filled star filled star filled star filled star filled star
cossette Avatar


Ophelia After All is a story that warms my very heart, and one that spoke to my soul. It’s the definition of a comfort read, and a book that feels like a very warm hug; like your best friend coming over and telling you that it’s all going to be okay. It’s a bit odd, I know, to call a book comforting, when my first text to Taylor after reading it was “oh i Sobbed Sobbed”, but it is. Trust me on this. Ophelia After All is for sure a book that will stay with me for a while. Ophelia After All is many things; it’s comforting, it’s messy, it’s a reminder of what high school was like, it’s a tale of friendship, of self-discovery, and of growth.

Racquel Marie has crafted the perfect main character in Ophelia. You can’t help but love her. Ophelia is a fully-fleshed out character, who has flaws, and quirks and hobbies. At no point is her entire personality the fact that she likes to garden, or that she has a lot of crushes. Just like all of us in high school, Ophelia is trying to figure out who she is in relation to everyone’s perception of her. When so much of her identity is that she’s “boy-crazy” among her friends and family, (despite being a sweet romantic with a huge heart), it makes it almost impossible to explore her own sexuality. After all, how do you tell the people who know you best that actually, they don’t know this huge part of you? More importantly, how do you tell them, when you don’t know how you identify, or what to make of these feelings? One of my favorite things about Ophelia is that it follows the process of Ophelia trying to figure out what fits right for her, and how she realizes that it’s also okay not to choose a label, whether that’s right now, or ever. I loved the way Ophelia’s sexuality was explored, and how Racquel Marie demonstrates that there isn’t one perfect process. More so, I love that Ophelia doesn’t immediately jump to “I’m bisexual!” or “I’m pansexual”, the minute she realizes that she has a crush on Talia. Sometimes, the process is non-linear, sometimes it’s messy, and you can’t tie it up neatly with a bow.

Ophelia’s close relationship with her parents is something that is so special. It’s rare to read a YA novel where the main character has such an endearing, close relationship with her parents, and it warmed my heart so much. Ophelia’s parents unequivocally support her and love her, and I think that made the story all the more stronger. While they’re not perfect parents, and Ophelia and her parents do get into an argument here and there, they genuinely take the time to understand Ophelia’s point of view. I particularly appreciated that they weren’t used as a plot twist, or villainized at any point.

Every character in Ophelia After All, whether Ophelia herself, her parents, or her friends, were all so dynamic, and described in such a way that I felt like I knew them myself. Reading about Ophelia’s friend group and support system was really heartwarming. Her friend group was absolutely wonderful. The friendship dynamics were so realistic, and all the problems that occurred within the friend group reminded me eerily of my own high school experiences. In addition to merging friend groups, there’s also prom drama, popularity, love triangles, and knowing that things will change after graduation. All of that obviously culminated in some tension and watching Ophelia and her friends resolve it and move on was so lovely.

Racquel Marie’s writing style is so easy to read. The groundwork for each plot point has already been laid out for you, and I simply flew through the entire book. If you’re looking for a book about self-discovery, questioning identity, and friendship, I can’t recommend Ophelia After All highly enough. I know I’ll be rereading this one again in the near future!