Book Review: “Roomies” by Sara Zarr & Altebrando


“Roomies” by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando (2013)

Genre: YA, Fiction, Coming of Age

Page Length: 279 pages (hardcover edition)


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. (description from Goodreads)


Roomies was an overall enjoyable read. The story follows two completely different girls from two different side of the US. Both girls are college bound and are assigned roommates so they decide to send emails back and forth to get to know each other better. The result? The two start off as complete strangers and end up as good friends.

Elizabeth comes from a  single parent home and Lauren comes from a large family. Their e-mails start off polite and become more intimate as the two share secrets and talk about their lives as they both try to cope with a whirlwind of emotions as they transition to another big step of life.

The writing is realistic and the story relatable in many ways as both authors bring up the excitement and fears from going from high school to college. It’s not an easy change for everyone, and Roomies is the book that tells reader’s “it’s okay to feel anxious”. In my own way, I experienced a lot of these same emotions as I got ready for my freshman year of college so I connected with the story really well.

Final Verdict:

Perfect for the college bound student! 4 out of 5 stars!


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