Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan | #SassyBooks September

Hi, it's that time again. This month's #SassyBooks pick was 'The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories' by Marina Keegan. This is the first non-fiction book we have read, I'm not much of a fan of non-fiction as I prefer to get lost in a story, but I gave it a go anyway. Go check out Charlotte's and Hayley's blogs for next month's book choice.

The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories

Author - Marina Keegan
Page Count - 256
First Published - 2014

The book is a memoir to Marina Keegan, put together by her family and friends after her tragic death at the age of Twenty-Two. She had just graduated from Yale in May 2012, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash. The book is made up of a selection of her essays and short stories showing her talent as a writer. 'The Opposite of Loneliness' was her last essay which was published in the Yale daily mail just before her death. After it gained over one million views when the essay went viral.

I didn't think I would like this as it's so small and broken up into so many different parts. I found that I actually really liked this format and would love to find some other stories made up of only a few pages. I've read mixed reviews about this book stating that she wasn't really that good, but I've fallen for her use of words. I think it takes a lot to create a short story and it be enough to satisfy and that's what she did. I personally think this would make a great coffee table book, as you can read something really meaningful in very little time with these pieces.

As for her Essays I think they are insightful and honest, maybe at times a little boring but that's down to not having an interest in the subject. I loved that she could write six pages on the mess in her car (I couldn't do that). The title essay is her putting down on paper her love for the experience and connections she has made during her time at Yale. It's also a reminder to all her fellow students graduating that they are not alone in the blur of feeling about what's next. There is a bit about a fear of never living up to our own "perfect fantasies of our future self's" which I think is a really relate able point.

The circumstances as to why these essays and stories where published is a sad one. You have to ask if this collection would have ever been published otherwise. This is a collection of undergraduate work by a very young woman, who had her whole life before her to improve, grow and become even better. It should not be judged as if she was the best, but that she was really talented in her chosen profession and could have gone a long way.

Have you read this book? would you?

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  1. I read quite a few reviews about this book today, due to #sassybooks. And I feel really torn, as after some posts I thougt I wouldn't want to read it but then after some - yours included - I think it might not be that bad after all. I think it can be interesting, because it is so different to other kind of books and also regarding the circumstances under which it has been published. But then I'll ask myself if that is enough to make a good book?
    Maybe I have to read it myself to find out!
    Patti www.shiftingtales.blogspot.com

    1. It's worth a read but not the price tag that's inflated due to the hype (local library didn't have it). I really did end up enjoying the format and the non-fiction element but it wasn't as polished as I'd hoped, down to the circumstances. =^-^=