Book Review: The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

18170549The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

Publisher: Scribner

Genre: Essays, Fiction, and Non-Fiction

Release Date: April 8, 2014

Pages: 240 (Hardcover)

good good

 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.

opinion

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.

3.5 Dreamy Clouds
3.5 Dreamy Clouds

Boot Camp By Todd Strasser

4.3/5 This book made me realize just how willing parents are to get the child they want.

In the middle of the night Garrett is taken from his home to Harmony Lake, a boot camp for troubled teens. Maybe some kids deserve to be sent there, but Garrett knows he doesn’t. Subjected to brutal physical and psychological abuse, he tries to fight back, but the battle is futile. He won’t be allowed to leave until he’s admitted his “mistakes” and conformed to Harmony Lake’s standards of behavior. And there’s no way to fake it. Beaten, humiliated, and stripped of his pride, Garrett’s spirit is slowly ebbing away. But when he hears about a plan to escape the camp, is he willing to try to escape? and if he is, is he ready for what he’ll get if it doesn’t work?

 What I don’t like about this book is that Garrett was still kind to the people who kidnapped him. It didn’t surprise me, and yes, it was the right thing to do, but I would have liked it more if he didn’t care about what happened to them. I also didn’t like the reason behind him being sent off to the camp. It was done before by MANY authors and I am sick of it coming up in every book.

What I like about this book is how raw and mean, and realistic the camp is. I love everything about the camp, the chaperones, the staff, the kids, and the harsh rules the kids have to follow before they can go back into the world. I feel like this book is a real insight to what real boot camps for out of control kids are like. Thank god I’ve never been to one, but that’s how I feel. You can really tell in this story that Todd Strasser really did his homework before he wrote anything about the camp. If he comes out with another book like this, I will be sure to read it. 

Boot Camp By Todd Strasser

4.3/5 This book made me realize just how willing parents are to get the child they want.

In the middle of the night Garrett is taken from his home to Harmony Lake, a boot camp for troubled teens. Maybe some kids deserve to be sent there, but Garrett knows he doesn’t. Subjected to brutal physical and psychological abuse, he tries to fight back, but the battle is futile. He won’t be allowed to leave until he’s admitted his “mistakes” and conformed to Harmony Lake’s standards of behavior. And there’s no way to fake it. Beaten, humiliated, and stripped of his pride, Garrett’s spirit is slowly ebbing away. But when he hears about a plan to escape the camp, is he willing to try to escape? and if he is, is he ready for what he’ll get if it doesn’t work?

What I don’t like about this book is that Garrett was still kind to the people who kidnapped him. It didn’t surprise me, and yes, it was the right thing to do, but I would have liked it more if he didn’t care about what happened to them. I also didn’t like the reason behind him being sent off to the camp. It was done before by MANY authors and I am sick of it coming up in every book.

What I like about this book is how raw and mean, and realistic the camp is. I love everything about the camp, the chaperones, the staff, the kids, and the harsh rules the kids have to follow before they can go back into the world. I feel like this book is a real insight to what real boot camps for out of control kids are like. Thank god I’ve never been to one, but that’s how I feel. You can really tell in this story that Todd Strasser really did his homework before he wrote anything about the camp. If he comes out with another book like this, I will be sure to read it.