The American Roommate Experiment by Elena Armas is a Contemporary Romance novel with the amalgamation of some of the best tropes under the sun.
TITLE : The American Roommate Experiment
AUTHOR : Elena Armas
PUBLISHING DATE : September 07, 2022
PUBLISHER : Atria Books
GENRE : Contemporary Romance
TRIGGERS : Career ending injury, imposter syndrome, anxiety, mental illnesses
TROPES : Forced Proximity, Friends to Lovers, Hurt x Comfort
SYNOPSIS – THE AMERICAN ROOMMATE EXPERIMENT
Rosie Graham has a problem. A few, actually. She just quit her well paid job to focus on her secret career as a romance writer. She hasn’t told her family and now has terrible writer’s block. Then, the ceiling of her New York apartment literally crumbles on her. Luckily she has her best friend Lina’s spare key while she’s out of town. But Rosie doesn’t know that Lina has already lent her apartment to her cousin Lucas, who Rosie has been stalking—for lack of a better word—on Instagram for the last few months. Lucas seems intent on coming to her rescue like a Spanish knight in shining armor. Only this one strolls around the place in a towel, has a distracting grin, and an irresistible accent. Oh, and he cooks.
Lucas offers to let Rosie stay with him, at least until she can find some affordable temporary housing. And then he proposes an outrageous experiment to bring back her literary muse and meet her deadline: He’ll take her on a series of experimental dates meant to jump-start her romantic inspiration. Rosie has nothing to lose. Her silly, online crush is totally under control—but Lucas’s time in New York has an expiration date, and six weeks may not be enough, for either her or her deadline.
“Everything I didn't believe of myself, everything I couldn't possibly think you saw in me, was there. I saw myself through your eyes. You loved me.”
ELENA ARMAS (THE AMERICAN ROOMMATE EXPERIMENT)
MY BOOK REVIEW – ★★★★
THE AMERICAN ROOMMATE EXPERIMENT
A stomach-achingly hilarious follow-up to the book that took the internet by storm in 2021, The Spanish Love Deception, The American Roommate Experiment follows the story of Rosalyn Graham, Lina’s best friend and Lucas Martin, Lina’s cousin. After the ceiling in her flat caved in, Rosie shifted to her best friend Lina’s apartment while she was away on honeymoon with her husband, Aaron. However, unbeknownst to her, Lina had already agreed to give her cousin, Lucas the apartment for the duration of his stay in the States. What follows next is a series of experimental dates, swoon-worthy conversations and of course, a pinch of love.
Despite this being Elena’s second book, I can confidently say that she has perfected the art of slow-burn. The premise of the book was intriguing and the fact that this was a book written by Elena Armas was enough for me to pick it up within the first week of its release. I entered this book chuckling at the hilariously outrageous premise and I ended it with my heart numb and tears sheening my eyes. It is no secret that Elena is a highly gifted writer with unquestionable dexterity in writing fictitious yet believable contemporary romance stories. This book was no exception.
Reading about Rosie and Lucas’s relationship was excruciating for my heart because I kept screaming at them to just “kiss already!” I liked how Rosie and Lucas’ relationship started off as friends and then gradually converted into that of lovers. Rosie was the perfect female protagonist. She was kind, smart, loyal to a fault, and incredibly strong. Lucas, on the other hand, was unlike Aaron. Yes, he was swoon-worthy but while Aaron was the sexy hot, I couldn’t help imagining Lucas being on the lines of nerdy-hot.
The chemistry between Rosie and Lucas was undeniable and sizzling. The way their experimental dates seemed to be going hilariously awry were ironically some of the best scenes this book fostered. I particularly loved the Pizzeria date when they almost set the shop on fire. The entire moral of the book boiled down to a single statement – changes are inevitable and one should always embrace them rather than shying away from them. Plus, it is imperative that you know your self worth.
While Contemporary Romance novels are notorious for being unrealistic and fairy tale-ish, Armas built her novel’s foundation on reality and life-changing events that contributed immensely to the main characters’ character arc. Imposter syndrome, career-ending injuries, mental health issues – all of these were portrayed sensitively and realistically. For that, Elena deserves a hearty applause.
The cameos of Aaron and Lina stole my heart! It was exciting and heart-warming to see how they were doing post getting their happily ever after. I ate up all their little appearances and every time they were in the forefront, I felt my heart exploding with joy and exuberance.
On the flip side, the solitary downside of the story was that it was a little too slow in the beginning. It took me a couple of chapters to get into the story and connect to the characters. Nevertheless, it was a really fun read, one I was insanely happy to have read.
I would recommend this book to all the Romance enthusiasts!