by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando
Published: 2nd January 2014
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
The countdown to university has begun…
When Elizabeth receives her first-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 for her New Jersey beach town – and her mom – and start life afresh in California.
That 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 don’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.
I was kindly sent a copy of this book from the lovely folk at bookbridgr, partnered with Hodder & Stoughton, in exchange for an honest review. I was extremely eager to read this book, so much so that I immediately packed it to take on my holiday to the Lake District.
The main thing that I loved about this book is that it’s written from dual perspectives. We all know I love a book with that feature. I appreciated how the voices and writing styles were as opposite as the character’s lives. This is obviously because it has been written by two authors, but still, I like that they were completely different. If someone were to read out a passage from this book, I felt like I would have been able to identify which character was speaking.
I found the plot compelling, and would have devoured this book in one sitting if I wasn’t running around on holiday. Each chapter encouraged me to read on, and I was eager to find out how their relationship developed. This book has the perfect combination of drama, with a touch of romance, and also in my case, it made me feel nostalgic for my University days. Each chapter bounces back and forth between the characters, so I was never bored by one character, and I was engaged throughout.
I thought it was also an interesting insight into how much social media and the internet affects the way people interact. The girls use emails to communicate over the summer (as EB lives across the country) and this was at times a curse and a blessing, as often text and tone can be misunderstood. Also, it’s interesting how friendships can be affected by such things as facebook, or twitter, and how quickly impressions can be made from those social media sites. This book is a great example of those aspects.
The only problem I had with this book, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing, is that I didn’t want it to end where it did. I felt like I wanted more from it, I wanted to know what happened next. It could be seen as anti-climactic, but I think it’s more of a sign of how much I loved reading about the characters.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It felt like a perfectly nostalgic throwback read, and made me remember how excited I was for the next step in life. I’d recommend this to all of the people that are going to, are taking, and have already taken that step in life.
If you’d like to grab yourself a copy: Amazon link