Posts Tagged ‘College’

Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

January 3, 2014

roomiesRoomies 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.


October 16, 2013


I know it seems like lately all I’ve been doing is gushing about Rainbow Rowell, but trust me, she totally deserves it.  After I read Eleanor and Park, I had to rush out and get her newest novel Fangirl pretty much immediately.  The main character, Cath, is obsessed with the Simon Snow book series.  For years she and her twin sister Wren have built a following online by writing fanfiction about Simon Snow and Baz, Simon’s enemy (or something more, in Cath’s mind).  But now that they’ve gone off to college, Wren is ready to build her own identity separate from Cath, which means ditching all that fanfic stuff.  So now Cath is on her own and dealing with the challenges of college life:  having a surly roommate, figuring out where to eat in the cafeteria, getting attention from a couple of charming boys, all while balancing classwork with writing Carry On, Simon.

I love this book not just because it’s well written with lots of witty dialogue and an understanding of what going away to college is really like, but also because I’m a BIG fan of Harry Potter, who has clearly heavily influenced Simon Snow.  Rainbow Rowell really gets the fandom thing right.  If  you’re part of the HP fandom, or any fandom really, I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book.

Nonfiction: Check out your options

April 8, 2010

Has anyone asked you lately “what are you going to DO with your life?” ACK, just typing that made me wanna throw up my hands and hide under the desk. Seriously, what would lead someone to ask such an insane question?! But no worries, there is a fool-proof answer:

Dear Sir (or Madam), I am currently keeping my options open for future adventures.

Sounds awesome, right? This answer covers everything from college, to travel, to becoming a ninja! And in case you want to learn more about those specific options and others, we’ve got BOOKS:

book cover image for 9780307450623book cover image for 9780874478471book cover image for 9781598698725book cover image for 9781932662207book cover image for 9780375766176book cover image for 9781932360578book cover image for 9781595142610book cover image for 9781580088398book cover image for 9780307405807

YAuthor Stalking Tuesday: Chip Kidd

February 2, 2010

So where can you find all that YAuthor information? RIGHT HERE because it’s YAuthor Stalking Tuesday! Learn about your favorite authors, have a chat with them and then share your YAuthor adventures. This week is comically twisted Chip Kidd! He is much more famous for being a Designer, and his books usually are not considered YA…but THE CHEESE MONKEYS IS A MUST-READ IF YOU PLAN ON GOING TO ART SCHOOL! or even just college in general! And one of my BFFs who is currently a Graphic Designer says that THE LEARNERS IS SPOT-ON IF YOU PLAN ON HAVING A CAREER IN DESIGN! Since you all are so crazy-creative, I figured at least some of you might be considering Art for school/career-y stuff and so that is why Chip Kidd is being YAuthor Stalked this week.

Chip KiddAuthor: Chip Kidd
Books: The Cheese Monkeys: A Novel in Two Semesters, The Learners: A Novel, Chip Kidd: Book One, Bat-Manga! The Secret History of Batman in Japan

Amber’s Chip Kidd Adventure:
I had been a big fan of Chip Kidd, both his design work and novels, for several years when the UI Center for the Book announced he would be the Mitchell Lecture for 2008. He gave one of the most fascinating presentations ever about his design process and the authors he works with, including showing slides of rejected designs for bestselling books by John Updike and David Sedaris. It is very sort of eerie seeing the past life of a book…

Proof that Chip Kidd is Magnificent:

Have you met Chip Kidd? Do you have a YAuthor Adventure to share? Email Amber and we might post it on a YAuthor Stalking Tuesday!