Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

Librarian M is here to talk about a book that looks at the summer between high school and college and all the drama that goes with it.

Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

EB and Lauren are about to start college at Berkeley in the fall. They don’t know each other when the summer starts, but when EB gets her room assignment and her new roomie’s contact info, she can’t wait to get in touch with Lauren and start befriending her ASAP. This book follows both girls in alternating chapters as they try to make it through the summer and e-mail each other everything from mundane pleasantries to intimate details.

Both EB and Lauren have summer jobs, some best friend issues, and some summer romance potential, but that is where the similarities end. EB lives in New Jersey with just her mother. She loves surfing and horticulture and will be entering the landscape architecture program at Berkeley. One of the reasons she decided on a college on the other side of the country is because her father, with whom she has not been in touch, lives in San Francisco. EB is hoping to completely change her life.

Lauren lives with her parents and five brothers and sisters, so solitude is not a concept she is familiar with. She lives in San Francisco, so the move to Berkeley will not take her too far afield. She is looking forward to entering a science program at Berkeley, but she is worried about how her parents will manage without her around to help with the kids. Lauren has a lot of reservations about going away to college.

This book captures the limbo of the summer between the end of high school and the beginning of college. How do you say goodbye to people you’ve hung out with practically every day? Is it worth it to start dating someone when you will be separated in a few weeks? How will your home be different without you? This book also illustrates the perils of communicating via e-mail. It’s hard to discern tone with electronic communication and EB and Lauren have their share of misunderstandings. Read this book to watch them fumble towards friendship before they ever meet in person.

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