Tuesday, January 24, 2017
review: we are okay by nina lacour
"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. ~ Goodreads
Source: arc provided by the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review
We Are Okay is a gorgeous book that explores grief, love, family and forgiveness. What I loved most about it was how LaCour showed the shifting dynamics of relationships in a way that was painful at times but real and told with such empathy.
I did have a difficult time falling into the story at first but that’s my fault. There are so many books lately that have had a hook or a twist using unreliable narrators that I was reluctant to trust what I was reading.
We Are Okay begins with Marin, alone, in the dorms at her college campus over the holidays, trying to reflect and understand the events from her past with her now deceased grandfather and with Mabel, the girl who haunts her memories. I’ve been tricked so many times by narratives that have only a few characters only to find out that it wasn’t real. That it was really just the MC trying to cope with her tragic past. I spent a good 50+ pages looking for clues that things weren’t what they appeared, rather than falling into Marin’s spiraling depression and awkwardness when Mable, her first love, returns to convince Marin to come home.
Once I did get past my own skepticism and learned the truth about what led Marin to flee her home and to her cutting herself off from all the people who love her, I was totally invested. The way LaCour unravels Marin’s past to show just how bad things got for her while desperately trying but failing to reach out for help was so well written. Anyone who has dealt with grief or depression will see themselves in this book.
The relationships were incredibly complex and flawed while never making anyone a villain. While there is a romance, this is not a romance book. We Are Okay is about so much more than that. There was a lot of emotion packed into a short 240 pages.
After a bumpy start, I felt the complex relationships and emotional payoff were well worth it and I’m glad I stuck with the book until the end.