Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

It's the summer before college, and Elizabeth and Lauren have both just received the official email informing them that they will be roommates in the fall.

Elizabeth, excited to be leaving home in New Jersey, shoots off an email to Lauren introducing herself and discussing the usual things (who will bring the microwave?).

Lauren, busy helping to care for her five younger siblings, only has time to send a short, brief reply... after all, she really wanted a single anyway.

And thus, begins their correspondence. Over the course of the summer, they begin to share more of their lives... their arguments with friends, the boys they're getting to know, their family dramas.

Zarr and Altebrando each write one of the characters, and details what is happening in their lives, interspersed with the text of the emails they send to each other.  The tension between what is actually happening and what they share in their emails adds a realistic touch to the novel.

This is a great summer read for high schoolers getting ready to head to college (or even for those of us who went to college in the pre-smartphone-dark-ages).

Readers may enjoy other YA collaborative novels, such as Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Dash and Lily's Book of Dares (both by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn),  Will Grayson, Will Grayson, (by David Levithan and John Green), and Team Human (by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan)

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