Copy: Blog tour


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.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


When a simple question about which appliance they're bringing to the dorm room slowly becomes an email volley between two different girls, an unlikely friendship ensues. Elizabeth, or EB, already feels differently about her friends and even her boyfriend. Lauren never has time for herself because of her familial responsibilities. Which change already on the onset, EB and Lauren are not sure how to deal with the new developments - including each other.

I can't relate much to Roomies, even if I am in college. I live in the capital, and still live at home with my family. I just drive into campus when I have class, so I really can't feel the way these girls feel about leaving their homes. But the way Zarr and Altebrando write Roomies makes me feel like I do know how EB and Lauren are feeling. They're leaving behind not only family and their comfort zones; they're leaving behind places they knew like the back of their hands and people they had memories with. Maybe Lauren isn't too far away from home, but since she literally has had no life of her own, it'll be hard for her to make new memories.

What I did find a bit surprising was the romance. I thought that the way EB and Mark met was cute, but it did often remind me that Roomies was fiction. Keyon and Lauren are beyond adorable and believable, so I was more interested in them than EB and Mark. 

And of course, there has to be a scene somewhere where EB and Lauren have a fight so that they could make up. I wasn't really feeling the nuances of it, and it just seemed to me a convenient way to cement their unanticipated friendship.

EB and Lauren are quite fortunate in the sense that they already have a head-start on the friend thing in college, and I do imagine that they'd make the kick-butt roommate pair in their campus hijinks. If only every college freshman was so lucky, eh?

I'd recommend Roomies not only to teens who have just graduated from high school, but also to teens who are afraid of leaving their comfort zones. I'm not saying it's always bound to be better out there, but it'll make your life a little bit more interesting, if it isn't already.




  1. Roomies sounds soo interesting. I never had a roommate, and the whole idea just "fascinates" me :)

    1. I had 3 other roommates before during a summer study tour, and it was pretty interesting! :)

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  3. Forgot to say this but thank you for joining the Roomies tour and I'm so glad you liked it!