We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Publisher: Dutton Books For Young Readers
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Summary: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.
My Rating:★★★★☆ ½
My Thoughts: We Are Okay is a beautifully crafted story which journeys Marin as she encounters grief and solitude coming to terms with events of her past!
LaCour’s writing-style is what made We Are Okay a captivating read. Her writing style brings out facets of Marin (emotionally) that drives the novel throughout.
While the plot is there, its mainly the emotion evoked through the 1st person POV of Marin that brings a unique aspect to this YA Contemporary!
Told through present and past chapters, Marin recollects on what led her to leave those she loves behind before her 1st year of college. With each and every line, I could feel the loneliness and grief that Marin carried with her!
Additionally, reading from her POV brought such depth and life to the characters, like Hannah, Mabel and her grandfather.
Reading about the loss Marin goes through was difficult at times, because with each page we understood just how alone she felt. However throughout the novel, we learn more about those from her past and that she has a great support system behind her and slowly but surely can find hope.
Because We Are Okay follows Marin in a unique + emotional head-space, the novel does slow at some points (hence the 4.5) but it gives such insight into her true feelings and emotions which really makes this novel captivating.
There is not only GLBT+, but also Mexican representation which was great!
LaCour also weaves themes of family and friendship which are heavily discussed and explored throughout.
Marin’s struggles and difficulties with opening up to friends and establishing stronger ties with those friends was something I could see in myself. It’s never easy, but reading that Mabel did all she could to reconnect with Marin, was beautiful!!
Marin was a very soft-spoken character (at least from my perspective) and I found that so relatable. There is so much that she considers and ponders in her head, but when putting those thoughts into words, she finds it difficult!
I loved Mabel and Marin’s relationship! It does have its complications, but they have so much history that their friendship and love for each other is clearly seen in the story. They want the best for one another regardless of what happened in the past. There is so much girl-power that I found throughout We Are Okay! Just girls supporting each other through their darkest + emotional moments in life.
Setting was painted so beautifully. I could picture the New York snow and the California beaches as more than just locations in a story,but moments in time and with emotion + atmosphere (both dark and hopeful) that was only possible through Marin’s POV.
As stated above I adored this novel, however because of the way we follow Marin’s POV, the story did slow at times for me.
We Are Okay captures grief, hope, forgiveness, friendship and family. Through an elegantly crafted writing-style, emotion and atmosphere capture the tone of this novel and drive the story forward as we follow Marin who finds hope in her darkest times!