Monday, January 20, 2014

Book Review: Roomies by Sara Zarr & 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.

Once the diploma is in hand, and the cap and gown is put away, it is time to face the real world.  This is the case for EB and Lauren.  Although miles apart, they experience similar problems such as strained relationships with their best friends and family members due to change.

I think that all high school seniors should read Roomies.   Back when I graduated from high school, I experienced the sudden changes.  I didn't go away to college, but opted to live at home and attend school locally.  My friends or the people who I thought were my friends were moving in different directions. There was one particular person that brushed me off as soon as graduation and her graduation party was over.  I kept reaching out by letters and phone calls (this was before the surge of  texting, IM, social media, etc.).  The warning signs were there, and my mother tried to warn me, but I didn't listen.   I remember arriving on campus looking for a familiar face.  I felt alone.  Every high school graduate will experience some form of change through the transition from high school to college or the workforce or adulthood in general.

I found it amazing by just one email when EB consultants with Lauren about microwaves and mini fridges, they begin to build a friendship before they even meet.  However, the girls hit a rough patch which threatens their friendship and their room assignment.  EB tries to reach out to her father in San Francisco.  He lies about his whereabouts, and Lauren discovers the truth about him.   EB gets angry and contacts student housing to request a new roommate.  

Although EB and Lauren are from different parts of the country and backgrounds, they are similar.  They both have to deal with how they feel about their decision to leave home and leaving the familiar behind. EB struggles with her feelings about her mother dating a married man and her estranged father.   Lauren questions leaving her family behind.  She is use to helping her parents take care of her younger siblings.  Now she wonders how she will get along without her. 

EB and Lauren work through issues and are willing to leave home and start a new chapter in their lives. Again, I would recommend Roomies to all readers, especially high school seniors.

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