Mini Review Monday: Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
Summary From Goodreads:
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.
It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews on Mini Review Monday! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!
The first thing I have to get off my chest, and it is probably me assuming too much for the umpteenth time, but I did not expect Roomies to be so focused on life before college. I knew there would be a decent amount of that from the summary, but I thought a good bit would be the two girls coexisting and figuring that out, going around college, dealing with conflicting sleep and class schedules. The problem for me is that’s the college book I want, but that’s not what this is.
Now that I’m done getting that out of the way, let me talk briefly about the book. I’ve seen this categorized as YA and NA, for me this is completely in the NA category. There is a romance focus (seemingly for all parties involved), college-age MCs, and it’s a book about college life, or at least the time immediately prior to it.
Speaking of romance, this book, seemingly like all NA that I hear about or actually read, is filled with it. I like both of the love interests, they’re great, but they’re a little too perfect, and that was obvious right from the start. They apparently have no flaws, I wasn’t loving that, nope, not a bit.
However, the two main characters, Lauren and Elizabeth, were flawed in their own ways and those flaws were discussed and examined in multiple angles and ways. This I LOVED. Lauren could be a bit naive and holier-than-thou even when she wasn’t trying to be, while Elizabeth was self-centered at times and overly needy at others. Those traits didn’t detract from their characters, it made them realistic, and I thoroughly enjoyed them both. That’s why I was disappointed in their respective love interests, because that wasn’t there at all.
The writing was excellent and the plot was realistic, as each of them slowly made their way to understanding themselves, each other, and what college life (and not living at home) was going to mean. They both grew and became better people, even though sometimes tearing each other’s eyes out may have seemed like a good idea. The styles of Zarr and Altebrando flowed naturally and I didn’t really notice a change from one to the other, which was fantastic.
Overall this is a great contemporary read, but while I wouldn’t quite mark it as “contemporary romance” it isn’t far from, and that should be known going in if you haven’t read it already. It’s New Adult, and everything that age range has become to be known by, but it is done really well. Sure, I would have liked more college experiences, or less of a romance-focused plot, but it still worked, and that’s what matters. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^
This entry was posted on January 27, 2014 by frodosco. It was filed under Book Review, Frodo's Hobbit Sized Reviews and was tagged with 2014 TBR Pile, Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge, Mini Review Monday, Mount TBR, New Adult, New Author Challenge, Roomies, Sara Zarr, Tara Altebrando.