Elizabeth has always lived on the East Coast and is excited to start college over in San Francisco. When she receives her rooming assignment, Elizabeth initiates email contact with her new roommate Lauren, a native of the San Fran area. A whole flurry of emails are exchanged and the ups and downs of a budding friendship emerge through the sharing of innermost thoughts and feelings come out to the faceless new friend on the receiving end of the emails. Both realize how similar their experiences can be and yet how very different they are as people as well slowly realizing how it will be to meet in real life and share a room during their college life together.
Roomies deals with everything from light topics to more serious ones but the format that Zarr and Altebrando have laid it out makes for an easy read. Even when things seem to be falling apart and getting dire, the mood of the overall novel still feels lighthearted in a sense that everything will hopefully work out okay.
It was interesting to read each chapter from the point of view of the two girls, witnessing on the outside how two people, virtually strangers, can lead such parallel lives at times. It’s also very indicative to how things are like nowadays, where many people feel comfortable – often more comfortable – sharing their deep, dark secrets with someone they’ve never met under the assumption that the judgement won’t be there in your face.
The two authors have written a great coming of age story that explores all the deep-seated emotions that come with leaving home for the first time, regardless of what the home life situation may be. The fear and anxiety that is associated with such a big moment in one’s life as heading off to college and leaving familiarity behind grows and builds as the story progresses. A must-read for those who love a story about growing up and may be facing a similar situation of transitioning from high school teen to college student.