Two high school seniors on opposite coasts (one in New Jersey, the other in California) have been assigned each other as roommates in the upcoming school year at Berkeley. Elizabeth (EB) is brash, rash, and impetuous. And just a little bit nervous about moving across the country to attend school. Lauren lives not too far away but will struggle to find a way to pay for school.
The girls email and get to know one-another as they share dreams and fears, sometimes very intimate. In addition to the worries over “what will my roommate be like,” these girls have all their every-day concerns as well, topping that list would be ‘boys.’
Lauren has a crush on a co-worker, the son of the owner of the store where she works. EB has just broken up with her boyfriend but is already seeing someone else … this one she’s sure she loves. The girls become best friends before ever meeting.
This is a decent, but not very deep YA novel (I read the entire book in about two hours). The drama is on high and the two main characters go through a lifetime’s worth of highs and lows in the two months span that this book covers. Which, of course, is moderately appropriate for a lot of teens.
Mostly I enjoyed the book and could see where it would be tremendously enjoyed by teen girls (sorry for the sexism, but truly … I’ve watched teen girls behave this way – teen boys, before heading off to college? It’s like pulling teeth to get them to send a note to their future roommate just to introduce themselves). But I did not enjoy how quick one of them was to turn and the vehemence in which she did so. Her reasons were really pretty threadbare.
I also didn’t care for the casualness of sex. Should I? Shouldn’t I? Okay, I will, because I really love him. Done. If there’s going to be a lot of angst in a YA novel (and there usually is), isn’t this a good place for it? But sex seemed like the least of the drama in these girls’ lives.
This was not a bad read, but it definitely didn’t make me want to run out and hurry to read more by either author.
Looking for a good book? Roomies is a light, fluffy YA novel, by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando that draws on a teen girls anxiety over the unknown and the desire to make a new BFF for the college years.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
* * * * * *
authors: Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
hardcover, 279 pages