Review: Roomies – Tara Altebrando and Sara Zarr

Posted December 19, 2013 by Andi in Review / 0 Comments


Title: Roomies [Amazon]
Author: Sara Zarr [website] and Tara Altebrando [website]
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre:  Contemporary
Source/Type: Netgalley/Digital ARC
Stars: 3 of 5

Publisher 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.

My Thoughts:
I was really really excited about this book the first time I saw it on Goodreads. Having never been away for school, I lived at home and went to college as a commuter, I never got the experience of having the good ole college roommate. So when I heard about Roomies I was thrilled. And then I was even more thrilled when I was offered an advanced copy as I had been turned down by Edelweiss. Sadly, this is where the excitement ends. Basically I found Roomies to just be meh and I was kind of sad about that.

Roomies is about Elizabeth, EB, and Lauren, two completely different girls with one thing in common…they are going to be college roommates. Not knowing each other since they live across the country, the girls embark on an awkward email exchange that plays out over the summer before school starts.  With each email sent back and forth the girls disclose more and more of themselves to one as it is easier to tell the hard stuff to someone that doesn’t know you then it is to the people that you are close to. But as summer progresses and moving day gets closer, secrets begin to be revealed that may just change this roomie situation in the end.

Honestly I still love the idea of Roomies and I love the way that it was written from both girl’s perspectives with the emails not the main component but an important part. It flowed nicely and really worked. But I have to admit my problem with the book was Lauren and EB. For whatever reason I just couldn’t connect to either girl. I found EB to be really naïve and Lauren was really self-righteous. They both were judging each other from email conversations and not once really thinking about the other person and I found that annoying. I did get that Lauren was stifled from her family and the EB didn’t have the loving family she wanted, but I just didn’t really feel much sympathy for them. And don’t even get me started on EB’s mother. That woman was just awful from the start and I found not one redeeming thing about her.

All in all Roomies wasn’t a bad read, but it was a hard read because of the characters. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it. It was merely a meh book that I was happy to have read but disappointed by the outcome. I still say to pick it up for yourself as you never know. Everyone has different tastes and that is what is great about reading.

Other Books by the Authors:
best dreamland howto lucy

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0 responses to “Review: Roomies – Tara Altebrando and Sara Zarr

  1. Aww, I’m sad to hear you didn’t like this one that much! I haven’t read it yet (I’m waiting for my hold on it to come in), but I have seen a lot of positive reviews for it. I do get why you weren’t in love with it, though. If you don’t connect with the characters, then that makes it really difficult to enjoy a book. I have had LOTS of roommates (all bad ones, unfortunately), so it’ll be interesting to read about a different experience from my own.

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