What do you think?
Rate this book
274 pages, Hardcover
First published April 4, 2017
I’ve never believed in the innocent bystander. The act of watching changes what happens. Just because you don’t touch anything doesn’t mean you are exempt. You might be tempted to forgive me for being fifteen, in over my head, for not knowing what to do, for not understanding, yet, the way even the tiniest choices domino, until you’re irretrievably grown up, the person you were always going to be. Or in Marlena’s case, the person you’ll never have a chance to be. The world doesn’t care that you’re just a girl.
Let the record show that I was smarter than I looked. And anyway, I touched.
Great loneliness, profound isolation, a cataclysmic, overpowering sense of being misunderstood. When does that kind of deep feeling just stop? Where does it go? At fifteen, the world ended over and over and over again. To be so young is a kind of self-violence. No foresight, an inflated sense of wisdom, and yet you’re still responsible for your mistakes.
Probably most teenagers think where they live is boring. But there aren’t words for the catastrophic dreariness of being fifteen in northern Michigan at the tail end of winter, when you haven’t seen the sun in weeks and the snow won’t stop coming and there’s nowhere to go and you’re always cold and everyone you know is broke…
I looked up to Marlena—she was tough and beautiful and I never once thought she wasn’t in control. … Even at fifteen I wasn’t dumb enough to glamorize Marlena’s world, the poverty, the drugs that were the fabric of everything, but I was attracted to it all the same.
Everything was happening in consequence-less free fall … the two of us made one perfect, unfuckwithable girl. Nothing could hurt us, as long as we weren’t alone.
Those days were so big and electric that they swallowed the future and the past … a difficulty letting go of the past can run in families, like a problematic thyroid.
"At fifteen, the world ended over and over and over again. To be so young is a kind of self-violence. No foresight, an inflated sense of wisdom, and yet you're still responsible for your mistakes. It's a little frightening to remember just how much, and how precisely, I felt."There are hints in this of what I liked about My Brilliant Friend - rough environments that make girls grow up too soon, with damage on the inside. The unrelenting insult of work that hardly pays the bills (for those who go after legal employment.)