Genre: Essays, Fiction, and Non-Fiction
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Pages: 240 (Hardcover)
Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at the New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.
As her family, friends, and classmates, deep in grief, joined to create a memorial service for Marina, her unforgettable last essay for the Yale Daily News, “The Opposite of Loneliness,” went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. She had struck a chord.
Even though she was just twenty-two when she died, Marina left behind a rich, expansive trove of prose that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation. The Opposite of Loneliness is an assemblage of Marina’s essays and stories that, like The Last Lecture, articulates the universal struggle that all of us face as we figure out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to make an impact on the world.
First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Simon & Schuster for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.
When I was sent a copy of this book for review, I’ll admit, I was nervous. I never never read anything that isn’t young adult and fiction because I find it either too hard to relate to or too boring (History has never been a strong class for me). But I took a plunge and even though it took me forever and a year to finally finish it, I’m glad to that I did. It’s a moving art piece and even more so on their own. However, with each different section, I found my interest waning and waning until I had a hard time paying attention.
The book I believe is sectioned off into three pieces: Essays, fiction, and non-fiction. My attention started decreasing during the fiction part. I found Winter Break cute but completely pointless. When I finished the story, I was scratching my head trying to figure out why the fuck I cared about some girl and her long distance relationship and her parents not being in love. I didn’t care because nothing made it stand out to me which I found happens a lot in her short stories and more specifically, her characters. The characters throughout her stories are all right but I couldn’t actually connect with them. They fell flat for me and I was quite disappointed by it. Moreover, for some reason, non fiction and I don’t click whatsoever so I had the hardest time getting through that part oh her book.
In addition to all of that, I did enjoy the essays and most of the fiction. There’s just something about her writing style that’s both enchanting and interesting that I couldn’t get enough of. I also liked how Keegan uses different formats and techniques to tell her stories from young adults to seniors and from a regular to emails. Her characters do have different lives and I enjoyed the diversity that she brought to them. Another thing that I enjoyed is the light humour that presents itself in a few stories to make things less serious.
The Opposite of Loneliness is an enjoyable read. There’s at least one story or essay that speaks to each reader. I recommend this one to anyone looking for something new to read and is willing to step out of their comfort zone for the first time. Although the characters are quite unique there are a bit underdeveloped but I liked how different each story is. I know I enjoyed it and I’m a little less terrified of stepping out of my comfort zone now.