Saturday, January 18, 2014



      I posted here last Sunday about having gone to a reading/signing for ROOMIES, by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando.  (But I don't think I mentioned what an awesome job I did driving into the Village, finding a great parking space, and hardly getting lost at all on my way to McNally-Jackson Bookstore.  Believe me, for someone with my lack of directional skills, this counts as a major accomplishment.)  I said in that post that I was going to run a giveaway contest as soon as I finished reading my own personalized first edition.  And do I keep my promises?  You'd better believe it.
     I'm not going to say very much about ROOMIES, because I want to offer whoever wins the book in this contest the chance to send me his/her own review so that I can post it here, with credits.  But I will say that if you don't win the book, you should buy it anyway, because it's delightful.  The word that's been running through my head when I think about ROOMIES is "bagatelle," but I wanted to make sure I was using it correctly in this context, so I looked it up in online dictionaries.  And guess what?  One of the Merriam-Webster definitions is, "a short literary or musical piece in light style."  I NAILED IT!  Other than the fact that, at 279 pages, ROOMIES probably doesn't qualify as "short,"  the word conveys what I meant to say, and pretty much what the authors were saying at the reading, which is: they wrote this book for fun, in between their more serious works.  They were playing.  Which is not to say that serious issues don't get touched on, or that serious things haven't happened or don't happen to the main characters, but the book is nonetheless written "in light style."  It's about the summer spent by two young women on opposite coasts who have just graduated high school, will be freshmen at Berkeley in the fall, and have learned that they've been assigned to share a dorm room.  They've never met, and they're about to live together.  Technically, until the very last line, Elizabeth and Lauren are not actually roomies; they are prospective roomies.  And, knowing the very little bit that I do about psychological theory, I would say that the situation puts them in the perfect position to serve as each other's transitional objects during this summer when everything is about to change.
     Okay! Enough of my blathering! ON TO THE CONTEST!!
     Here's how it goes: If you want to enter, leave a comment to this post describing the best or worst experience you've ever had with a roommate.  Pseudonyms are probably the way to go here, but otherwise, the more details, the better.  You don't have to have shared a dorm room with the roommate in question - he or she can have been a sibling, a bunkmate at camp, or a romantic partner whom you've since unfriended on Facebook. Post your comment between now and next Saturday, the 25th, at midnight East Coast time.  The winner I choose, no matter where s/he lives, will receive my almost-pristine autographed copy of ROOMIES.  And by the way, if you show me proof that you've linked to this blog post in any form of social media, I will think of you kindly when it comes to judging entries.
     Ready... set...  GO!!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much! But who are you? And why don't you enter the contest? Don't you want to win your very own copy of ROOMIES??

  2. I'm a huge fan of Sara's books, so I'm really looking forward to reading this!

    My freshman-year college roommate was as extroverted as I was introverted, and yet somehow we were a perfect match. I think somewhere along the line, between our 2 a.m. building of inukshuks out of campus picnic tables, our remarkably inefficient exam-prep all-nighters, and our off-campus joy-ride excursions over the border, she helped me become more "me". We still keep in touch, all these many years later. :)

    1. Thanks for starting things off here, Shari! I'm glad you had such a fun first-year roommate, and I have a feeling you'll love ROOMIES, whether you end up winning it or buying it.



  4. Thank you, Shari! Since you have about 10x as many Twitter followers as I do, this should help a lot! (and you now have one more follower - me!)

  5. Well then! since this contest ended up with only ONE entrant, I have now wrapped up my meticulous tabulations and am ready to announce winner. SHARI GREEN! COME ON DOWN HERE! By which I mean: email me your snailmail address at muranosb(at), and my copy of ROOMIES will soon be your copy of ROOMIES! And when you're done reading it, if you'd like to send me your review, I'd be happy to post it here. Thank you for entering - by which I mean, embodying - this contest. Your book awaits!

  6. Thank you, Susan! I'm THRILLED! I'm sorry more people didn't find their way to this contest, though...their loss, for sure!

    I'm loving browsing through your reviews. Glad I found your blog! :)