Title: We Are Okay
Author: Nina Lacour
Genre: YA Contemporary, LGBTQ+
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
I usually separate my reviews with summary/plot, writing, characters, and thoughts. However, this book is really short and I feel like I would give everything away by going into detail.
This is my first Nina Lacour book and I have to say that I now want to read everything by this author. Her writing is phenomenal. But!!!! I have to slow down on my book buying and read the ones I have on my shelf first lol. So maybe by Fall, I’ll buy her other books.
We Are Okay is very melancholic. The tone is set from the very first page till the last page. I had tears in my eyes! This story is about a girl, Marin, who one day leaves everything from her old life behind. Till her best friend from her old life, Mabel, comes to visit. And Mabel isn’t coming over to just check on her but also to confront her (not in a bad way at all).
This book is told in alternating chapters of present and past time. The setting also takes a big role with the tone. Winter snowstorm in a big university campus that Marin happens to be alone because everyone is on Christmas/New Year vacation (present chapters). Summer with Marin who is a completely different person, happier (past chapters). With each page turned, I was filled with more questions of what had happened to Marin. Why did she up and leave? Slowly but surely everything started clicking and making sense.
This story is about loss, tragedy, and grief. About the hard parts in life that shape you. About how sometimes you end up abandoning yourself when something bad happens to you. I loved how raw this book is. And the profound message Nina Lacour had hidden within the conversations of Marin and Mabel. That’s what made this book an instant fave. I’ve said this a million times before but I love when books make you think.
This book is not entirely plot driven but more character driven. I also loved how we have queer characters and WoC but it wasn’t used as plot device, it wasn’t even spoken about. The story is an everyday story and I appreciate that so much. As a WoC and part of the LGTBQ+ spectrum, THANK YOU NINA!!
I loved both Marin and Mabel oh so much. Best friends since young and the relationship they have with one another is so beautiful, raw, and honest. We also get to meet Mabel’s parents and they’re amazing as well. I love how Mabel’s parents were very active in their daughters life whereas in other YA novels, I feel like we don’t see that too often.
This is a simple, gorgeous, sad read but I would highly recommend it to everyone.
have you read this? thoughts? let’s chat in the comments!