The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

Musings & Giveaway: A Roomie story! January 10, 2014

Filed under: Giveaway,Musings — Maura @ 5:31 pm

This book is one I’m excited to get to read! I was given early access to it, but unfortunately I was not one of the quick ones to get it before the cap.

Here are the book deets!

Pub date:24 December 2013
Publisher:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary


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.


My Story:

I did have the “typical” summer before college. One slight difference from my peers. I had the chance to go to Europe for almost a month. I was gone two weeks with a school group and then an additional week visiting my pen pal. I was excited to get out of Tennessee. I always wanted to travel the world and here was another chance. (I went to France with my mom and a school group the summer before and went to visit family friends with my parents in Wales in 99). I was so excited about summer and college. I could tell stories of my freshman year (some great and some not so great), but I want to talk about my sophomore year. Oh, sophomore year. The year of so many things.

I’ll give a small recap of freshman year so you know the story of the BFF and me. I marched in the marching band freshman year and that’s where I met not only Mary of Mary Had A Little Book Blog, but also Andrea. Andrea and I didn’t have the best experience with our freshman year roomies and decided that we wanted to continue our amazing adventures in our own apartment. Originally, we were going to try to live with another of our friends, but my and Andrea’s parents felt that we needed another year on campus. So we applied for one of the on campus apartments. We had grand plans. Grand adventures were to be had!

I decided not to march sophomore year, but Andrea did. She moved in first and I moved in a week later near the end of band camp. We decked out our rooms and living room in movie posters, pictures, and band posters. It was epic! Our kitchen was small and there are numerous stories about us turning on the stove with our butts while trying to open the fridge. Yes, it really was THAT small! We also both couldn’t stand in it at the same time. Definitely made cooking and dishes an adventure!

Now for the ultimate of ultimate reasons why living with Andrea was the best. The couch. Yes. Our couch was AMAZING. If we weren’t in class or with friends, we were hanging out on our couch. Some of our friends moved and they couldn’t get the couch to work in their new place. Our “furnished” apartment came with a dining table and a few wooden chairs. We offered to “store” the couch in our house. Best. Decision. EVER. It was blue and had a pull out (important info for later!). It was the best couch ever. For real. You don’t even understand how awesome this couch was. Six years later, Andrea and I STILL reminisce about this couch. No couch will ever compare.

The memories that we rehash over and over are very similar. We would flip the TV on to Food Network channel and make lists of all these recipes we wanted to try. (No, we never really tried any. I think we did one or two.) As two broke college girls, we lived off of ramen, mac n cheese, Cap’n Crunch, and wheat thins. True story. Freshman 15? Nope. We both lost about that sophomore year lol. As well as constantly watching Food Network while sitting on our couch, we chowed down on wheat thins and extra sharp cheddar or mozzarella. We lived the high life, let me tell you. Some girls go out and party all the time, we stayed home and sat on our couch and watched Food Network. And Disney. And coloured in colouring books. And Cosmo. We read LOTS of Cosmo. Okay, so we giggled about Cosmo too.  

We had epic sleepovers in our living room. Just the two of us, popcorn, colouring books, and our movie collection. My boyfriend (now hubby) teased us about our couch, but he just didn’t understand. This couch was the best ever. I miss that couch! Though, I do have to admit, that couch also made Andrea and I skip class when it was yucky outside. Standing in the rain to catch the bus or walk across campus in the frigid wind just doesn’t look appealing when you’re curled up in blankets on the couch of epicness! If I had this couch now, I would never get anything but reading done!

We could’ve kept the couch longer if we were going to live together our junior year, but we parted ways as roomies. I was going to live with my boyfriend for the summer and fall semester before he deployed and I moved home. I didn’t want to leave Andrea hanging so we decided to not sign a lease anywhere so I wouldn’t bail on her between fall and spring semesters. Our friends that let us borrow the couch took it back off our hands because they were moving again and could take the couch.

Now. What’s hysterical about the story of Andrea and Maura is that we went to rival high schools growing up. Didn’t meet until we moved 5 hours away. We’re both back in our home areas. Hubby and I have a house in a neighbouring town from where I grew up and Andrea is back home going to grad school. We don’t get to see each other as much as we’d like. Mama life keeps me busy and an internship, grad school, and work keeps her busy. We’re still best friends though and that whole saying of if you’re friends for seven years, it’ll last a life time is coming true for us. We met in fall of 2007. Six and a half years later we’re still going strong! (: Are there things I wish had happened differently in my college experience? Sure. I would’ve loved to have been roomies with Andrea far longer than we were. Am I happy with the way things are? Of course. We’re still best friends! She still owes my kiddos a sleep over. (: Must continue the epic Disney movie marathons going with the next generation!


Tour Info: (I posted a pic with the tour dates above, but here are some links to the venues)

  • 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, 2015 – Petaluma, CA: Copperfield’s Books [venue link]

I wish they were coming closer to me, but alas, it’s not very often authors come anywhere close to me. Nashville/Ashville are about as close as it gets most of the time. Maybe next time!


*******GIVEAWAY LINK*******

You have a chance of winning your very own copy of Roomies! (US only, sorry Int’l!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


4 Responses to “Musings & Giveaway: A Roomie story!”

  1. Awww, this was so lovely to read. This past summer, I went to two pre-college programs, and I got to experience both sides to having roommates. At one program, I was so different from my roommate, and we barely even interacted with one another! Then, at my other program, I had two roommates, and one of them is now one of my closest friends!

    This sounds like an amazing read, and I’d love to read it! I’d go to the signing tonight, but I’ve got homework, so no such luck!

  2. Kaitlin Says:

    Roomie experiences . . . absolutely zero. I’ve never had to share a room with anyone. Next year, though, I do plan to go to a university. It’ll be my first roomie experience ever, and I’m both nervous and excited about it! Hopefully, I’ll at least get along with whoever I room with. 🙂 I really liked reading your story, Maura!

    • Maura Says:

      I never really had a roomie experience other than camps/ classes/ trips til I went to college. My freshman roomie was a real eye opening experience. I wanted to focus on my good experience though. (:

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