Friday, January 10, 2014

As part of a promotional tour for Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando, I've been asked to share my roomie story. Whether it be a sibling, at camp, at college or your first apartment, everyone has one, right? So, without further ado, here is my roommate horror story:
My best friend Holly* and I decided that after our first year of college, we'd get an apartment together off-campus but still within walking distance of our classes.  My mom warned me that this was potentially a bad idea, but I took her advice with a grain of salt because she'd never been particularly fond of Holly.  (This may or may not be because Holly introduced me to her boyfriend's best friend Alex*, whom I had been seeing for about a year by this point, and whom my mother also did not hold in high esteem.)

The apartment search was long and arduous because we both had ideas of what we wanted, and we were both Tauruses, so we were both stubborn and less than willing to compromise.  In the end, we scored an apartment that neither of us loved but that suited our needs.  The parking for this place was almost non-existent and the neighbors were less than friendly, but we finally had a place to call our own.

Though, to be fair, it always felt more like her place than ours.  She insisted on using all of this "vintage" furniture she'd bought over the summer at The Salvation Army, even though I had some furniture of my own to contribute to the place.  And she was an art major, so everything that was hung on the walls was either her own creation or something she liked, with no input from me.  Holly even had a sketch of her boyfriend she'd done in the nude hanging on the wall in her bedroom, and when I asked her to at least close her bedroom door so his wang wasn't staring me in the face every time I passed by, she told me that I should simply avert my eyes if it bothered me so much.  She thought I was a prude, but honestly...once you've seen something like that, you can never look that person in the face again, ya know?

Things started off well enough, but Holly was always more social than I was, and she had help covering all of her costs, so she didn't have to hold down a job on top of her studies like I did.  I knew this beforehand, and it hadn't bothered me because she was my best friend and I knew that she'd be happy for me if our roles had been reversed.  But because things were easier on her, she didn't have to take classes at the butt crack of dawn in order to get to work at a decent time just to get enough hours for the week so that she could afford to live there.  So, she had friends over all the time, at all ours of the day and night, with no regard or respect for me and what I had going on.

I know I should have asserted myself more in the beginning and we should have laid some ground rules from the get-go, but we'd been best friends for years, so I thought that stuff would work itself out. In the end it was these things and a lot of other little grievances over the course of a year that ended our stint as roommates and a friendship of more than seven years.  Mom was right about Holly.  And a year later, Alex and I parted ways, also not particularly amicably, so I guess Mom was right about him, too. Why do parents always get to say "I told you so"?

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of those involved.

Title: Roomies
Author: Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando
Series: stand-alone
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Publication Date: December 24, 2013
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Add to Goodreads
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.

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr and acclaimed author Tara Altebrando join forces for a novel about growing up, leaving home, and getting that one fateful e-mail that assigns your college roommate.

If you're curious about this novel but still not quite sure, check out the excerpt!  Also, if you want to meet the authors while they're out on tour, here's where you can find them:

  • 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, 2014 – Petaluma, CA: Copperfield's Books [venue link]

Now that I've shared my roommate horror story, how about some of you share yours so I don't feel so bad, and then enter to win your own copy of Roomies!

  • This giveaway is sponsored by Little, Brown and is therefore open to the US only.
  • One entry per household.
  • Entries will be verified.  Any entry found to be falsified will result in disqualification of all entries for that participant.
  • Winner will be notified via email.  Winner will then have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be selected.  Please check your SPAM folder!!!
  • I am not responsible for lost packages.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by & happy reading!


  1. My roommate story is pretty fine. I've never met him before. I chose random, so the school matched us based on some yes/no answers we filled out on the housing website. :D

  2. I love reading these roommate stories! I had a roommate that lied about EVERYTHING. Ex- she told us she got an internship at a bank last minute and wasn't taking classes for the semester. But then she would always be home saying the bank called her and told her they didn't need her that day. It sounded kind of weird bc with internships you have to do certain hours to get credit. But some days she would make a big show of getting all ready and dressed to go to work so I let it go. Then on one of her dressing up days my class ended up getting cancelled and when I got home she was in her bed in all her "bank" clothes. Long story-short we ended up calling the bank and they said not only did they not know her, but they don't even take interns there. WTF??

  3. Oh man! this sounds horrible. The nude drawing cracked me up! I would have been horrified...because you are so right...once you've seen that it's hard to hold a casual conversation. I've actually never had a room-mate other than my sister and husband. I guess this shows the level of my anti-social nature? haha, I never wanted to deal with other people.

  4. I had a great roommate! She was a freshman and I was a sophomore. We go along so well that we lived together for three years. I still talk to her now! It's been 5 or so years since I've graduated. =]

  5. I got to participate in this, too! My contest has no entries so far though...
    I'd love a little help :)

  6. My roommate in college basically had the room to herself. We were really good friends even though I wasn't there most of the time. I had family that lived nearby and spent a lot of time with them. I haven't seen or spoken to her in years. She never was one for social media...

  7. I never had a roommate I was married at 16 so I have always lived with him but this sounds really good, Thank you for the giveaway.

  8. I was assigned my college roommate and we got along well. She wasn't always around because she had a boyfriend in the next town. Therefore I became friends with a group of girls on our floor, one who I did not like. I guess she was jealous of my friendship with my roommate because she was forever trying to cause problems.

  9. I had four different roommates over the course of my college career. Only one was bad. Two were my friends before we moved in together, and they remain my best friends to this day. My first one was a complete stranger, and I was worried we wouldn't get along. Four days after moving in, I turned eighteen. She found out somehow and woke up at 3 IN THE MORNING to bake me homemade cookies and buy helium balloons that she then left on my desk for the next morning. That started her reign as Best Roommate Ever (a name we used for each other for the two years we lived together.) We didn't have too much in common, but we capitalized on what we did share (which meant several pizza LOTR marathons.) We both graduated two years ago, but we still send keeping-in-touch texts a couple times a year.

  10. That's a bummer you lost your best friend to a bad roomie situation. Sometimes friends just shouldn't live together. I love my best friend, but am so thankful we never lived together...and I know she is happy we never did, too. I had a roommate for one year before moving into a one bedroom apartment during my college years. It wasn't too bad. She was a couple of years older and spent the night at her boyfriend's a lot of the time. I'm pretty sure I was the "bad" roommate because I was so young and had never lived on my own before...although I also had to work to live there and didn't have a bunch of people over. I was just messier. I'm still the messy one according to my husband so maybe it didn't have anything to you with being too young. Great post!

  11. I've had lots of roomies and usually it worked out pretty well. Most of them are still good friends. Of course there was the guy whose friend crashed on our couch and stole a bunch of my CDs when he left. And the two lesbians whose cats kept getting into the garbage but what the heck, that's all water under the bridge now.

  12. What a horrible experience! My roommate used to steal my food then lie about it, even though there were only two of us in the dorm. It was so bad that I had my dad bring up my file cabinet and locked up all the dry goods.

  13. The only roomie I ever had was my husband! Still is:) I kind of wish I had a college roomie but did love having my own space too! Thanks for the great story!

  14. I had a great roommate my second year in college. We just got along really well and are still friends :)

  15. Great story! I loved writing mine for this promo too! And even though the story I shared was with a roomie I loved, I had a roomie like yours too. Although no boyfriend wang pictures--thank God. :)


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