Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
"The countdown to college has begun.
When Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment at the beginning of summer, she shoots off an email to coordinate the basics: TV, microwave, mini-fridge. She can't wait to escape her New Jersey beach town, and her mom, and start life over in California.
The first note to Lauren in San Francisco comes as a surprise; she had requested a single. But if Lauren's learned anything from being the oldest of six, it's that you can't always get what you want, especially when what you want is privacy.
Soon the girls are emailing back and forth, sharing secrets even though they've never met. 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."- summary from Amazon
Gah, I love books about people entering, or in, college so this was right up my alley and I wish there were more of them!! Zarr and Altebrando are two of my favorite authors, and it was so great to read a book co-written by the two of them. I love the back and forth of the novel, as well as reading the emails Elizabeth and Lauren send to each other. It's an interesting dichotomy, seeing how we are in real life and how we present ourselves online (as well as perceive others online), and both authors really get that for both characters.
I really enjoyed reading about both girls' lives, and flew through the book pretty quickly. There's a lot of friendship drama and romance going on, but what I really liked was the emphasis on family too. Going away to college, whether it's an hour away or all the way across the US, is a big change for families and it was great to see that spotlighted here, in a variety of different ways. Plus, it's always nice to see families shown in YA novels; too often, they are shoved to the side in favor of other characters and plot points. This made the book very realistic.
Overall, seriously a fantastic book and I highly recommend it. I kind of hope Zarr and Altebrando team up again for a sequel, though I know that's probably unlikely.
FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.