Sassy Books: The Opposite of Loneliness

Tuesday, 29 September 2015
Hello everyone! It's time again for my monthly book review of the #sassybooks book club read for the month. I run the book club every month with Charlotte from Colours and Carousels and we are always looking for more people to join in! This month's book was The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan. Marina had just graduated university and it looked like she had a really promising career ahead of her in writing but she was killed in a car accident so those opportunities were taken away from her. This book was put together by people close to her and is a collection of her short stories and essays. The book starts off with an essay called The Opposite of Loneliness which is about how she felt totally at home in Yale. Then there are 9 fictional short stories and 9 non fiction essays.

The Opposite of Loneliness was a really great piece of writing. It's all about how much Marina felt at home at university. I feel a really similar way. I love being at uni and the friends that I have here. So I was off to a good start as this was a piece I really identified with. I really enjoyed the majority of the short stories but some of them were a bit boring at times. Her writing is really easy to read and all the stories were fast paced. She uses a lot of nice vocabulary that isn't overly fancy so makes the stories easy to understand and follow. Some people stuff their short stories with really big, obscure words in attempt to make themselves seem like an amazing writer but I find that so alienating. So I was really glad to see that this didn't happen here. By the time I'd finished the fictional stories I was really looking forward to reading the non fiction as I had really enjoyed the starting essay. 

Unfortunately I didn't get along with these quite as well. Some of them were in all honesty really, really boring. She wrote one about how 1/4 of Yale graduates go on to work as consultants despite barely any starting freshman wanting that career. But it was really just a collection of quotes from other students but after a while they all seemed so similar and blurred into one. I did however, really enjoy the story she wrote about having coeliac's disease. It wasn't a commonly known thing when she was growing up but now gluten free options are everywhere. There's a foreword written by one of Marina's teachers and personally I found it hard to read as she literally just gushed about Marina solidly for a few pages. I think when someone dies, as harsh as this sounds, people only remember the good in them. And reading someone talk about how amazing someone you've never met for 10 whole pages is just a bit awkward. I know that sounds really nasty but I found it a bit weird and uncomfortable. I think the book honestly would have been better without this or if it had only been a page or two. 

I think it's really hard to judge this book as Marina Keegan never intended for any of these stories or essays to actually be published. So I imagine they're actually quite different to how they would be if she knew that they would be bound and sold worldwide. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it but not all of the stories that it contained. There were a few that I was tempted to skip as I wasn't enjoying but I wanted to finish the book properly. Overall this is a good book but I think it's maybe a bit bigged up. I gave the book 4/5 stars as like I've said the majority of the stories were great but some of them were a bit lack lustre.

Other reviews written by bloggers participating in the book club are: Colours & Carousels, Momentarily Dreaming, Bethan Likes, Shy Strange Manic

And what about next month? Next month we are going to be reading Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne. The paperback and kindle versions are available from Amazon and I've linked them respectively. I would seriously recommend getting the kindle version if you can as it's only 59p! The book was recommended to us by another blogger and it's about OCD so should make an interesting read. If you want to participate then we read the book and post our reviews on or before the last Tuesday of the month. For October that's Tuesday the 27th of October. Happy reading!

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