by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
Publisher - Hodder and Stoughton
Release Date - January 2nd 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository
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.
We first start with Elizabeth or EB, an only child, an absent father who for the record is gay and has his gallery in San Francisco. She also has issues with her mum with her messing with a married guy, leaving EB alone...She's the one that initiated the the emails to her new roomie known as Lauren. She begins with such enthusiasm and pride for this new friendship that she took it for granted, took it as her only escapism and pending relief to her new life. From the beginning I knew I would connect with her easily, her family situation is similar to me (not the father part!!!) so I was a little apprehensive on how I would react to the dual perspective and meeting Lauren. Her hard work, creative and energetic nature of her really shines through Sara and Tara's writing, which I loved even more.
There's just not enough quiet time in a chaotic household like Lauren's. It's very rare to have anything to herself; a big family, two jobs and some or no social time whatsoever. At first my impression of Lo was that she was going to be a posh and for what of a better phrase, stuck up at times. I was rather shocked to find that she is none of that, she is actually similar to EB in more ways than one. They are destined to be best friends in my book... There were moments between Lo and her siblings, like Gertie and PJ that makes your heart melt. Then her relationship with her parents, it almost seems so precious on both sides that you can't help but feel a part of that.
Their relationship on the other hand is very is a catch twenty two...from a reader's perspective its predictable with the way the style of the novel was written. However personally it was also unpredictable, why because I've never had the opportunity to of going Uni or how it would work. So it was an exciting to see how the plot develops with every page turned. Another element which I found wonderful was the use of dual perspective and even it being written by two authors as well. There must be great organisation and creativity to produce a book based on two minds. I wasn't sure at first as its very rare for me to connect with the two protagonists individually... but with the email at the end of each chapter, stylistically it adds to the connection of the characters and their friendship.
Aside from their friendship there definitely wasn't any lack of romance in this book, which added to my excitement of the plot. EB found herself drawn to Mark, a family as which she was assigned to landscape their front garden. They were introduced when he was looking for 'Froggy', that makes me giggle even now. It was such a wonderful and beautiful romance to read and added effect when she was sharing this with her 'roomie', which by this point they were talking like friends. For Lo there was Keyon, a colleague, a friend or maybe in Lo's opinion a Friend with Benefits at one point. I had my reserves about him, you don't really get to know him very much. But once they started going out, he totally won me over. They both (Mark and Keyon) were very cute and enjoyable love interest to read.
Roomies, became a surprise for the start of 2014, the only disappointment was a lack of an ending, I still feel they are continuing there life without me, the reader, reading it for myself. Personally I could have used a better resolve of a heartfelt and enjoyable relations such as EB and Lo. In the end its two people from completely different lives, will be roomies. When really they aren't so different at all.
Rating - 4.5
I received this book from Hodder and Stoughton in exchange for a honest review.