My “Roomies Story” & Giveaway

Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

Book Synopsis

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.
With humor and heart, Sara Zarr, National Book Award finalist for Story of a Girl, and Tara Altebrando, acclaimed author of The Pursuit of Happiness, join forces for a novel about that time after high school, when everything feels like it’s ending just as it’s beginning.

See more at here!

Thanks to Little, Brown Books for Teens, I have a copy of Roomies to give to one lucky follower!

Roomies Story

Let me preface this by saying that I have shared a room for most of my life. Growing up, I shared with my younger brother until puberty made it weird. So I moved downstairs into *le gasp* MY OWN ROOM! I spent about five glorious years reveling in a space that I could (almost) call my own. For some reason my father insisted on using half the room as storage that could have easily gone upstairs in the attic. It was annoying but at least it wasn’t another human being who snored, didn’t clean, smelled, or otherwise ruin my inner calm.

Fast forward to college, way back in 2008 (yeah, I’m old so what?). Since day one, I had the worst luck with roommates. Freshman year I had a conservative Korean girl who insisted on bringing all her other Korean-speaking friends to have pow-wows in our room. Sophomore and junior year I had a scatterbrained girl who was much too chipper at 6am. But the roommate who takes the cake, was my senior year.

As a senior, I was still living in the biggest dorm on campus because I couldn’t afford an apartment in NYC. It just wasn’t going to happen. So I had retained my dorm room since sophomore year for various reasons:

  • Minimal stair-climbing because it was on the second floor of an eighteen floor building
  • There was a small convenience store located right beneath where I could indulge all my Ben & Jerry cravings
  • It was actually a triple room that had been changed to two because I got kicked out of the room I picked in the rooming lottery my freshman year due to renovations

I loved that room and after living in it for both sophomore and junior year, by senior year it felt like mine. But a dorm room never stayed unoccupied for long, so senior year I was thrown together with a sophomore fashion major. She stopped by the room shortly before summer break and I though we hit it off. Then September rolled around and everything changed…

  • She would run her sewing machine at 4am with all the lights on and told me that I should have excepted this at an art school when the floor’s common room was right across the hall
  • Ran the blender for her disgusting smelling sludge smoothies at 6am when I didn’t have class until 9am
  • Left the used blender and all manner of baking pans to sit in the sink or on top of the stove for days
  • Then threatened to leave dirty dishes on my bed when I’d leave them for a couple days
  • Yelled at me for not waking her up to finish homework before a class because she had vaguely mentioned it the night before
  • Called me immature for not taking burning Ramen off the stove after she put it on to cook then left for 20 minutes when I had no idea she’d left food cooking and didn’t smell it
  • Complained when I had music/movie/television playing at any decibel and insisted that I wear headphones constantly
  • Claimed I didn’t clean the bathroom enough when all the gunk and film in the sink and shower resulted from her hippie, organic shampoos and soaps
  • Tried to tell me that my boyfriend couldn’t visit with only three months left in my last semester
  • Slept at weird hours because she worked at both the college administration offices and as a baby-sister so I could never bring friends over
  • Passive aggressively mocked me for comments I made in private on Facebook
  • Made my last year of college living hell

GAH! It still makes me angry thinking about it two years later. But let’s move on, shall we? Sara and Tara will be touring to promote Roomies and here are the confirmed tour dates!

  • January 12, 2014 – New York, NY: McNally Jackson [venue link]
  • January 15, 2014 – Salt Lake City, UT: The King’s English [venue link]
  • January 16, 2014 – Provo, UT: Provo Library [venue link]
  • February 4, 2014 – San Francisco, CA: Books Inc, Opera Plaza [venue link]
  • February 5, 2015 – Petaluma, CA: Copperfield’s Books [venue link]

[Personal side note: McNally Jackson is one of the most amazing indie bookstores I’ve been to and I even got to meet the owner, Sarah McNally – indie forever!]


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9 thoughts on “My “Roomies Story” & Giveaway

  1. Oy. That roommate sounds. . . unpleasant. I have never been more grateful for excellent roommates. I definitely don’t have any crazy roommate stories, just good ones! I only had two roommates in college(which, I lol’ed at the 2008 comment because I started college in 2009. You’re only a year older than me!), one freshman year and one sophomore through senior year. They were both pretty great. Um, I think my second roommate and I had a minor disagreement about the trash one time? Oh, the ONE thing that really was a roommate problem with my second roommate(who is awesome otherwise and is still a good friend), is that she’d get warm very easily. So in the Winter, when it would drop to 20 or 30 degrees, I turned the heater on before I went to bed. EVERY morning I woke up freezing because she had turned it off! That was the worst, but it wasn’t a personal issue.

    • I’m glad that SOMEONE had a decent experience with roommates. I was beginning to think that everyone had horror stories and there were no redeeming people to share living quarters with at all!

  2. While I’ve never had a ‘roommate’ (other than my sister when I was younger), I did share a house in my second and third years of Uni and had some awful housemates. The worst was the one who would leave cooked food in the pans for months, and when asked just told us to throw the pans out – but they weren’t even her pans that she’d used!

    I have to say that I love living on my own. I like being able to do what I want, when I want, and I think that it would take a lot for me to want to live with someone whom I’m not in a relationship with.

    Wish I could enter your giveaway (I’m in the UK).

    • Sorry about the US only thing, I wish that I could have made it international! But yeah, I’m definitely not cut out to share my space with other people. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, I have to share with my sister right now and it’s not going well…

  3. I’ve been seeing a lot of good things about this book! Sorry you had such a crummy roommate experience, they can really make or break the whole college thing for sure.

  4. Oo ohh… That roommate of yours sounds pretty nasty! I’ve always had to share a room with someone as well – thankfully, just my annoying sister who I can at least… Tolerate. Lol kidding. Anyway, this book sounds pretty awesome! I’ll be sure to watch out for it :)

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