Review: Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

“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.”

Goodreads Description

Thanks to BookBridgr and Hodder and Stoughton for the copy! 🙂

This is a book I will definitely be picking up again. It’s my new comfort read! At 279 pages it’s a quick and fun read, but it doesn’t lack depth or emotion. It isn’t a heart-wrencher, but it isn’t shallow either. There’s romance in it, but it isn’t a love story. It would be a great pick me up if you’re feeling down or ill. It would also be great for by the pool or on long journeys.

I devoured Roomies. I had to know what was going to happen, I had to spend more time with the two girls. It was written through both girls’ eyes, with one author writing Lauren’s chapters and the other author writing Elizabeth/EB’s. (I tried to find out which author wrote which character, but I couldn’t. If you know, please let me know!)

Roomies is mostly narration but it includes the emails Lauren and Elizabeth/EB exchange. I loved seeing them both grow, I loved seeing their relationship grow, and I loved their individual lives. I didn’t much like Elizabeth/EB’s high school friends, but I loved Lauren’s best friend, Zoe. I also loved Keyon.

For me the story was kind of lopsided, since I didn’t connect well with Elizabeth/EB and she really got on my nerves at times, but I LOVED Lauren. I loved Lauren’s storyline. There wasn’t a character in her parts that didn’t feel solid. Elizabeth/EB’s friends sucked and I didn’t like either Alex or Mark. I didn’t like Elizabeth by the end and I kept wanting to call her Emma (no idea why!).

The ending was super frustrating and may have lost the book a whole star.

So there were problems, but I still loved it and consider it a favourite. I’d recommend it for Lauren’s storyline – it really was good!


Quality of Writing: 4 out of 5 – it would have been five if EB’s secondary characters were better developed

Enjoyment Level: 3 out of 5 – lost a star for the ending and another star for the issues I had with EB’s storyline

Emotional Depth: 3 out of 5

[Goodreads Rating: 3 out of 5 – I wish I could give this a higher rating though. If it was just Lauren’s POV it would be a 4.5]

*Plus kudos for being a great read

Have you read this? Is it on your TBR?


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