For me, Marlena was less of a story and more of a character study, and a comment/perspective of how toxic, deep, dramatic, and wonderful a friendship between girls can be, especially teenage girls. There are so many levels and so many interesting things about friendships that occur between two girls, especially if those girls stay friends as they become women. Except in this story, Marlena doesn't get to grow into a woman. She loses her life and changes the lives of her friends and family forever. At first it seemed like a mystery, but it's truly not. 🔹
Marlena's death influences Cat's life, but more importantly their quick, intense and mostly self-destructive friendship alters who Cat becomes. This book is a glimpse into how friendships, where we live, and our choices can all shape who we are. One of the best and most intriguing parts of this book was that the narrator was now a grown woman, reflecting on how everything can seem so life-altering at fifteen when it really wasn't that bad, as well as how sometimes adults romanticize the past. 🔹
Another thing I greatly enjoyed was the Michigan setting 😊 the author grew up in Michigan and does a fantastic job of describing Michigan weather and how living in Michigan feels (at least the good parts of it! Some of the cities get a bad rep in the story and I'm not sure how true their description is!) I also love that she gives my alma mater a shout out!
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and it definitely made me reflect on my teenage years! #marlena #juliebuntin #michiganders #michiganreaders #michiganauthors #bookstagram