So Sad Today

The Blurb

From acclaimed poet and creator of the popular Twitter account @SoSadToday comes a darkly funny and brutally honest collection of essays.

Melissa Broder always struggled with anxiety. In the fall of 2012, she went through a harrowing cycle of panic attacks and dread that wouldn’t abate for months. So she began @SoSadToday, an anonymous Twitter feed that allowed her to express her darkest feelings, and which quickly gained a dedicated following.

In SO SAD TODAY, Broder delves deeper into the existential themes she explores on Twitter, grappling with sex, death, love low self-esteem, addiction, and the drama of waiting for the universe to text you back. With insights as sharp as her humor, Broder explores–in prose that is both ballsy and beautiful, aggressively colloquial and achingly poetic–questions most of us are afraid to even acknowledge, let alone answer, in order to discover what it really means to be a person in this modern world.

The Review

Oh it pains me to write this review because I really wanted to like So Sad Today. I honestly thought I would like it but I just didn’t.

So Sad Today chronicles writer Melissa Broder’s battle with depression and anxiety. Her struggles are broken down into manageable chunk sized chapters and they are written well; in particular, Help Me Not Be a Human Being. However – and this pains me to say – I found the writing self-indulgent and whiny. I hate writing this because I don’t want to take away from Broder’s struggle with depression and anxiety (nor do I want to add to her fragility) but other books have dealt with this subject in a more relatable way, such as Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig. At times, it felt like Broder was trying to be deliberately provocative and taboo and it just didn’t seem realistic to me.

It is such a shame that I didn’t enjoy So Sad Today.

So Sad Today by Melissa Broder is available now.

2 Stars

It is not often, indeed I don’t think that it has ever happened, that a book has me choking back the tears and forcibly swallowing the lump that has formed in my throat back down. But then The Opposite of Loneliness is no ordinary book.

In its complete form the book is called The Opposite of Loneliness Essays and Stories. However, the author, Marina Keegan, cannot be held responsible for the onset of my emotional spiral. Marina Keegan is dead. The introduction was provided by her college professor at Yale from where Keegan graduated in 2012. Five days after she graduated she was killed in a car accident.

Entering this book I tried not to let the emotional impact of the writer’s death colour my opinion of the stories. It is too easy to do; glorify the poor girl who didn’t live to see her novel published. Fortunately, the beauty, truth and outstanding quality of Keegan’s writing meant that I wouldn’t have to worry about that; a fact that makes Keegan’s death all the more poignant.

The collection of short stories is simply breathtaking. The fact that someone so young, who hadn’t really lived, managed to find such an individual voice is beyond impressive. The stories are entertaining, sharp and beautifully written.

Keegan’s collection of essays covers a wide range of topics from the beaching of whales to the uncertainty of adulthood. Equally as impressive as her short stories her essays are filled with passion and fire, her words jump off the page and hit you with the sheer honesty of them. In the titular essay, The Opposite of Loneliness, the final essay that Keegan had produced for Yale Daily News, she told her fellow classmates that they were “so young”. She repeated the sentiment, trying to make her classmates realise that they had time to make or do things that they were passionate about. In her short time on this plain Keegan managed to leave her mark.

This book blew me away and I am genuinely saddened that the world of literature lost a promising writer before she truly had chance to shine.

The Opposite of Loneliness Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan is available now.