“I don’t like to think of you playing a side part in your story.
You’ve suddenly become a very large part of mine.”
Wow. I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. There is a very fluffy air about Roomies by Christina Lauren that initially shouts out guilty pleasure read, making you picture the sort of books that are just okay but somehow rather addicting. To fully understand my stance on books like this, I must admit that I don’t typically read romance novels on account of the fact that it’s rare that I find myself enjoying them. With Roomies, I was pleasantly surprised.
Roomies tells the tale of a young woman, Holland Bakker, several years after receiving her MFA in Creative Writing sort of stuck in her own self-comfort who develops a crush on a subway musician. She later marries the young street-musician, Calvin, in order to provide her Uncle Robert with a much needed opportunity to save his Broadway production as it turns out the only way Calvin can perform is if his status in the country is made legal.
Though romance might not be my favorite genre, the sex is tasteful and not excessive at all. I think often times the reason I avoid the genre is mainly due to the fact that I am not reading a book for sex scenes. I think Christina Lauren does an amazing job of setting up a good ratio between story, which includes character development and plot, and the intimacy shown between the two main characters.
The plot is admittedly similar to ones I’ve seen before as this is certainly not the first time a story about a marriage in order to provide a green card has come under my radar. I recall initially being struck by the similarities the book’s premise had to a movie I watched on Netflix a few months ago called High Strung. And yet, despite the similarities, Roomies captures the theme in a beautiful and creative way. I think this is the first time I have ever read a story about a character who was or wanted to be a writer and didn’t feel as though it was contrived and annoying.
What struck me most about Christina Lauren’s novel was the writing. While most often when I read novels of the romance genre I feel let down by the skill of the author, I was nothing but impressed where Roomies was concerned. I eagerly devoured page after page, enjoying the well developed and unique characters. The dialogue and development was perfect, leaving me with a sense that the people in this story could actually be real, which I think is something that can at times be difficult to achieve. I also felt a deep appreciation for the added diversity, though admittedly there could have been more.
At the end of the day, Roomies is a fast paced, delightful novel that you just can’t put down. I finished the book within a day of receiving it and was even a little sad when I’d finished. While the plot isn’t exactly what I would call original, the incredible writing and characters more than make up for it. Roomies is definitely the sort of book I can see myself re-reading in the future.