“We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life.”
Number of Pages: 208.
This book is a collection of short stories and essays gathered by Marina’s professors and family after her death. She died in a car accident shortly after she graduated from Yale and was set to work for The New Yorker. For a complete summary, you can go here.
I had so much hope for this book. The title made me think this was going to be an uplifting book for Millennials. Nope. Utterly depressing. First of all, the background of this story is just sad. You are led to believe that this girl was some writing prodigy who’s potential and amazing career was cut short by her untimely death. Yes, maybe she had promise, but these stories were no masterpieces. The introduction by her professor was the best part of the whole book. But it also set my expectations way too high for the stories that followed.
I seriously felt like I was just reading her Writer’s Workshop assignments. The topics were so bizarre and unrelated to one another. We’re on a submarine?? A girl is getting her varicose veins removed?? Dying whales?? What?? I had zero connection to any of the stories or characters. I found myself wondering why I should care about any of it. By the end I was just flipping through pages if the stories didn’t capture my interest (Spoiler alert: they didn’t).
Also, almost all of the stories were about death and/or unfulfilled potential. If you believe in your thoughts creating reality, then you will believe me when I say that this girl must have known she was going to die early. Which makes the whole book even more depressing.
Finally, one of my biggest issues with this book was that she was supposedly the “voice of her generation” and her professor claims that Marina didn’t try to sound older than she really was. No. These stories were not relatable for the average twenty-something. She did not provide any new perspective or insight. Reading this book will not help older generations understand Millennials.
My thoughts and heart go out to Marina’s family and friends, but this was not a book worth reading. I picked it for the the Published Posthumosly category for the Reader Harder Challenge. If for some reason you are still curious and wasn’t to buy the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think!
“What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over.”