[Young Adult Fiction]
National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr and acclaimed author Tara Altebrando were born within 48 hours of each other, on opposite sides of the country. They met online in 2006 and have been friends - and fans of each other's work - ever since. They join forces and wrote Roomies -- a novel about growing up, leaving home, and getting that one fateful e-mail that assigns your college roommate.
It's time to meet your new roomie. --When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl's summer -- and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room. -- As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. 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. Even though they've never met.
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SARA ZARR was raised in San Francisco, California, and now lives with her husband in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is the author of How to Save a Life, What We Lost, Sweethearts, The Lucy Variations, and the National Book Award finalist Story of a Girl.
TARA ALTEBRANDO is an author of books for adults and teens, including Dreamland Social Club, The Pursuit of Happiness and The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life. She lives with her family in Queens, New York.
In a classic two-voice YA novel, authors Zarr and Altebrando expose the excitement, uncertainties, and sheer terror high-school graduates experience as they face college. The premise—e-mails from the Berkeley housing director announcing roommate assignments—is a clever device for introducing EB (Elizabeth) and Lauren to each other and the reader. New Jersey native EB, or, as Lauren quickly dubs her, Ebb, is headed to California to study landscape architecture and escape her mother, who has become excessively irritating lately. Lauren, on the other hand, is staying close to home, although she alternately craves and fears the short distance dorm life will afford from her four young siblings and overly stressed parents. EB’s gay father, who disappeared from her life when she was five and now runs an art gallery in San Francisco, and Lauren’s black boyfriend add plot complexity and keep both girls off-balance. Authentic and drama filled, this novel offers reassurance to all teens who, regardless of destination, are facing the next chapter in their lives: leaving home. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Zarr, a National Book Award finalist for Story of a Girl (2007), and Altebrando are backed by a substantial marketing and publicity campaign that includes select author appearances and a blog tour. Grades 9-12. --Frances Bradburn
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