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09 October, 2013

Review: Roomies by Sarah Zarr and Tara Altebrando

17999845

Received as an ARC from Netgalley.

Goodreads Summary: 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

Review:

Ah, college, a time of roommates, growing up and what not right? I'll admit this book was an interesting plot at the beginning, and it rings a bit true for my freshman year of college and getting that first letter telling me who my roommate was and how to contact them. It would seem however that EB and Lauren's relationship was a better one than I achieve with my first three roommates.

Still, after the first couple of chapters, a ton of drama shows up. Elizabeth (or EB as she likes to be called) has a less than ideal life, her father walked out when she was 5, moving first to New York and then to San Francisco. And in a sense, she's picked her University on that sole fact. She wants to meet him again. Things quickly spiral out of control in this novel for her. Two jobs, flirting with a boy, dealing with her mom's affairs, breaking up with her boyfriend and catching the same one she was flirting in a span of 24 hours (which is slightly unrealistic if you're catching a rebound boyfriend-girlfriend relationship). And then dealing with the fact that her father has straight up lied to her. It's almost most too much to handle. 

Then on the other side of the country is Lauren, who's facing the fact that she requested a single and has been shoved in with a roommate. At first she's hostile, and I can't blame her really. She wanted a single after having to share her life with five younger siblings. And yet they shoved her with this. Her first few emails are hostile, but gradually she starts sharing things with EB. This seems to accelerate the drama really.

On a whole, the book is disappointing, it feels like you're reading two books at once because every other chapter is the other girl's thoughts and lives. It slightly felt like I was getting whiplash from it going back and forth so much. It doesn't help that both girls have semi-sorta-kinda relationships blooming but not really. There were a few mistakes here and there with the grammar and spelling, but mainly my issues lie with the plot and the style chose. The ending was also hugely disappoint, ending right as the girls move into their dorm together. It doesn't even give a scene of them actually saying hi, it just stops when EB opens the door to their dorm room and they start again.

I would not recommend reading this book, even if you're looking for nostalgia of your own days in college. It's not worth it.

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