Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Holiday Novel I Didn’t Know I Needed: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

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I received this book for free from Dutton Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Holiday Novel I Didn’t Know I Needed: We Are Okay by Nina LaCourWe Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Published by Dutton Books for Young Readers on Feb 14th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Holiday, YA
Source: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Buy on Amazon

"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 have no idea how to start this review because I just want to throw We Are Okay in everyone’s faces and get them to read it. What drew me to the book was Nina LaCour and the pretty cover. While I haven’t read anything solely written by her, I had read You Know Me Well by her last year which she co-authored with David Levithan and fell in love with her writing.

LaCour’s writing just makes me wish I was buried under a ton of blankets with a book and a nice, warm cup of hot cocoa. We Are Okay is everything I didn’t even know I wanted from a holiday-themed book. It is complex, cozy and gut wrenching. It uses the tropes from common holiday novels but takes them to the next level in wonderful ways.

One of my favorite things about We Are Okay is that the characters are in college. I feel like in discussions surrounding what it means to be a young adult (not teen, but young adult), people often forget that undergrad kids are still very much finding their place in this world.

Marin ran away from home (to college) and hasn’t looked back. She is dealing with immense grief and confusion as she finds herself in a new place without her old high school friends. She cut herself off from her old friends too which makes things even more complicated but when her best friend Mabel comes to visit and to bring her home with her, Mabel brings back reminders of the past and the what ifs. Marin is forced to confront her past and deal with emotions that she had buried deep within.

As Marin and Mabel rekindle their friendship, Marin learns to deal with her grief in a more healthy way and navigate a world post the death of someone she loved.

Marin is such a wonderful character to read about and my heart hurt so much for her. She didn’t make the best decisions and wasn’t perfect but LaCour does such a wonderful job exploring grief through Marin’s character.

I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the ending which is why this isn’t a five star read for me but it is definitely a book worth re-reading and a perfect book for the winter and for when the world is crumbling apart and you desperately need a feel-good book.

100/10 would recommend reading and I got to get my shit together and finally read Everything Leads To You (and will hopefully have read it by the time this post goes live.)


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Rashika has been tired since 2013. There are very few things that spark joy for her besides a nice cup of tea, warm, baked goods, good books and good TV shows. She is here to pile onto your giant TBRs and to-watch lists. Offer her a cookie and she might be nice to you.

2 Responses to “The Holiday Novel I Didn’t Know I Needed: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour”

  1. Michelle

    This sounds like a great read for the weekend. I wish we had more YA books that cover friendship, grief and loneliness, which are so common feelings among young adults. Instead they are almost all about love…