Roomies by Christina Lauren follows Holland Bakker, a twenty-something year-old fascinated by a subway musician. When a man attempts to attack Holland at the subway, her crush Calvin Mcloughlin comes to the rescue. To show her appreciation, Holland introduces Calvin to her theater director uncle who is looking for a new star for his production. Calvin is a perfect fit, but there’s only one problem… his visa expired. To save her uncle’s production and help out Calvin, she decides to marry him.
I’ve seen Roomies recommended a lot for fans of The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, which was a new adult novel that I also read this year and really enjoyed. Plus, I’ve heard positive reviews for books by Christina Lauren, the duo of Christina Hobbs, and Lauren Billings. When this appeared as a Kindle Deal, I couldn’t pass it up especially since I’ve been trying to read more new adult and adult books this year. While this was an easy and light read, there’s just a few aspects of this book that held me back from completely loving it.
One aspect that I enjoyed about this book, as well as another book by Christina Lauren this year, it the knowledge surrounding the industry where the book takes place. Looking at their biographies, it seems their working experiences outside from writing are different from what they write, so I appreciate all the research that they put into the theater industry. While there are a few unbelievable moments, like how Calvin secures his job and how easily Holland’s choices are accepted, this “escape” read also has a little more substance.
Holland and Calvin are two characters you’ve probably seen in romantic comedies before, however, they are generally likable. I think a lot of twenty-somethings will relate to Holland. She isn’t is exactly where she would like to be in her career, is still relying on family to provide for her, and doesn’t have a solid romantic relationship. Calvin was a decent male character, although I didn’t really care for some of his actions especially towards the end of the novel, specifically involving Holland and his family.
While Holland and Calvin are both decent main characters, I never found myself extremely invested in their relationship. It seemed like Holland put a lot more into the relationship than Calvin, especially at first, which personally wasn’t as fun for me. Additionally, I never really felt the chemistry between them. I don’t typically enjoy the average girl/star performer story line, so this definitely could be hindered by my personal preference as I know many people do enjoy their relationship. As I hinted at earlier, I also didn’t care for Calvin’s actions towards Holland near the end of the novel due to his lack of transparency with his mother and sister.
Overall, Roomies is a decent young adult novel although some aspects of the novel didn’t particularly suit my tastes. For me, I would most likely recommend Dating You/Hating You also by Christina Lauren to fans of The Hating Game which I enjoyed a little bit more. That being said, I would not rule out reading another Christina Lauren book in the future, although it may not be at the top of my to be read list. I give Roomies three out of five stars.
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