Review: Roomies by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrado


Can you become best friends before you’ve even met in real life?

That’s the question that Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrado pose in Roomies.

Elizabeth and Lauren have little in common — except that by a quirk of the housing department, they will be roommates in the fall. Elizabeth is more pleased by this news than Lauren, who admits she was hoping for a single room after a life in a small apartment with her parents and four younger siblings. The two begin exchanging e-mail messages, which initially center on who is bringing the microwave and other logistical issues.

But as the summer progresses and both girls are thrown loops in their personal lives, they begin to open up a bit and tell each other more of what’s going on in their romantic, family and personal lives.

Told in alternating point of view chapters, Roomies allows both Elizabeth and Lauren to be sympathetic and un-sympathetic to each other and readers over the course of the novel. Zarr and Alterbrado made both characters feel authentic and their worlds lived in. In fact, there could be room for a sequel that catches up with these two either during their freshman year or the summer after their freshman year. (It’s not necessary, mind you, but it could be interesting).

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