Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Roomies by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando

RoomiesIt'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.

I received this from Hodder & Staughton in exchange for an honest review - in no way have my opinions been effected through getting a free copy.

I'm 15 years old. In 4 months I'll be 16, and so the idea of University really intrigues me. That is a place that I aspire to get to in 3 years time, meaning that when the opportunity to review this came up, I couldn't say no.

Elizabeth (EB) and Lauren where great characters and their different personalities shone through in their words. EB was witty and thoughtful and all Lauren really wanted was some peace and quiet, which made me empathise with her greatly. Both characters were a joy to read about, but I feel that they could have been expanded a little more, because there were only a couple of chapters for both EB and Lauren where you saw their actual personalities before they were "in love" shall we say. 

That leads me onto my next point. One of the main problems I had with this book was that it was purely insta-love. Not with just one character either, both. In my eyes, giving this constant sense that a girl and a boy meet and they are instantly attracted to each other is pretty unrealistic. Given that the theme of University and roommates is a very realistic aspect of the book, I felt that the insta-love took something away from the story.

Plot wise, this was an easy, quick read with enough twists and turns to come across as real and not overly consumed with drama. One of the best features were the varied family dynamics in both perspectives. Lauren had a large family who she loved but needed that little bit of space and freedom, and EB hardly spent any time with her mum who was constantly going on dates, so whilst she had a lot of freedom, she just wanted to have a proper mother. Giving this story such varied characters worked really well in its favour and kept me as the reader intrigued and entertained.

I loved this book and was disappointed when I came to the end. Not because I didn't like it, but because I wanted to read more about the characters. I want to know more about EB and Lauren, and I want to know what happened to them because I care so much about the characters - that makes a story a good story. 

Whilst it had it's problems, Roomies was a real page turner that had me from beginning to the end.

Holly x

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