Genre: Holiday


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
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four-stars

"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.)

four-stars

4 Hot Espressos

Review: The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Review: The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Posted by on 10/07/2016 • 8 Comments

I KNOW IT’S TOO EARLY to be reading Christmas-y books but I am already getting into the mood for the holidays and I really wanted to be reunited with Dash & Lily so I READ THE BOOK and it was 100% worth it. Also, to be fair, this book comes out this month so I am allowed to read a christmas-y book in October.

The biggest issue I had with this book (because rarely is a book perfect) is that it was a lot more angsty than the original Dash & Lily. Lily was justified in being angsty but the lack of communication between Dash & Lily was so off-putting given that they had been good at in the first book. If Dash & Lily just talked to each other,…