For What It's Worth

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

review: we are okay by nina lacour


28243032"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

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.







19 comments:

  1. Bumpy starts can sometimes kill it for me

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  2. I'm an ending girl so I think I'd be okay with this one. However, it sounds very emotional and I don't think I want that right now, but it will probably be perfect at another time. Will have to add it to my wishlist.

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    1. Really, it was just me. I don't think it has a slow start or anything - I was just being paranoid lol

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  3. Sounds like it all worked out, book sounds good!

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    1. It is - and it's short. Bittersweet yet happy.

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  4. You and I are the same. I'd even ask myself WHY I'm reading something that I feel/think will fail or disappoint me. It's like self-torture lol. It's great that this wasn't like that and gave you a good story :)

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    1. Twists are great - until they aren't lol I found it hard to just go with the story as presented (and it was VERY good) always looking for the twist but there wasn't one.

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  5. It's easy to be suspicious of books sometimes based on all the other things we've read. I'm glad that you really enjoyed this one as you read though, because it's one I want to read too!

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    1. There are so many unreliable narrators right now. And I have liked many of them! But it made me look at this story in a way that wasn't really what it was about. I probably should have read some reviews first and I would have known that.

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  6. Another one for my 'Wanna Read List', this sounds just like the sort of story I'd really enjoy.

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  7. I know EXACTLY what you mean about unreliable narrators. You start to expect a twist and then are like "that's it?" when there isn't one. I love how critically you read this one though.

    I'm usually wary of books about grief and tragedy because I don't know how to handle my emotions. Nothing prettier than ugly crying through a book. I'm pleasantly surprised that the author was able to do so much in just over 200 pages. Mad respect.

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    1. For some reason I did not ugly cry but I know many people who did so....but it's quick so you won't cry for that long??? lol

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  8. Excited to read this - I love her books so much!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. This was the first I've read by her

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  9. I must admit, I love an unreliable narrator. I like being kept guessing. For so few pages, wow, it certainly packs a punch. I don't mind reads that are so emotional that we fall apart, as long as an author puts us back together by the end. Adding this one now Karen, it sounds like my kind of read. Brilliant review! <3

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    1. I don't mind an unreliable narrator I just think I kept expecting it here and she wasn't unreliable lol

      It had a really beautiful, realistic ending.

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  10. Such a beautiful review, Karen! I’m sold. Can’t wait to read this story.

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  11. Ohmygosh Karen. I think this is one of my most anticipated books after reading and loving Everything Leads to You by the same author. I'm so glad that despite the bumpy start you ended up really enjoying it. I can't wait to read this book.

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