Tragic Scale: 8.5 out of 10
Consistency Scale: 6 out of 10
Let me start with this: the writing is beautifully simple yet complicated while still being conversational yet reads like something a 21 year old would write. There are a few misplaced and missing commas, but you almost don't notice because it feels like Marina is sitting next to you in class and telling you about the beached whales outside her house or telling you a story about the girl who was left behind.
Most of the time.
Her writing style was very inconsistent, and there were a few essays or stories that I skimmed because it felt stiff. It felt like Marina was trying to prove she belonged at Yale with her stiff language. Albeit she was a young writer, so she hadn't yet "claimed her style" of writing. That doesn't mean it didn't bother me.
I felt connected, like I mentioned earlier, yet I felt connected not only to Marina but also her characters/people that she talks about. I felt that I knew the people that were helping save the beached whales, the exterminator, and the boy who was left behind.
Definitely read this in order. I don't want to say that it's imperative, but it's imperative that you read it in order. All of the stories and essays are bookended with two of the best pieces. The opening pieces "The Opposite of Loneliness" and "Cold Pastoral" set up how tragic Marina's story is (I almost cried; make sure to at least skim the introduction and the acknoloegements; context is important, people) and the closing piece "Song for the Special" again reiterate how Marina left this life without reaching all of the goals and dreams that she set out for herself.
The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan
Published: 8 April 2014 by Scribner
Format - Pages: Hardback - 240
Buy it! - Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble
An affecting and hope-filled posthumous collection of essays and stories from the talented young Yale graduate whose title essay captured the world's attention in 2012 and turned her into an icon for her generation.
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.
Have you read The Opposite of Loneliness? You should. You definitely should.