All-Nighter by Susan Blake

Roommates #1

Source: Purchased

Samantha Hill's careful plans are falling to pieces. She thought she knew exactly what she wanted from Hawthorne College. She picked her major, her sorority and the weekends when she'd visit her hometown honey, John, before she even got there. But nothing of college is the way she imagined it, including her roommates, who don't exactly give her the advice she's looking for. Stacy's a refined rich girl from Boston, Roni's a wild party-goer, and Terry's a bookworm - but they all agree that Sam's got a lot to learn.

I’m definitely a retro dork – when browsing a website that celebrated YA in the 80’s and 90’s, I saw this long-run Roommates series and found the theme intriguing. I love books set in dorms or college, so that accompanied with the retro feel and fun covers helped me click that order button on Abe books.

For this type of book, the 4 star rating is well deserved. Kind of like a vintage college-age version of ‘The Babysitter’s Club.’ Surprisingly it’s not overly angst-filled or melodramatic, although there’s the right dose of that.

Multiple points of views with proper attachment to each character as they get used to college life and each other. There’s the age-old struggle of girl and boy in love and separating due to college life and moving apart, the rich and misunderstood beautiful girls’ struggle and secret isolation, the roommates miraculously bonding despite differences.

Yes, it’s not all original and it’s not surprising, but these types of books and series were never meant to have unique mind twisters in the first place. Each book is written by a different author (they repeat though so if you like one’s writing, check out more in the series they write), and Susan Blake did a good job of keeping things flowing, dialogue realistic enough, and characters that stood out enough despite stereotypes.

Not perfect, but not bad – 4 stars given based on the age group and genre.

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