Friday, April 4, 2014

Roomies by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando

When freshman dorm assignments are sent out, immediately Jersey-girl Elizabeth sends an email to make contact with her San Francisco roomie Lauren. Over the summer they build a long-distance relationship, but written communication leaves a lot of gaps open to interpretation: Will they be friends in real-life? What did she mean by THAT response?

The girls are very different and face dramatically different (and yet also very similar) struggles in launching into adulthood. Going away to college is a scary enterprise on its own, and both girls are worried about the changes in their long-standing relationships that leaving will bring. Will their friends still be the same come Thanksgiving? What about long-distance love?

For each, it's nice to have an unconnected sounding board and confidante in this time of turmoil, but maybe it's not wise for that to be your yet-unmet future roommate. Their relationship begins at a lightning pace, with notable misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Since the book alternates points of view for each chapter we get both sides of the exchange, with the added benefit of all the background that isn't relayed by their messages.

It's a well-done, fun and relatable book that many teens will find hits very close to home. For adults, it's a look back - or a reminder in their future letting-gos.

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