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Official Stuff –

Author – Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

Pages – 288

Publisher – Little, Brown Books for young Readers

Summary –

It’s time to meet your new roomie.

When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl’s summer — and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.

As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they’ve never met.
My Rating – 3 3/4 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley on behalf of Little, Brown books for young Readers in exchange for a fair review.

Elizabeth “EB” can’t wait to move from New Jersey to Berkeley and get out of her small town. She has a strained relationship with her mom and her dad abandoned has a child when he came out of the closet. So when she gets an email from Student Housing with her future roommate’s information, she is eager to get the ball rolling on her new life and quickly sends off an email to introduce herself.

Lauren “Lo” lives in San Francisco with her mom, dad and five younger siblings. She has two jobs and got lucky with a scholarship so she can afford Berkeley. She was crossing her fingers to get a single and finally have some peace and quiet. No such luck. She isn’t too happy about the idea of a roommate and definitely not one that seems to be as chipper as EB.

They sort of reluctantly keep the emails going back and forth, letting little parts of their lives poke through. EB is way more forward that Lo and tends to share a lot more personal stuff but Lo breaks out of her shell a bit. They eventually form a nice friendship after some small bumps and one pretty big bump in the road.

EB opens up about breaking up with a boyfriend she never really liked and finding a new boy that she actually loves with only a few weeks left before she moves across the country. Lo talks about the possible relationship with a guy that’s a different race. They share a lot about their fears of leaving friends, and home, and their families. How they each feel like terrible friends.

It’s a coming of age type book. Who isn’t nervous about starting a new adventure in their lives and want to make sure you are compatible with your new roommate? Both girls had their own voices and were both pretty relatable.

I’d write a longer review but not much happens in the book. Which was something I didn’t like but it was enjoyable enough. Also the interracial dating thing was brought up A LOT. It was mentioned at least once in every chapter of Lo’s point of view and it felt weird to me. It seemed to be a bigger issue than it should have been.

Overall I thought it was cute. A nice quick summer read.