This book, Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altenbrando, came to me via NetGalley. It is currently available as a free Kindle book in preview from Amazon here. You really can't beat a free book, can you? While I am not exactly as a 35-year-old mother of two the intended audience for this book, I really did like it. It was a quick read and I found the characters likable and realistic. Elizabeth, or EB as she is called, and Lauren are strangers living on opposite coasts and have been notified that they will be roommates when they head for their freshman year at Berkley. EB emails Lauren in an attempt to get to know her new "roomie" before the big day in two months time. The emails continue and they learn a great deal about one another.
This is not just a book of emails between two girls, it is a novel exploring the difficulties of change, especially those facing a newly adult young woman leaving home for the first time. The authors take the reader through the full gamut of emotions- wanting to leave while wanting to stay, breakups with boyfriends and best friends, beginning a new life without being sure about the old one. The book also explores the choices these young women make. To drink at a party or not? To have sex or to wait? These are situations common in Young Adult literature and in young adult lives, but in Roomies these topics are not approached too lightly or with too much judgment. Not everyone drinks and not everyone has sex and the characters each have lots of reasons for their decisions. I would recommend this book to an older high school student or even to another mom like me who might be interested in reminiscing about her college days. It was fun and I enjoyed it. I hope you will, too.