When I decided to go to university, I had a few options. Both were quite obvious:
Live at home, or stay on campus.
I was (and still am) quite the shy person so the thought of leaving home and staying somewhere foreign terrified me. One of my brothers did it and he loved it, while my other brother lived at home and went to a closer university. Based on both of their personalities, they chose well. But not only am I shy, I’m also quite reserved. I like quiet, I like alone time, I like being able to sit by myself with my music playing, rather than being surrounded by tons of people.
That’s pretty much why I decided to go to university close to home. It was only a half hour commute, which was fine. But I still can’t get over the fact that I might have been missing out on something because of that lingering fear that I wasn’t cut out to live on campus.
You never know until you try, right?
I think that’s why I loved reading Roomies so much. And it’s not even a book about actually living on campus. Instead, it’s a book about two people who get their roommate assignments for university at the beginning of summer and decide to start emailing one another. A friendship forms and the book pretty much ends very similar to the end of Gayle Forman’s Just One Day, with the opening of a door. I loved the openness of that, the fact that these two people pretty much communicated with one another across the country, never meeting. There’s something magical about wondering what happened next.
One of the benefits of having two authors for a book like this is the fact that, as a reader, I was constantly wondering how they went about writing the book. Did they go by letters to construct the story, emailing back and forth, then filling in the gaps? Did they each take a main character and write a chapter? I was so curious because each of the girls seemed so well fleshed out and I could relate to each of them in some way or another. It was neat seeing the two girls navigate life before university because it is such a big step in life. What happens to your friendships? Your relationship with your boyfriend? Your parents? Your family?
I feel like both authors really did the book justice with all of those questions. I was both smiling and tearing up at the end because it was just such a sweet story. It was such a real story. There were real scenarious that had me wondering, “Did they really just write that?” And I loved every minute of it.
On top of that, there was also prominent parents on both sides — and they played a very important role in the story! It was nice to see that the girls didn’t come from perfect families and that they both had their own problems to work through before they left home. Not only did the girls have to work through their own inner dilemmas and their outside relationships before they went to university but, perfect family or not, they still had issues right inside the home to deal with. One dealt with a mom who made less-than-favourable choices, and the other dealt with living with a big family and wondering how to separate from it.
I think this is one of the reasons that I’ve been trying to completely avoid Goodreads for any indication that other people didn’t like a book before I start and while I am reading — I don’t want anything to taint my opinion. It was fun for me to read it and think back to almost fifteen years ago when I was put forth with the decision of what to do for university. It brought back some good memories — and maybe even a few regrets.
A perfect light read for the summer!
Thank you to Hachette Book Group Canada and NetGalley for the review copy of this book!
What did you do for university? Did you stay at home or stay on campus? Do you regret your decision, or are you still happy with it?