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Ophelia After All

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A teen girl navigates friendship drama, the end of high school, and discovering her queerness in Ophelia After All, a hilarious and heartfelt contemporary YA debut by author Racquel Marie.

Ophelia Rojas knows what she likes: her best friends, Cuban food, rose-gardening, and boys - way too many boys. Her friends and parents make fun of her endless stream of crushes, but Ophelia is a romantic at heart. She couldn't change, even if she wanted to.

So when she finds herself thinking more about cute, quiet Talia Sanchez than the loss of a perfect prom with her ex-boyfriend, seeds of doubt take root in Ophelia's firm image of herself. Add to that the impending end of high school and the fracturing of her once-solid friend group, and things are spiraling a little out of control. But the course of love--and sexuality--never did run smooth. As her secrets begin to unravel, Ophelia must make a choice between clinging to the fantasy version of herself she's always imagined or upending everyone's expectations to rediscover who she really is, after all.

341 pages, Hardcover

First published February 8, 2022

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About the author

Racquel Marie

6 books561 followers
Racquel Marie grew up in Southern California where her passion for storytelling of all kinds was encouraged by her friends and big family. She received a BA in English with an emphasis in creative writing and a minor in gender and sexuality studies from the University of California, Irvine.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,461 reviews
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,479 reviews19.5k followers
August 26, 2022
Excuse me but this was perfect?????? It was so beautifully written and I couldn't have dreamt up a better ending for Ophelia if I tried. Racquel Marie has an absolute gift and I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life reading more queer stories from her. This is a must read!!

CW: homophobia
Profile Image for booksandzoe.
307 reviews1,806 followers
July 6, 2023
Ophelia After All is perhaps the most unique, and DEFINITELY the best young adult novel I've ever read. A joy to read from start to finish, Racquel Marie captures a sweet, lovable and unique cast of characters that felt so realistic to me I was longing to join their group. It takes a LOT to make me feel the same way I felt while reading Red White and Royal Blue (which is my favorite novel in terms of character writing) but this novel 1000% did that.

This novel follows Ophelia, a botany-lover proclaimed "boy-crazy" girl on her journey of questioning her sexuality and navigating the world that is teenage romance during Prom season. From developing a clumsy crush on a girl to having bursts of romantic feelings for fleeting boys, Ophelia's fully confused with her identity. She builds connections with very 3 dimensional characters that become a support (or lack of support) system while hiding her secret from her parents and her long-tie friends for fear of letting their version of Ophelia be tarnished.

I loved the way the author handled Ophelia's sexuality crisis. The author shows how it's a messy, non-linear process that doesn't always have stereotypical journeys and outcomes. Ophelia spends a lot of time bonding with and learning the stories of Queer people in & associated with people in her life, which creates a support system many do not have during the questioning phase, which I loved to read.

As for the specific characters AHH I loved so many of them but in particular: Wesley, Sammie, Talia, Agatha and Ophelia's parents (so, pretty much every character). They all had distinct characterizations and backstories lending to a more fully fleshed and realistic world than many books provide, which was *so* good. Ophelia's parents have complicated lives which sometimes make Ophelia's life harder, especially when she holds blame in those complications. Her best friend Sammie and Wesley are competing in a love triangle for a girl who may hold less feelings than either of them.

The friendship dynamics behind this group were also SO much more realistic than the typical YA book. Their friend group deals with the merging of two smaller groups, a love triangle, a bid for prom queen, the structure of popularity, and the knowledge that when they graduate in the Spring, some of them will likely cease to be friends. As somebody who just graduated high school last year, I've never read a book that deals with the complicated, fraught nature that is a senior year friend group. My personal experience of knowing that in a few short months I likely was going to fade from the lives of some of those who I was closest to was hard to grapple with, but also a sort of peaceful acceptance feeling of "thank god." Ophelia and her group definitely see some of these issues, especially after the growing pains of being such lifelong friends.

Overall, there is so much I could say about this book that I can't even put into words, and I'll be coming back to this review probably daily to edit it.. BUT I just want to say this is my new favorite YA book ever. Perhaps it's because the author is so young, and so many YA authors are a bit older (no shade) and are. bit out of touch with what being a teenager is like now... but this book is so golden. SO f*cking golden and I'm not going to shut up about it Ever.

THANK YOU to Macmillan for the ARC💋 Get excited for this one y'all!!!!
Profile Image for may ➹.
494 reviews2,071 followers
February 4, 2022
I’ve been feeling a bit lost lately, and this book is so reassuring and forgiving and loving that it made me cry. I am so grateful that I picked this up at the moment I really needed it

Profile Image for Lex Kent.
1,682 reviews8,877 followers
February 12, 2022
4.50 Stars. This book! While I go into every book hopeful, this book was much better than I ever expected. I just had one of my worst book slumps in over a decade and this was the book that played a big role in getting me out of it. This reminded me of everything that I love in a good contemporary YA, and it was just the book that I needed. It’s not a perfect book, it had a few bumps, but damn if I didn’t love just about all of it. Finding great debut authors is something I really enjoy and I’m happy to say that Marie now goes on that list. This book didn’t get as much of that YA hype I would have expected, but what a great surprise this ended up being.

If you follow my reviews you will know I’m a sucker for a well written, first person story. I love really being in a character’s head to the point that you can feel everything they are going through. It’s a different and much deeper experience than third person can sometimes be and this book was the perfect example of it. All that teenage angst and drama that I want in a contemporary YA was here and boy did it make me feel. I am actually typing this with swollen eyes, barely able to see my computer screen, since I could not stop crying. I had to change rooms, while reading, just to be closer to the tissues since this book affected me so much. Once the 50% hits, it is almost non-stop emotion until the end. And like I said before, it’s exactly the kind of feels I’m looking for in this type of YA book.

While there was so much good here, there were a few newbie bumps. Honestly, if Marie is already writing this good now, it makes me super excited for what it to come. Anyway, one slight issue I had was I felt like the book was a tad off to have taken place in 2022. It doesn’t feel dated per say, but I felt it would have been a better fit if this book’s setting had taken place even just five years ago. I felt like some of the terms and just certain things the main character didn’t know felt off to me. Again, if it was a handful of years ago I would have understood, but teenagers now are so much more knowledgeable about sexuality and gender than my generation ever was. I thought all the rep in this book was great, including all the different types of queer characters and some we don’t get to see in books as much, so I don’t want to take away from that. I just felt like our main character was more clueless than she should have been to have this book take place in 2022.

TLDR: Overall, this book was a great read. It fit what I look for and love about YA’s perfectly. I want a contemporary YA book to make me feel and that is exactly what this book did. I would absolutely recommend this to YA fans, especially if you have a box of tissues at the ready. This book is very emotional, and got to me often, but it is not depressing or dark. It felt real and the connection you have to the main character is just so well done that you go through her journey with her. This was really well written for a debut, or any book in general, and Marie is now on my list of authors to watch.

A copy was given to me for a review.
Profile Image for Not My High.
286 reviews836 followers
April 28, 2023

No popłakałam sobie.

Dla mnie jest to połączenie "Practise girl" z "Przewodnik lesbijki po katolickiej szkole" - bardzo podobny vibe, dużo odwołań do kultury, przedstawienie zdrowej komunikacji.

Przez 200 stron moje myśli to było "okay, mega urocze"
A po stronie 222 moje myśli zmieniły się na "NO WAY"

Kochajmy kobiety, czy kogo tam kochacie. Każda wersja jest okay ❤️
Profile Image for gauri.
195 reviews457 followers
June 2, 2022
read my interview with the author and my review here !

“Being queer is hard enough. Don’t lock yourself out of all of this just because you’re scared you won’t fit in the keyhole, without even trying.”

I can surely say Ophelia After All is a book that has claimed its place in my heart forever. A comfort read, as people call it or as I’d like to say, a warm hug to myself.

Frankly, this is the standard for YA contemporaries. Ophelia After All follows a Cuban-Irish seventeen year old Ophelia as she navigates a tumultuous phase nearing the end of high school, of change, identity, friendships and growing up. Today I tell you the reasons I loved this book and hope it gives justice to what I truly feel about it.

a delicate coming of age story
Simply put, reading through Ophelia’s lens is a delight. Setting Ophelia After All to span the last couple months of high school proved to be quite spot on as the story not only addresses the looming worries of the life that awaits Ophelia but also her newfound questions about her sexuality. The inner turmoil that she goes through, trying to hang to the one thing about herself she knows is true, really highlights her character. Everyone around her knows her as ‘boy crazy Ophelia’ but when she unexpectedly finds herself harboring feelings for a girl, she spirals into a state of denial and confusion.

But then there’s the big fear of change, because if everyone knows her as such, what happens when she admits a part of her has changed? How does she come to terms with the change in herself? Will the people around her still find her to be the Ophelia they knew, or thought they knew?

I find that to be the best part of the novel, how Ophelia After All very meticulously brings these feelings to page—the confusion, the self questioning, the fear of change and the slow descent into an understanding. Most coming of age stories I’ve read have characters who are sure of their identities but struggle to come out about it. But Ophelia After All shows the entire internal struggle of Ophelia from the point that question about her sexuality arises right up until she settles on an understanding of her identity, the feeling like that of a caged bird being freed.

Ophelia’s story definitely moved the recently-turned-adult-me to tears. It’s written in such a raw, heartfelt manner that I had no other choice actually. There’s the feel good contemporaries and there are contemporaries like this… that just get you, that deeply resonate with you, that bring light to feelings within you that you didn’t know existed.

a queer friend group
Another wonderful aspect of my whole experience of Ophelia After All is being introduced to Ophelia’s dynamic friend circle. We have a lovely cast of diverse characters, not just racially but also in terms of their identities, who form a strong support system. There are friendships that have lasted since forever, the ones that can pass as acquaintances and the friendships that spark unexpectedly. The background and development of each of these characters gives a depth to the story.

an authentic high school experience
At the core, Ophelia After All centers around prom. But what leads up to it is a mix of merging friend groups, a love triangle and the conversations surrounding the different places these characters will be quite soon. The tide of change that hits these group of friends and their fallouts with Ophelia at the center never feels overdone or some event just to further the plot in a contemporary novel.

Overwhelmed with her emotions—she makes mistakes, detaching herself from her favourite activities, lashing out on people around her—valid, quintessential teenage experiences, but we get to watch Ophelia overcome them all and find her footing among her friends and the plethora of queer labels available to her now. I loved seeing Ophelia’s old friendships become fragile, find new friends who walk her through her hard times and talk her into stability. Seeing these characters interact invoked a melancholic yearning for a friend group as theirs but also provided the comfort in witnessing such friendships however possible. I especially loved Wesley and Agatha.

Staying true to its namesake, Ophelia’s story isn’t perfect or linear. There’s anger, vulnerability and its messy but ultimately its about hoping that the foundation she’s built for herself is strong enough to withstand the changes and hardships, its about believing in the relationships she has to guide her through such moments. Ophelia’s interest in botany and gardening forms beautiful imageries for the stages in her story.

Like a cherry on top, I love how it ended, not like the typical versions of happily ever afters or that Ophelia suddenly has a clarity about herself, just this message that she’s learning herself, that she might never know how to label her sexuality, that she’s valid despite all the uncertainty and self relearning.

A fantastic debut, Ophelia After All is an honest love letter to all confused, questioning queer kids. It assures us of the inevitability of change and reminds us that the love we receive gives us the strength to be true to ourselves. Its a book that made me cry under the intensity of emotions but soothed me throughout and I hope its the same for you.

Thank you to Netgalley and Feiwel & Friends for the ARC!
Profile Image for Alex.andthebooks.
324 reviews1,959 followers
May 4, 2023

25-letnia ja utożsamiająca się z 17-letnią Ophelią>
Profile Image for Fadwa (Word Wonders).
547 reviews3,523 followers
February 11, 2022
Content warnings:

Starting 2022 with OPHELIA AFTER ALL as one of the best decisions I have made in a long time. This is a coming of age story that follows Cuban-Irish American teenager Ophelia as she goes through her last few months of high school. As this huge chapter of her life comes to an end, she feels like everything is changing. Including herself. And she feels lost and untethered.

I absolutely adored following Ophelia as a main character. On a surface level, I loved her love for roses, I loved reading about a main character that has such a huge love for something so special and unique to them. But beyond that, I loved HER. How real she felt. Ophelia is (was) the type of girl who left a little piece of her heart with every boy that caught her attention. Which got her the label of “boy-crazy” Ophelia. But as Ophelia starts realizing that she has feelings for one of her friends, Talia, everything start to feel wrong. Too tight. Every label she thought she fit into didn’t feel right anymore. She was changing. And she didn’t really know *who* she was becoming.

This was one of the things that made the book resonate with me so deeply. I said that it would have changed teen-me’s life. But it still hit me deeply as an adult. Because OPHELIA AFTER ALL takes the reader’s hand gently and tells them that it’s okay to change. That change is an integral part of life. And we are everchanging. Teenager. Adult. It doesn’t matter. What Ophelia experiences in this book is a universal feeling.

Read the full review on my blog Word Wonders
Profile Image for geekyfangirlstuff.
140 reviews438 followers
April 24, 2023
[Listopad 2022]


mam zawirowania wewnętrzne po tej lekturze i jeszcze nie potrafię do końca wyciągnąć z siebie jakiejś składniowo poprawnej opinii…ale to wszystko jest pozytywne, pełne miłości i queerowości🥹🫶🏼

[Kwiecień 2023]

Jeśli książkę można pokochać JESZCZE BARDZIEJ niż się ją kochało, to moje serce właśnie to odczuwa przy Ophelce!!
Jestem tak dumna, że mogę matronować temu wspaniałemu tytułowi i oh gosh, na samą myśl o treści tej cholernie ważnej książki mam absolutny wzrusz🥹

to po prostu M I Ł O Ś Ć

Profile Image for luce (that loser crying on the n° 2 bus).
1,438 reviews4,046 followers
May 26, 2022
blogthestorygraphletterboxd tumblrko-fi

While Ophelia After All wasn’t quite the cute & wholesome read I wanted it to be it still made for a better than okay read. The in-group drama, avoidable miscommunication, and one too many love triangles detracted from an otherwise compelling coming-of-age. If you are reading this expecting it to be a HEA romance, I recommend you adjust your expectations as Ophelia After All was more focused on Ophelia’s character arc and her coming to terms with her sexuality.

Ophelia Rojas is a Cuban-American teen who is known as the girl with the green thumb and a propensity for crushing on cute boys. The novel follows her during her last year of high school as she has to reckon with ongoing and new drama changing the dynamics of her friendship group and the possibility that she is not solely attracted to cute boys. Cute and shy Talia, the best friend of one of her friends, has caught her eye. Ophelia tries to fight her feelings, fearing the ‘ramifications’ of what this means. How will her friends and parents react if she ceases to be the ‘boy crazy’ girl they know and love? Initially, this line of thinking seems a bit questionable but as the story progresses her anxiety becomes better articulated. People have an idea of who she is, and Ophelia fears the possibility of not being the person they think she is. It was a bit odd that she would truly believe that her friends and parents (whom she is very close to) would see her just in terms of her crushes on guys but I could relate to her apprehension about ‘coming out’ and how that would lead her to make certain assumptions about the people around her.
There are a few ‘key’ events that change the dynamics between the characters. Ophelia and her mother are for a long part of the book at odds with each other after the former does something very uncharacteristic and refuses to tell her mother why (but tells her dad). The guy who causes this was a throwaway one-dimensional bigot who…I mean, he was a bit on the nose (not that people like that do not exist but that he was in a very short scene and managed to tick all of these unsavoury boxes…given that he was a college student it seemed weird that he would be so public about his trash opinions especially since he surrounded by faculty and adults). Ophelia was 100% valid in what she did (the whole being ‘the bigger person’ is overrated if you ask me) but I found her treatment of her mother frustrating. Ragazza mia, just talk to your mum!
In addition to the story’s focus on Ophelia struggling to reconcile herself with her attraction and feelings for Talia the story is also sadly very much about the drama going on in her friendship group. Her neighbour and best friend are in love with another friend. Talia’s best friend, who also happens to be a friend of Ophelia, is in love with that same girl. That girl is portrayed as kind of a bitch but she happens to have a best friend who isn’t (i can’t remember her name but if you’ve read this you know, she’s the most sensible and decent character in this whole book…i wish that she’d been given more page time). Anyhow, things are obviously awkward and tense. I found the miscommunication within their group stupid and not always believable. It also annoyed me that Ophelia called her bf and that girl he is in love with ‘promiscuous’ and implied that this made them less nice than that other guy who is also in love with her.
Still, I loved that we get so many lgbtq+ characters, even if the ‘reveals’ at the end were cheesy (but i am all for it at the same time so there ya go). Some of the discussions around being queer and or part of the lgbtq+ community did feel a bit…patronising? They were vaguely… at one point I felt like I was watching an instructional 101 lgbtq+ video. There was this scene with Ophelia asking this other character why people used ‘queer’ when she heard it was a controversial term and something about it felt very studied. At one point a character starts rattling off different labels and identities and I felt that I was scrolling on the lgbtq+ wiki. The narrative in these sections seemed more intent on being informative and unproblematic than ‘real’.
Some of the characters struck me as one-dimensional, especially the ‘unlikeable’ ones such as Talia’s relatives, Ophelia’s ex and her mother’s dick of a student. I did not find the love polygon interesting and in fact, it was tiring, especially since much of it hinged on a character that is for most of the narrative portrayed as having exclusively bad traits.
Still, I liked that the author didn’t make Ophelia immediately accept her queerness and that her self-denial leads her to make quite a few bad choices. Her treatment of Talia was kind of horrible if you think about it but she owns up to it (which doesn’t cancel out what she did but it results in some solid character growth on her part). I also liked that her mother isn’t depicted as being horrible, which I feared she would be for a good portion of the book. Her talk with Ophelia towards the end was very touching.
I just wish the story had focused less on the drama and fights between Ophelia’s ‘friends’. Her best friend in particular is done a bit of a disservice as his character seems reduced to him taunting his love rival. But I did appreciate how inclusive this group was. I would have liked for them to have more distinctive personalities (rather than a few chosen traits) but it isn’t that kind of novel so it worked all the same.
There were some compelling discussions on Ophelia’s dual heritage and her struggle for self-knowledge in a society that is very either/or in its view of identity and sexuality. I also appreciated that Ophelia dismisses the idea of a monolithic Latin American culture, however, later mentions of her heritage do at times risk doing exactly that.
While some of the discussions did feel a tad too American for my liking in that they simplified certain issues (i can’t explain but if you know you know), I did enjoy Ophelia reflections of Lacan and the nature of desire.
Anyway, although I didn’t quite love Ophelia as a character and I didn't particularly care for her in-group melodrama, Ophelia After All makes for a refreshing YA in that it prioritizes Ophelia’s coming of age over any potential romance she may or may not have along the way (more of this please and less of the ‘i met my OTL in high school’). This story managed to subvert romance conventions which were unexpected in the best way possible. Still, other aspects were more predictable. Similarly to other contemporary YA novels Ophelia After All tries to be more self-aware of the cliches of the ‘teen coming of age’ genre but then they end up incorporating those tropes anyways.

Despite my mixed feelings, I liked Ophelia After All more than not. It has its flaws sure and the tone was a bit juvenile and moralistic at times but I could tell that the author had good intentions and the story she tells does have heart.
I would definitely recommend this to younger audiences and or YA devotees.
Profile Image for Fer Bañuelos ✨.
745 reviews3,400 followers
January 24, 2022


Thank you netgalley for providing me with an e-arc of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Ophelia is for the queer latines and the queer latines only.

Ophelia After All was one of my most anticipated releases of the year. I've followed Raquel for years so ever since she announced her debut I knew I was going to absolutely love it, and I wasn't wrong.

If I could read only one thing for the rest of my life it would be queer coming-of-age stories written by queer authors. Something about them just hit the nail in the head for me, and Ophelia After All was no exception. It is a beautiful exploration of queerness, allowing yourself to change and everything that comes with discovering your sexuality. This is the type of book that every questioning teen can see themselves in, and that alone is a win in my book.

I loved Ophelia's growth throughout the novel. Her journey reminded me a lot of my own experiences, so it was heartwarming to see her embracing herself little by little. Raquel does an exceptional job making her main character reliable while at the same time keeping her realistic.

The ending felt so right for the story and left me feeling extremely satisfied. I really enjoyed how everything wrapped up because, again, it was very realistic, and that's something I always appreciate in my contemporaries.

I can't wait to read everything Raquel publishes, because if this book is any indication of what her future work will be like, she has the potential top become one of my auto-buy authors.

Profile Image for Robin.
327 reviews1,828 followers
February 10, 2022
the kind of book i wish i’d had in high school. absolutely astonishing and emotional 💛
Profile Image for micah ➳ canonicallychaotic.
174 reviews224 followers
February 18, 2022
“everything will be different in a few months. the. what’ll i have, who will i be? this is the one thing that i can control, the one thing that doesn’t have to change.”

ophelia rojas knows who she is—mixed irish-cuban, rose gardener, floral wearer, boy-crazy. with prom and graduation coming up, she’s surrounded by people who also know exactly who she is. but when she starts thinking about a girl the way she’s always thought about boys….change might be coming when she least expects it.

it’s quite possible that racquel marie reached directly into my head and heart as she wrote this.

it doesn’t feel like enough to say that i saw myself in ophelia. because there are things in this book that i’ve thought verbatim. there’s words in this book that i’ve written down, tucked into my own writing projects and into other reviews. in ophelia, i see my high school self so clearly. she was me. i was ophelia.

the way she fears changing, because everyone has this preconceived idea of who she is. and if they know she isn’t that girl anymore, then what happens to the way these people see her. what if she changes and they don’t understand that this is who she is. that she can see her own change, but she doesn’t know how to let others see it too.

the way she is able to understand herself by making new friends, instead of the ones who have known her her whole life. the words she hears then are words i remember finding for the first time. i remember finally unlocking something inside me i didn’t know was tucked away, just out of reach.

the way she shares her life with her parents. i used to jump into the car after school every day with gossip updates for my mom. she knew everything. except for the period of time when we also had a fight and i leaned on my dad.

and ophelia’s hopelessly romantic outlook on life. how she falls in love fast fully. how she gives her heart away to those who don’t see the gift that it is. it was how i too used to see the world.

above all, in seeing me this book told me i am not alone. that for all teenage me went through, so did others. they had to have. because these words on these pages exist.

i literally sobbed while reading this book because i just felt so so seen. i had to stop reading because i couldn’t breathe. my head and heart were in these pages. i don’t know if teenage me could have read it. i don’t think she would be able to be in this place and see herself so clearly while she was still figuring it out. it would have been too big for her to hold. but me now, almost ten years removed from when i was ophelia’s age, looks at this book and feels less alone in hindsight. i’m stronger now. i can carry this. i already carry past me with me everyday. we know we turn out okay. we weren’t alone after all.

i have already cleared space on my favorites shelf for ophelia. i can’t wait to visit her again. i can’t wait to see her again—to see past me.

this book is the song of my heart and i am just so thankful that it exists.
Profile Image for Monte Price.
673 reviews1,844 followers
August 18, 2021
I'm reading this for a vlog, so at some point I'll edit in that link here. This is me editing in that link.

But this book also isn't out until February, so there's not much I can say other than you need to have this preordered/requested at your library. This book hit all the marks I didn't even know I needed it to hit. Ophelia + company are some of the best characters I've had the pleasure to read about, and I loved being invested in their friend group and Ophelia's journey.

Racquel really did that and the people are going to be truly blessed when they get a chance to read this and experience the story for themselves.
Profile Image for Racquel Marie.
Author 6 books561 followers
February 2, 2022
I'm biased but I like it (content warnings below)

Feel free to reach out via social media to let me know if I've missed anything significant! stay safe loves <3

content warnings: mentions of underage drinking and vaping, topical mentions of sex, cut-off use of a homophobic slur (challenged), condemned homophobia, discussion of anti-Blackness within a mixed race Latine family (challenged)

Also adding that this is a contemporary with a queer main character, not a romance! <3
Profile Image for Charmel.
183 reviews424 followers
August 16, 2023
Ophelia After All is my new dearest treasure. Everything about this book is flawless and majestic and utterly beautiful. After erasing words, deleting phrases, and reconstructing sentences, I realized that no term nor name can describe the perfection of this book.

I just want to lay down, put my earphones on, and sob, sob, and sob until I have no tears left to cry.
I don't think I will ever be the same.

“There’s no shoulds or shouldn’ts here,” he says. “You don’t have to label yourself as anything until you’re ready. Or ever, if you don’t want to.”

Ophelia After All is all about love, discovery, and friendship, and family. We follow Ophelia, a 17 year old Cuban Irish girl who is in her last year of high school, as she navigates through spiraling changes and self-discovery.

This book is an exquisite coming-of-age story. My emotions while reading this were a jumbled mess, I cried, I laughed and I laughed and cried again.

Ophelia Rojas is a wonderful realistic character. reading through her point of view truly was a new kind of experience.

Everyone knows her as the boy-crazy, botany-lover Ophelia, it's like they have this image of her that pressures her to change. but when she unexpectedly finds herself having feelings for a girl, She starts to question herself. She starts to be in denial, starts to be confused, and starts to be afraid of sudden big changes.

The struggle that she went through was raw, true and authentic. Her tantrums, breakdowns, and messy thoughts were so honest and felt real. her journey on figuring out her sexuality was in depth and meaningful, and it brought me to tears.

I love Ophelia so much. She is such a well-written character and I relate to her somehow. At this point, she is my new favorite comfort character.

“But sometimes, when you’ve known someone for years and they build up this image of you, it’s hard to talk about things that mess with that image. It feels like you’d be breaking some bond of trust between you and that person by being different than you were before. I don’t just mean subtle, slow changes. I mean, like, the big things that they never saw coming.”

I kid you not, when i say that every character was well-written, they are definitely well-written. Everyone in Ophelia's friend group was diverse and amazing! They each tell different stories, they have their own talents and personalities, and they are realistic and flawed making them more fascinating.

Sammie was my favorite next to Ophelia, he was also relatable. He's also funny, cute, and awesome. Ophelia and Sammie are platonic soulmates, I adore their friendship a lot!

Agatha is my third fave. I admire her supportive demeanor, her confidence, and her never ending chismes with O. I am honestly a lowkey chismosa like her bahaha.

Linds, Zaq, Talia, and Wes. I love all of them!! Especially Wes, his character was such a solace to me. I am so happy to say that, I FOUND MY COMFORT CHARACTERS!

“I’m loved already, right here, right now. Loved even if I change, even if I’m not the same Ophelia I’ve always been. Loved by people who are willing to try memorizing a song from a Shakespearean play the night before their senior prom in the simple hope that it’ll make me smile, make my not-so-foolish dreams come true.”

I love love love this book and its characters. I will never shut up about how much I cherish this book. I admire Ophelia and her bravery and honesty. And like the perfect book it is, the family and friendship dynamics were heartfelt and wonderfully executed. It also had a uniquely splendid ending that left me in awe and taught me profound lessons.

Not all change is bad. We may lose some things but we will always gain something better. We cannot stay the same forever. It's okay to be unsure, confused, and scared. What's important is that we will face the change with hope and with a strong attitude. Let's also not forget that there are people rooting for us. Even if we change, those who truly love us will stay by our side no matter what.

“But a life spent waiting is not a life spent loving. It’s a life spent wasting away on the promise of something you’re not guaranteed.”

Family Dynamics ☑
Friendship Dynamics ☑
Self-discovery ☑
Honest High School Experience ☑
Beautiful Prose ☑
Flawed, relatable characters ☑
Realistic struggles ☑
ALL CHECK, in this book

This book spoke to me. And the effect it left on me is indescribable. I loved every page of it, I loved how it made me feel so hearty and hopeful, I loved how it left me utterly speechless. This is my newly found treasure. My new comfort book.

Ophelia After All holds my heart and soul.
Profile Image for CW ✨.
669 reviews1,713 followers
December 16, 2021
Ophelia After All is probably one of the best YA contemporaries I've ever read - gorgeous, incredibly heartfelt, so tender and yet so real. I love this book with my whole heart and it will stay with me forever (which is why I've added it to my 'forever in my heart' shelf). ❤

- Follows Ophelia, a biracial Cuban-Irish teen, who has always 'falls in love just a little bit everyday with someone new', or 'boy crazy Ophelia'. But when she starts to realise that she may actually be queer, this quiet revelation will forever change the perceptions of those closest to her.
- Gosh, I just... I just love this book. Have I mentioned that yet? I love this book.
- It's a gorgeous story about identity and who you are. How do you tell the people that you see everyday, who know you everyday, that you've changed? When did this change happen? And how do you tell people that you've changed?
- The storytelling is so organic and just so real. I loved Ophelia so much; so many of her thoughts will resonate with readers and the emotional journey that we go on with her is truly splendid and satisfying.
- I adore Ophelia's friend group - by the end, I felt like they were my friends too? Racquel has this unique and stunning way of bringing her characters to life.
- It's also a love letter to those who are queer and those who are still figuring it out. That it's okay to not have it all figured out, that it's okay to simply be.

I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Maisha  Farzana .
555 reviews239 followers
February 12, 2022
↠ An ode to the best Queer friend group of 2022.

“Being queer is hard enough. Don’t lock yourself out of all of this just because you’re scared you won’t fit in the keyhole, without even trying.”

"Ophelia After All" is a story of love, heartbreak, family and friendship. It is about the struggles we all face but still tend to overlook. A story of self discovery that I found spectacular and unparalleled. It would be a delightful and pleasant read for every YA reader out there.

In this admirable coming of age YA contemporary, we follow a 17 years old Cuban-Irish teen named Ophelia throughout her journey of self discovery. Ophelia is used to get crushes on every cute boy she comes across to. This happens so frequently that everyone calls her "boy crazy Ophelia". Ophelia has her senior year and senior prom planned since forever. But her plan starts crumbling down when she finds herself falling for a girl named Talia. She surprising discovers that she- "the boy crazy Ophelia"- has a crush on a girl. Add to that the problems in her once solid friend groups are spiraling a little out of control. High School life is full of drama. But what happens when the drama becomes too much to bear. Before Ophelia can even register what's happening, her entire life starts changing before her eyes....

The writing is really good. The prose is tender and accessible. I listened to the audiobook which is absolutely mind blowing. The narrator does an amazing job of bringing life into the characters. I would highly recommend both the book and the audiobook versions.

"Ophelia After All" is a stunningly gorgeous book about discovering who you are, finding your support systems, and learning to be okay with where you are on your own journey. Ophelia's struggle with finding her identity and coming in terms with her newly discovered sexual felt very genuine. All her life, Ophelia has always ‘fallen in love just a little bit every day with someone new’. To all her family and friends, Ophelia has always been ‘boy crazy Ophelia’, but when Ophelia realizes that she has a crush on one of the girls at school, this calls everything she knows about herself into question. Anybody would get frustrated in such situations. So, Ophelia's tantums and burst offs were understandable.

All the details and inner monologues were very much real and easily relatable. I personally didn't face such troubles with my sexuality. But still I could understand where Ophelia was coming from.

The novel is rich in secondary characters, all of whom learn and struggle together in a messy web of teenage friendships. Racquel Marie tells the story with such love and sympathy that the characters become real. I could actually sense them by my side. It was very very easy to be sympathize with them and love them.

Change is inevitable in life. You can't stay the same throughout your whole life. But we have to admit that changes are scary. We all, at some points of our lives, wonder if our loved ones would accept our changes, whether they would love the "new us" all the same. "Ophelia After All" says with so much gentleness and love - it’s okay to change, it’s okay to be unsure about who you are. The people who truly love you will always stay by your side, no matter what.

Other than narrating Ophelia's journey of self discovery, this book explores a lot of different themes of teenage life. The story also focuses on various problematic issues that prevails in our society. The novel offers a heartfelt tale about family, friendship and high school drama.

The friendships and family dynamics portrayed here are wonderful to say the least. The author brilliantly explores the ins and outs of different kinds of relationships. From Ophelia's relation with her parents to her friendship with each of her friends - everything is well done. The way she navigates her friendship troubles is incredibly well written. Disagreements and conflicts are a huge part of these relationships. Racquel bravely portrays them all without any filter. Both the dialogues and inner monologues are so raw and unfiltered that one have to marvel at their originality.

On thing I definitely have to say. This book is surprisingly honest to the high school experience. These days, it pretty hard to find books which present the reality of high school. Reading a realistic high school story once seemed like a dream. Racquel Marie has made our dream comes true. "Ophelia After All" offers a very genuine approach to the raw, messy and complicated high school life. There are unnecessary quarrels, dreamy crushes, hilarious pranks, cheesy acts, complex love triangles, romance, heartbreaks and many more....

The ending is a bit underwhelming. I don't know what I was expecting but the story just feels unfinished. The ending is a little rushed and sudden. This probably is my only complain about the book. But still it isn't bad. The whole book is way too good to be truth. So, it didn't mind even though the ending wasn't my favourite.

This book made me laugh out loud. This book made me cry. It had me on my toes. It broke me apart then gradually sewed up the broken pieces together again. In a word, reading this book, was an amazing experience.


Thanks to NetGalley and RB Media for providing an audiobook arc of this book in exchange for my honest review. All the opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany).
2,203 reviews3,682 followers
June 15, 2023
The bisexual coming of age story I didn't know I needed! Why did it take me so long to read this? Ophelia After All follows a Cuban-American teen girl who's really into gardening and boys. She's clearly straight, right? Or maybe not...

As a fellow bisexual who was a little boy-crazy as a teenager, this was so relatable. It took me a whole lot longer to put the pieces together than Ophelia (hello religious indoctrination and compulsory heterosexuality!) but when she finally has her first obvious girl crush and then realizes all those moments of noticing her friends were more than what she thought they were? Yep. Looking back now it's painfully obvious that I had plenty of crushes on girls too, I just didn't realize that's what they were. As a coming of age story though, this was perfection. And it's full of friendship, found family, and the people you love supporting you through big changes. Even when you are messy along the way.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Janna.
311 reviews296 followers
October 8, 2022
"Ophelia After All" was everything and more I imagined it would be. It's an irresistible contemporary YA novel about Ophelia, a teenage girl, dealing with crushes, friendships and the struggles of the last weeks of her high school journey.

I know that I'll be holding this book close to my heart for a long time. It was wholesome, emotional and heartbreaking at once.

Ophelia, who loves rose-gardening and has always been having a lot of crushes on boys, suddenly has to deal with a new kind of crush - a crush on a girl named Talia.

I loved how Racquel Marie handled Ophelia's voyage of identity/ her coming to terms with her queerness. There were a lot of other queer characters as well, some who took pride in using labels, some who didn't need them. I think that's a very important detail that is often overlooked when talking about queer identities. If a label fits, that's great and if you don't like labels, also great!

Ophelia's friends were adorable, sometimes annoying and honestly just like a group of friends shortly before their graduation would behave. It was realistic and I think teens will relate to their drama, heartbreak and (not always successful) attempts to finish this chapter of their lives harmoniously.

I particularly enjoyed and related to the focus on Ophelia being scared of the future, the changes that will come with it, her being afraid that her friends won't accept her changes, once she departs from the image of her they've already formed in their heads, once she becomes a new version of herself that her friends, who've known her all her life, maybe won't understand at first.

Beautifully written, with a lot of charm and loveable characters, who aren't always perfect (and they don't need to be!) and whom I won't forget any time soon, "Ophelia After All" is 100% worth a read if you're a fan of YA contemporaries.

i post about queer books here: instagram / tiktok /twitter
Profile Image for natka_bookish_life.
212 reviews130 followers
April 30, 2023
**reread polskiej wersji

*po re rereadzie kocham jeszcze bardziej!!!!!


JA ŻYJE TĄ KSIĄŻKĄ! czuje ze 5 gwiazdek
to za mało!!! ta książka jest:


Ophelia to jest gatunek chroniony! kocham ją całym sercem!

uwielbiam to jak bardzo realistyczna jest, jest szczera. to nie jest kolejna YA książka, gdzie widzimy podoba scenariusz jak w 16 poprzednich, to jest tytuł który uczy! to jest tytuł o PRZYJAŹNI! o bratnich duszach w każdym tego słowa znaczeniu! o miłości, o przeżyciach, o dorastaniu i strachu…

jeśli macie przeczytać jakąkolwiek książkę to właśnie te!!!!
Profile Image for atlas ♡.
142 reviews112 followers
February 5, 2022
✧・゚: * → 𝟱 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘀

𝘖𝘱𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘢 𝘈𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘈𝘭𝘭 is wonderfully queer coming of age novel with a latina protagonist so I assumed I would like it off the bat. Despite that, this beautifully crafted story exceeded my expectations. I requested the audio ARC on Netgalley due to it's gorgeous cover and interesting premise and got it accepted a while back. I realized that it was coming out soon so I finally got to reading it and I'm so glad I did.

This story follows Ophelia, a questioning Cuban-Irish girl, during her last few months of senior year. We see her struggle with her sexuality after only being seen as "boy crazy." She tries desperately to keep that one faucet of herself the same as the rest of her life changes. This is all a product of her crush on a girl which she didn't know what to do with.

Despite the focus on her and her sexuality, we see a lot more play into her story. We get the merging of two friend groups and the drama that unfolds. I absolutely adore well done friend groups and this was definitely one of those.. The side characters were fun and engaging. We got to see all their different relationships come into play as well. These rationships were very well done, whether they were romantic, platonic, or familial.

Realistic high school stories are hard to find, many stories like these usually just include a bunch of outdated pop culture references. I was pleasantly surprised by how truthful this book was to the high school experience. Ophelia's experience is messy and just so raw.

Overall, my praise doesn't do enough justice to how much I adore this book. Definitely go check out this book if you want a messy coming of age with a plethora of queer characters.

𝙏𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙠 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙩𝙤 𝙉𝙚𝙩𝙜𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙮 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙥𝙪𝙗𝙡𝙞𝙨𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙖𝙣 𝘼𝙍𝘾 𝙞𝙣 𝙚𝙭𝙘𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙚 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙢𝙮 𝙝𝙤𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙩 𝙧𝙚𝙫𝙞𝙚𝙬!
Profile Image for book.olandia.
177 reviews1,839 followers
June 1, 2023
3.5⭐️ jakie to było fajne! możliwe, że szybko o niej zapomnę i nie będę wracać, ale nie mogę przejść obojętnie obok tak wartościowej młodzieżówki🤝🏻
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