Author: Tara Altebrando & Sara Zarr
Expected publication: December 24th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Roomies is about two girls that spend a summer emailing each other before they will meet in person in school. So you know what you’re going to get, yet not really because these are teenagers after all, taking the biggest step in their life, moving from their homes and starting to live with a stranger, so there is a lot of catharsis going on.
I sort of liked this novel because of what it means. It’s about an incredibly exciting phase, when you leave the nest and start a new chapter in your life, when you start adulthood. The thing is though, that even though I have already been through that, I found it hard to empathize with both girls, Lauren and Elizabeth. Mostly Elizabeth, I couldn’t really find it in my hard to like her, she seemed a little shallow to me, and her mother didn’t help matters.
Lauren was alright, but then she started to date a guy who is black-skinned. I high-fived the authors in my head because that is a bold move for today’s Young Adult Literature, but then the truth came out. Lauren apparently really likes Keyon but her natural reaction and her parents’ reaction and Elizabeth’s reaction, while very appreciated for the honesty, I was severely disappointed to see kids these days still grow up kind of prejudiced against these meaningless things.
At the end, I think this book is going to be very helpful for everyone out there who is about to experience a situation when they are going to have a new roomie. I think one of its strongest messages is that you don’t need to be best friends with your new roomie, you just have to accept them and their personality, no matter if they are different or similar to yours. It’s all part of growing up. But I wouldn’t really call it a requisite read, though, and it is probably more appealing to the younger crowd.