Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando.
I really enjoyed Roomies, mostly because I was living vicariously through Eb and Lauren. I never went away to college, and I also didn’t stay on campus. Nor did I have a serious relationship until I was already partially through college, so seeing those aspects were quite fun for me.
However, that also has its downsides – because I didn’t go through what Eb and Lauren did, I don’t know how realistic it is. It makes sense to me, to email your future roommate the summer before you start college, to get to know each other, but I mean, do kids these days actually do that? I guess they must or else Roomies would not be as well liked as it is.
This is a very fast read – or was for me – and that was also in its favor. A little fluffy, with its dark sides too. I recommend it to anyone who wants an easy YA read that is absorbing.
Many thanks to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and NetGalley for an opportunity to read & review this book.
The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu.
I have to say that I was surprised by this book. At first, I disliked Alice, but I also disliked the story from Elaine and Josh’s differing perspectives. However, around halfway through the book, when Kurt’s perspective was added, I began to like her a little more. High school is a rough time for anyone, and when rumors like “Alice is a slut” start to circulate – that just makes it ten times harder.
I really liked Kurt’s voice, and I think that Ms. Mathieu did an excellent job of providing the reader with different voices. Often when authors try to tell the story from several different perspectives, the voices all end up sounding basically the same. However, in The Truth About Alice, there were definite differences between, say, Elaine’s voice (snotty, preppy girl) and Kurt’s (nerdy kid). Even Josh’s voice was a little different, although I kind of felt like more could have been done to change it to be more like a jock’s voice would sound (although, since I did not attend an actual high school for very long before attending college, I am not quite sure how that would sound).
The only problem I really have with this novel is that the ending seemed a little rushed. The sad parts of the book – the Slut Stall, the rumors – seemed to drag on, and on, and on, but the nice parts in the ending, once they arrived, zoomed by extremely quickly. It kind of makes the reader feel as though Ms. Mathieu wanted to be done with this novel. However, I liked the ending and how it was actually a good ending to such an overall sad novel.
Many thanks to MacMillan Children’s Publishing Group and NetGalley for an opportunity to read and review this novel!