Do your own dishes
Knock before entering the bathroom
Never look up your roommate online
The Wheatons are infamous among the east coast elite for their lack of impulse control, except for their daughter Clara. She’s the consummate socialite: over-achieving, well-mannered, predictable. But every Wheaton has their weakness. When Clara’s childhood crush invites her to move cross-country, the offer is too much to resist. Unfortunately, it’s also too good to be true.
After a bait-and-switch, Clara finds herself sharing a lease with a charming stranger. Josh might be a bit too perceptive—not to mention handsome—for comfort, but there’s a good chance he and Clara could have survived sharing a summer sublet if she hadn’t looked him up on the Internet…
Once she learns how Josh has made a name for himself, Clara realizes living with him might make her the Wheaton’s most scandalous story yet. His professional prowess inspires her to take tackling the stigma against female desire into her own hands. They may not agree on much, but Josh and Clara both believe women deserve better sex. What they decide to do about it will change both of their lives, and if they’re lucky, they’ll help everyone else get lucky too.
Rosie Danan has started, what is going to be an illustrious writing career, with a bang (no pun intended)! The Roommate is Danan’s debut novel and it brings to life so many amazing qualities into one easy to read book.
The Roommate discusses topics including feminism, sex positivity, the humanisation of sex workers, embracing personal growth and more. It perfectly balances the fun with the serious, and maintains a level of sensitivity that allows readers to feel comfortable in exploring and learning about these topics.
This is one of my favourite reads of 2020, and so much of my love for this story comes from the main characters.
The heroine, Clara, is down-to-earth and relatable, despite being a socialite. She’s grown up in a strict, influential household, with her whole life planned out for her. Clara soon finds herself making the impulsive decision to move across country with the hope of making her childhood friend/crush fall in love with her. However, little does she know, her crush doesn’t plan to stick around after convincing her to move. He takes off and she ends up living with a stranger. A stranger, that turns out to be an internet-famous porn star and the hero of this story: Josh Darling.
These characters may seem like total opposites, but as they say: opposites attract! After Josh’s profession becomes known to Clara, she helps him to stand up for himself against his manipulative, degrading, and just generally criminal, employers. Likewise, Josh helps Clara to loosen up and embrace the curveball life throws her way. Things might not be going according to her plan, but that doesn’t mean she can’t make the best of it and learn to enjoy her newfound freedom.
Another character who absolutely needs a mention is Naomi. She may not be the heroine (of this story; although, her time will come in The Intimacy Experiment) but she brings so much life into this story as well. What I enjoyed about Naomi was how her introduction made you immediately think ‘okay, this’ll be the jealous ex-girlfriend that is so often a feature of romance books’ but NOPE! She’s Josh’s ex-girlfriend, sure, but jealous? Pfft. This pseudo-villain shows her true colours very quickly and you immediately realise she’s not the villain at all. Naomi is an independent, business-savvy, badass feminist and a loyal friend to Josh (and later, Clara). Basically, Danan spun the ‘jealous ex-girlfriend’ character on its head with her representation of Naomi and I can’t wait until her story, the Intimacy Experiment, is released.
Other than the characters, I enjoyed how each of the characters grew from their experiences and learned to embrace their lives and sexualities. The Roommate is the empowering and sex positive story we needed in 2020, and I couldn’t recommend this book more! Everyone should give this book a try!