- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; First Printing edition (December 24, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316217492
- ISBN-13: 978-0316217491
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 101 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,578,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Roomies Hardcover – December 24, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Immediately upon receiving her roommate assignment from UC Berkeley, high school senior Elizabeth can't wait to "introduce" herself with a logistics-heavy email to Lauren. After all, Lauren lives in San Francisco, worlds away from Elizabeth's experience in suburban New Jersey. Unfortunately, Lauren does not receive the roommate assignment with the same enthusiasm. After years of sharing spaces with siblings at least a decade her junior, she bristles at Elizabeth's initial overtures, leading to a rocky start for this relationship. As the weeks pass and the girls share more personal information, the thawing process begins, then stalls, then begins again. By the end of the summer, a tenuous truce has each teen believing that this may work out after all. Zarr and Altebrando use alternating chapters and voices to weave together this tale of roommate matchmaking. The technique lends a tone of authenticity to the story while highlighting the perils of relationships based solely on electronic communications.-Colleen S. Banick, Westport Public Schools, CTα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journal. LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In a classic two-voice YA novel, authors Zarr and Altebrando expose the excitement, uncertainties, and sheer terror high-school graduates experience as they face college. The premise—e-mails from the Berkeley housing director announcing roommate assignments—is a clever device for introducing EB (Elizabeth) and Lauren to each other and the reader. New Jersey native EB, or, as Lauren quickly dubs her, Ebb, is headed to California to study landscape architecture and escape her mother, who has become excessively irritating lately. Lauren, on the other hand, is staying close to home, although she alternately craves and fears the short distance dorm life will afford from her four young siblings and overly stressed parents. EB’s gay father, who disappeared from her life when she was five and now runs an art gallery in San Francisco, and Lauren’s black boyfriend add plot complexity and keep both girls off-balance. Authentic and drama filled, this novel offers reassurance to all teens who, regardless of destination, are facing the next chapter in their lives: leaving home. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Zarr, a National Book Award finalist for Story of a Girl (2007), and Altebrando are backed by a substantial marketing and publicity campaign that includes select author appearances and a blog tour. Grades 9-12. --Frances Bradburn
Top customer reviews
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The books covers the excitement of preparing to go off to college and being on your own but also the sadness of leaving best friends and family behind and also leaving your first important love behind.. The chapter are labeled San Francisco and New Jersey so we know which girl is speaking. I think this book will speak to a lot of high school girls going through the similar circumstances. I liked the way each girl would sometimes rewrite her email or sometimes hit send without thinking. I also liked it that the whole book wasn't told by email.
I gave this book 3 stars because I think young adult readers will like it but reading it as not a young adult I still had minor quibbles with it.
When a chapter shifts to Lauren and focuses on her being a babysitter for her siblings I lose all in interest in the book too sticky for me. In the first email Elizabeth tells Lauren that her mother will buy either a microwave or mini fridge what does Lauren want to bring? Lauren chooses the microwave because it will be easier to get a cheaper one second hand. and after all she comes from a family of eight and can't ask her mother for any money. It's a major issue to get this microwave and I was almost ready to quit reading. After she gets the microwave from Goodwill we learn she has a checking account and also a saving account and wants to buy her father a backyard gas grill because he is such a good dad and he has to cut his own hair. The girl does too much.
Elizabeth has the "bad" parents. Her mother dates a married man and her father left because he's gay. And her mother said that he only pretended to like football to hide he was gay. He's been a deadbeat dad since he left and lives now in San Francisco. And there is one place where it says Elizabeth lives in Philadelphia not New Jersey but I do think it will appeal to high school readers.
I read the little blurb on amazon that said the authors became friends in 2006 and admired each other's work but I still would like to know more about why they chose to write this book together. The book stands alone but the ending says sequel. Read as a net galley copy.
The novel follows Lauren from Jersey and EB from California, who have just received notice that they will be freshman roomies. From their first correspondence with one another, there seems to be hesitation, and all does not appear well. However through continued emails, they begin to form a relationship without having met one another.
While the novel started a bit slow for me, it picked pretty quickly. I enjoyed seeing the development of their connection to one another, as it felt very real--never forced. Cheers to Altebrando and Zarr for seamlessly joining the two girls' sides. The voices were authentic and the two flowed together nicely.
Since I knew my college roomie from high school, I enjoyed reading EB and Lauren's stories. While I liked both main characters and most of the secondary ones, I often felt disconnected to the book, and sometimes reading it seemed like a chore. I really wanted to love Roomies, but it did not capture me liked I hoped, and I felt a little let down. Overall, it's a good book, and I can see why others loved it; it just wasn't for me.
I loved Roomies, it totally took me back to that out of high school-going to college-this is my last summer feeling. Not only was the whole mood spot on, but so was the dynamic between the soon-to-be roommates. The way they reacted to each other in both their lives and in emails was so honest and took me by surprise. Sara Zarr can really do no wrong in my eyes, and Tara Altebrando's chapters were equally delightful. A great collaboration.
The first topic that I felt was forced, somewhat offensive and just all and all handled badly throughout the book is the interracial relationship the Lauren has. I am a product of mutli cultural parents and I am currently in an interracial relationship so I understand the concept well. What I didn't like was that the authors tried to make a HUGE deal about it. The amount they had to keep referring to the boyfriend as black was unnecessary and really took away from the book. I think the authors watched Guess Who's Coming to Dinner way too many times and need to calm down!
The next thing that I thought was handled all wrong in the book is the fact that EB's dad was gay. The authors made it seem like EB is the only girl in the world that has had a gay parent. Again the authors wanted this to be a bigger deal then it really was or needed to be.
As a whole I like this book but I didn't love it. I don't think I will be reading it agin anytime soon. The characters are likable for the most part and I enjoyed how it was written from both characters perspective. I am not sure if I would really recommend this book to anyone.
Most recent customer reviews
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