Saturday, January 25, 2014

Review: Roomies by Sara Zarr
Goodreads synopsis:
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 Review

This was my first Sara Zarr novel, but it won't be my last.

EB (Elizabeth) and Lauren are assigned to be roommates for their first year of college. EB is a Jersey girl who lives with her mom (a tumultuous relationship), has no siblings, and a gay dad who is kind of a deadbeat. Lauren lives in San Francisco, is the oldest of six children, and spends most of her free time helping with the kids. EB sends Lauren an email so they can coordinate dorm room things and get to know each other. As you can imagine, it doesn't go as smoothly as they thought. Both girls have new guys in their lives who they're reluctant to leave, Lauren is feeling guilty about leaving her siblings, and EB is struggling with what to do about her father. Her new college is in the city he moved to when he left their family.

I didn't go away for University. I chose to go to the school in my hometown for a few reasons, one being financial. I've often thought about what it would have been like to have gone away, though. I did almost go to a school about 5 hours away, but ultimately I'm glad I didn't. I wouldn't have met the man about to become my husband. I wouldn't be where I am right now, & that is scary.

While I didn't go away for school, I related to a lot of the feelings in this book. The nerves in starting something completely new and different, the excitement, those anxious butterflies on the first day. Zarr relays those feelings perfectly.

I would recommend this book to those who are getting ready to go off to college, or just those who love to feel nostalgic.

5 out of 5 stars based on Goodreads rating system.

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