Publisher: Dutton Books
Release Date: 14th February 2017
You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…
Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.
Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.
This book really took me by surprise! I wouldn’t go as far as saying this was a complete cover buy for me, but the stunning cover definitely encouraged me to pick it up, and having never read anything by Nina Lacour before I was really unsure of what to expect – I should really stop underestimating books though, because for such a short read this definitely packs a punch!
“I was okay just a moment ago. I will learn how to be okay again.”
Some reviews I saw before reading this said that they found the pace of We Are Okay too slow and that it made the book boring – but honestly, I think that is what made it so beautiful. I got a similar feeling and vibe from We Are Okay, as I did from reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath – Just complete and utter melancholy that feels all too realistic and believable. It’s a therapeutic read that will leave you deep in thought after you turn the last page, and beyond empathetic for Marin and anyone who struggles/has struggled with grief.
I feel extremely blessed that I have never had to deal with overwhelming grief like Marin’s, but I think it was portrayed really well through Marin and her grandfather – grief is a unique topic for a YA contemporary to cover, but it felt raw and tragic. Likewise with her depression, there were certain things that Marin would think or do that I just found completely relatable. Bravo to Nina Lacour – if you told me that this was someone’s real story, I would believe you.
I also really enjoyed how natural and authentic the friendship between Marin and Mabel felt, and think it sends a really positive message. The romance wasn’t the prime focus of the story which kept the emphasis on Marin’s grief and pain, but it still served as a reminder to the reader of the other side of Marin before she locked herself away, and that helped me understand and connect with her character more.
This is definitely a slow burning book, so I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re looking for action and excitement, or even just a light read – but I don’t believe anyone could regret reading it and I couldn’t recommend it more!
Have you read We Are Okay yet? If not, are you planning to?
What was the last book to leave a lasting impact on you?