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Review: Roomies

March 21, 2014


EB can’t wait to move from her New Jersey home for college at UC Berkeley.  She hasn’t seen her dad in years and she doesn’t exactly approve of the way her mom is living these days.  She feels like she’s drifting away from her friends and she’s ready for a fresh start.

Lauren is the oldest of six children living in San Francisco.  She’s ready to head to Berkeley as well if for no other reason than to have some time away from being a second mom to her much younger siblings.  She’s requested a single dorm room.

When EB and Lauren are assigned to be freshmen roommates, EB decides to reach out to Lauren via email.  Lauren’s busy, though, and at first is reluctant about the correspondence.  Over the summer, she warms up and the two girls learn a lot about themselves and each other through their email over the summer.

Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando is just the kind of YA book I love!  It’s realistic, has great characters and a fun but thoughtful plot.  This would be a great book to discuss with a teen.

EB and Lauren are both great characters.  They’re nice, hard working girls with a lot of responsibility.  They’re ready to move forward and start the next phase of their lives.  Their lives aren’t perfect but they don’t really expect them to be.  They appreciate their friends even when they’re frustrated by them.  The point of view shifts between the two girls and the narrative is interspersed with emails so readers get to know both girls well.

The way the authors touched on several subjects – race and sexuality, to name a few – will make readers think about their own attitudes and make this a great book for a teen or mother-daughter book club.

I loved the way sex was handled in this book.  Both of the girls are thoughtful about it and aren’t anxious to give up their virginity.  They do discuss it though and I appreciated the way the authors handled it with discretion so even young YA readers can enjoy this book.  There is a little language in the book but it’s handled discretely as well.

Roomies will definitely hold more appeal for girls than boys.  I really enjoyed it and recommend it to young YA readers on up!

kid konnection newI will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site tomorrow.

Review copy provided by Hachette Books. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
20 Comments leave one →
  1. March 21, 2014 7:06 am

    Wow! This sounds great. I bet my niece would like this.

  2. March 21, 2014 8:35 am

    Sounds unusual for a YA book!

  3. March 21, 2014 9:20 am

    From the looks of the cover, I wouldn’t have picked this one up. It sounds like a great read, so I’m adding it to my tbr list. Thanks!

  4. March 21, 2014 9:54 am

    I think my daughter would enjoy this one!

  5. March 21, 2014 2:04 pm

    Roomies sounds very good, Kathy! I think my younger daughter would enjoy this book.

  6. Heather permalink
    March 21, 2014 2:05 pm

    I loved this one as well, for all the reasons you list. I thought these girls were excellent roll models for kids. I really enjoyed the back and forth between the two.

  7. Patty permalink
    March 21, 2014 4:51 pm

    Oh my…you have made it sound wonderful! Another one that I have but haven’t read yet!

  8. March 21, 2014 4:57 pm

    Sounds like a good book for teen girls to read!

  9. March 21, 2014 5:39 pm

    Roomies sounds like great YA, especially for teen girls.

  10. March 21, 2014 8:15 pm

    I liked this one too, and the race and sexuality topics that you mentioned. Sara Zarr is so great, and now I want to read more from Tara Altebrando.

  11. March 21, 2014 9:12 pm

    This book has been in my hands and put back down, next time I will be taking it home.

  12. March 21, 2014 11:25 pm

    I read this last month and quite enjoyed it. I wouldn’t say I loved it, but I was glad to have read it.

  13. March 22, 2014 8:40 am

    I can think of a few people in my life who would like this book.

  14. sandynawrot permalink
    March 22, 2014 10:10 pm

    My daughter would love this (if she weren’t totally immersed in school…will she ever read for fun again?). In that case maybe i should read it!

  15. lab1990 permalink
    March 22, 2014 11:11 pm

    I do want to read this! I’m glad to hear it was a good contemporary YA.

    Lauren from

  16. March 23, 2014 9:34 am

    I love everything Sara Zarr does so I’ll definitely be reading this at some point. So glad you loved it!

  17. March 23, 2014 9:47 am

    I have this on my wishlist. It does sound very good and much better from your review.

  18. March 23, 2014 12:45 pm

    I had this on my radar to read and then forgot about it. So glad you reviewed it and reminded me to take another look at it ~ sounds phenomenal!

  19. March 24, 2014 9:49 am

    I love realistic YA!

  20. bookingmama permalink
    March 29, 2014 6:56 pm

    I bet Booking Daughter would like this one!

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