WOW. What a ride Marlena took me on. The story follows how the titular character enters and forever changes the life of Cat, our eyes into the world of Silver Lake, Michigan and its citizens. Cat is fifteen and a newcomer to Silver Lake, while Marlena is seventeen and is used to the pace of the town. They soon strike up an unlikely friendship, and Marlena introduces Cat to drugs, alcohol, and boys.
I loved how the novel was structured, allowing me to feel like I was reading Cat’s personal journal. I also connected with Cat’s friendship with Marlena. Even though I haven’t had the same experiences as they have, and didn’t dabble with what they liked to indulge in, I’ve had relationships that irrevocably changed the course of my life and have felt the bond I’ve had with these people affect my life and my overall outlook on the world. I also loved seeing how Cat’s life eventually spooled out, and felt that aching need for MORE that she feels, even in her present day situation.
Even though I knew what was going to happen to Marlena (it’s revealed in the first few pages), I was still rooting for her to turn her life around and wanted a better life for both her and Cat. I practically devoured the novel, and was intoxicated by the plot. If you’ve ever had a friendship or relationship that has left a huge impact on your life, Marlena will resonate with you and refuse to let go.
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