Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando is a really fun book about the ups and downs of having a roommate and leaving home for the first time. Elizabeth and Lauren live 3,000 miles away from each other, but they’ve just been assigned to live together in the freshman dorms at UC Berkeley. Elizabeth, an only child eager for a roomie to be BFFs with, emails Lauren right away to settle who is bringing what to their new home. Lauren, big sister to five siblings and desperate for a room to herself, is less than pleased to hear that she’s been assigned a roommate. Though their friendship gets off to a rocky start because of this, they keep emailing back-and-forth all summer and eventually help each other deal with all the things that will come along with going off to college: leaving behind your family, making new friends, and trying to have long-distance relationships.
The story is told in alternating chapters from Elizabeth and Lauren’s POVs, much like Will Grayson, Will Grayson or Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. This was a light and quick read; I think I may have breezed through it in one sitting! Though sometimes things get a little too soap opera-ish (especially Elizabeth’s story), I really enjoyed the format and watching Elizabeth and Lauren’s friendship evolve over time. If you enjoyed Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl and are looking for more books about leaving for college, Roomies is a good pick.