Marina Keegan intrigued me.
From the start, I noticed her in a bright yellow coat looking at me every time my friends and I found ourselves in Barnes & Noble (which is often). Finally, I opened the cover. When I found out she died just after her college graduation, I set the book back on the shelf and walked away.
At some point, Marina ended up on my Goodreads “to-read” list but I didn’t think much of it until this semester. The semester of three classes, free time, and low motivation meant reading more. I gravitated towards nonfiction and short essays, easy to pick up after longer periods of time. Marina caught my eye once again. This time I obliged.
The Opposite of Loneliness documents a college writer’s potential. Marina’s fiction is a little weak in some places and the stories aren’t as well done as, say, George Saunders. Frequently her writing reminded me of what I come across in some of my writing workshops. That talented kid, who always comes up with something the professor loves, sometimes too big for his or her own good–that’s Marina. She has so much potential, and it’s clear that with more training and time she could have really been a writer. A good one. (A paid one.)
The beauty of her book is not, then, in the quality of the writing. It’s in the story behind the essays and the person who wrote them. Young people have something to say, something that I feel is too often ignored by adults. Yes, the writing might not have the experience to be extraordinary. But it’s still valuable and useful. Marina’s nonfiction, my favorite part of the book, really says something. In each essay I can feel her passion for her words. She cares about these topics. And she wants others to know. So what if the language is a bit rough in places; Marina knew how to get people’s attention.
Marina inspired me and my writing. Every time I put her book down I wanted to write something of my own, something worthwhile and helpful. I wrote this article for the school newspaper and a post for our admission blog (not yet published), both inspired by her writing. Marina’s inspiration is what makes this book worth reading. Her passion and her story are what make it good.
While I’m not nearly as talented as Marina, nor as recognized, I hope I can follow her example and create a lasting impact with my writing. While it may only be a ripple and not a splash, that’s more than enough for me.
Below the Line:
- I had my very last class of junior year today. Two plays and a paper from now, I’ll be a senior. Now there’s a scary thought.
- Trying to live up these last few weeks with my senior friends has been lots of fun (Cardinal’s game! Weeknights at the Duck (the on-campus bar)! Stargazing at 4:30am!) but as graduation looms closer it’s harder to keep the sad thoughts at bay.
- However, I am very excited for this summer. I love spending time with my family and I love Indy. Plus I have two great internships I’m really looking forward to!
- I’m trying a new style for my photos. What do you think?