Author: Christina Lauren
Genre: Contemporary/ Romance
My Rating: 4/5 stars
In this adorable read, Holland Bakker is the niece of one of Broadway’s biggest musical directors. While she doesn’t have a talent for music, she works alongside her uncle at his theater doing odd jobs and taking photos, and over the years has developed a love and ear for beautiful music.
Cue Calvin, the gorgeous Irish subway performer who Holland has been crushing on from a distance for the past 6 months. She knows that her uncle has been searching for a replacement musician for his show, and after a chance meet-up with the handsome busker, Holland decides it’s to bring it up with him. Only one problem: Calvin is an illegal immigrant.
So on a well-intentioned but spontaneous whim, Holland proposes an arrangement with Calvin. No, literally, she proposes to him. This way, Calvin can stay in America and her uncle gets a new star.
Soon though, the line is blurred between Calvin and Holland about what is friendship and what is arrangement, and soon it’s obvious that this has become more than just a marriage of convenience.
There was a lot to love about this sweet, huggable little book. Before starting this, I worried that Roomies would be boring and flat since the “married first, fall in love later” trope is so worn out. However I will say that the authors have managed to keep it fresh and unique and oh so adorable.
This is the first book I’ve ever read by Christina Lauren (Christina and Lauren, respectively), and I was very impressed by the readability and the easiness of the writing. I flew through Roomies and never did it feel like a chore to read. Holland, our narrator, was funny, sweet and most importantly, relatable. At first you question the unrealistic nature of the plot and the motives of a woman who would willingly marry a stranger, yet these authors made me believe in it. Before you know it, you’re thinking, of course Holland would offer to marry Calvin.
I loved the relationship between Holland and Calvin, of course, but I also really enjoyed the non-romantic relationships in this book, both positive and negative. The relationship that Holland had with her uncles and her brother was very sweet and authentic. I also especially liked the representation of Holland’s toxic friendship with her “best friend”. It shows the very realistic truth that not all friendships are meant to last and sometimes you outgrow people, and that’s okay.
Holland is a college graduate who has no idea what she wants to do with her life. Obviously, she’d love to write her great American novel but so far feels stuck and uninspired. I relate to this as well, even though I’m not a college graduate exactly but I can definitely feel the pain of being so unsure and aimless in this adult life.
Altogether, as mentioned before, Holland was an all-around extremely sympathetic and engaging character to read.
Warning: this book does contain some mature content. This is basically one of the only reasons I knocked a star. I realize that this isn’t an issue for many people, but I rate my books based on enjoyment and I personally am not a fan of that sort of content. Otherwise, the story is very entertaining and the characters very lovable. Very excited to read more from these authors!