Thursday, October 17, 2013

Netgalley Review: Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

Last week, I was one of the lucky Netgalley few to get my hands on Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando. Roomies is the tale of two strangers - Elizabeth in New Jersey and Lauren in San Francisco - who are randomly paired as roommates for their upcoming first semester at UC Berkeley. Elizabeth can't wait to escape her only-child life with her single mom; Lauren has more mixed feelings about leaving her large family, in which she's basically a third parent. Their cross-country correspondence begins with typical discussions about dorm-room appliances, but their stories quickly intertwine in unexpected ways. As they deal with old and new relationships and the realities of leaving home, they become each other's best supporter and greatest challenger... before they even set foot on campus.

Sara Zarr's books have a particular sense of honesty and authenticity, and Roomies is no exception. Everything about the story felt true to life. A lot of small emotional moments caught me by surprise. Since e-mail and social media play a large role in the plot, it also felt very of-the-moment, but in a way that will still be fresh later. I don't know how the authors divided up the writing, but it's very cohesive while also giving each girl a distinct voice. I hope they work together on a future project!

I loved Roomies and read it in less than 48 hours. Do yourself a favor and pick it up when it releases in December!

Recommended for: high school seniors; anyone nostalgic for their college days and friendships

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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