Sara Zarr & 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.
Going to college is definitely a big step in your life and it’s even bigger if you are going someplace where you don’t know anyone. So getting in touch with your roommate during your pre-college summer can be a great plan to take a bit of pressure off the whole situation. And that’s exactly what these girls are doing but not everything goes as smooth as they might wish. I think this is just a wonderful concept for a book and it was executed very well too. This novel was a great read, hitting the middle between fun and emotional. I’m sure not everyone has had the same experience as these girls in the book, but I think everyone who ever felt a little nervous about going to college will find a bit of that in this book.
Elizabeth and Lauren are clearly two different girls who also came from backgrounds that don’t really align. It’s great to read about their separate lives but also about this bond that they are forming through these emails. It’s also great to see how the prospect of leaving for college sheds new light on her current relationships and how new ones are being formed as well. But I think the best part was about how Elizabeth and Lauren were also really rethinking the relationship they have with their parents. This is a big step in their lives and the parents do really play a role in this as well. All of these relationships felt very real, especially due to the strain this change is putting on everything.
In general this was just a really enjoyable book. It’s a great story about self-discovery in the face of change. And the self-discovery feels natural in this story, because how often do you really think about your life? The writing in this book really was light enough not to bog down the book. I mean, I like emotionality in books, but there’s a time and a place for everything. And there really was a good balance in this novel between the different facets of the story. Overall the writing just flows very well and just carries all the themes very well.
I just loved this book so much. People about to leave for college really should be reading this, think this should be mandatory reading for high school seniors.