We Are Okay Book Review

We Are Okay Book Cover We Are Okay
Nina LaCour
Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Fiction
Dutton Books for Young Readers
February 14th 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.

Another character filled masterpiece

After reading and enjoying Hold Still, I decided to jump right into reading We Are Okay by Nina LaCour.  I was not prepared.

The book deals with loneliness, sadness, and grief.  The story makes you think about people who deal with grief and if they are okay. The story really plays on the title. While reading this book, you will want to keep yourself warm and let the tears come. Maybe a blanket or five and a nice hot drink. This books just brings every emotion up to the surface and it takes forever to let them calm down.

“I was okay just a moment ago. I will learn how to be okay again.”

We Are Okay follows the story of Marin. She is alone after leaving her old town and life in order to get away from… something. Until her friend Mabel comes to visit for a few days. In the beginning, it isn’t clear what is wrong but after flashbacks to conversations with her Gramps, one can assume the worse. Moments that went between them with unanswered questions and the unknown areas that linger within her own home. There are many moments in which Marin does not know if her Gramps is okay.

The flashbacks that happen between Mabel and Marin are also so heartwarming. The walks on the beach, the kissing and the sheer joy of being next to each other.  But in the present, Marin does not know how to let Mabel – that last hold on her old life – back in. She is so deep within herself from grief. She lost people that she loved and is dealing with such a strong struggle with grief that she had to leave everything.

I adore Marin and just want to feed her chocolate. I wanted so badly to make her feel better. The way she feels about losing family really struck a chord with me. It is another book I can relate to on a personal level. I’ve been down that road of feeling lonely, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. I am so happy that Marin was eventually able to find that happy place where things will start getting better for her.

Quotable lines about grief.

Within We Are Okay, there are so many lines that resonate strongly about grief and being alone. Some of the more prominent ones for me are:

“It’s a dark place, not knowing.
It’s difficult to surrender to.
But I guess it’s where we live most of the time. I guess it’s where we all live, so maybe it doesn’t have to be so lonely. Maybe I can settle into it, cozy up to it, make a home inside uncertainty.” 

“The trouble with denial is that when the truth comes, you aren’t ready.” 

“I wonder if there’s a secret current that connects people who have lost something. Not in the way that everyone loses something, but in the way that undoes your life, undoes your self, so that when you look at your face it isn’t yours anymore.” 

These are but a few of the many moments that stick out to me within in the book. The feeling of lonely and isolated is such a real thing that people deal with on a daily basis. People who have lost loved ones or struggling to get by. It can be a very difficult place to get out of.

“I was okay just a moment ago. I will learn how to be okay again.”

We Are Okay is a beautiful book. There are no other words to really describe it. The story is driven by the characters who you can connect to. How the book will make you feel at the end. I guarantee you if you don’t cry from this book at LEAST 3 times, then it probably was not your cup of tea. Definitely give this book a try, you won’t regret it!

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