I’ve been hearing incredible buzz for We Are Okay for months, and it definitely did not disappoint. This book is so powerful. It’s about life and death, grief and hope, and the true meaning of family. It is an emotional rollercoaster with a gripping mystery that will keep you turning those pages!
We Are Okay by Nina Lacour
I recommend pairing this Barefoot Chardonnay with We Are Okay, since the beach in San Francisco is a place where monumental moments in Marin’s life take place, both good and bad.
*All wine recommendations are for strictly for those of legal drinking age only.*
It’s All In The Details
- Title: We Are Okay
- Author: Nina LaCour
- Publisher: Dutton Books For Young Readers
- Pub Date: February 14, 2017
- Pages: 240
“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
Nina LaCour is a true master of the YA Contemporary novel, and We Are Okay is the perfect demonstration of that. This is one of those books that I just want to carry around with me always and wave in the faces of anyone who says that YA novels aren’t “literary.”
LaCour tackles so many important themes in this novel, and she does so in a way that is both emotionally moving but also entertaining. You won’t want to put this book down, so it’s a good thing that at 240 pages, you can certainly get through it in one sitting. The writing is simple yet exquisite, and it’s just one of those books that you’ll be thinking about long after you turn that final page.
When we meet Marin she is so broken and lonely, and the way that LaCour delivers her backstory one perfect piece at a time is absolutely engrossing. In the first glimpses we see of her earlier life, it seems almost idyllic, but slowly LaCour begins to hint at something darker lurking beneath the surface of what she knows her life to be. The mystery the underlies Marin’s present is captivating but drives home some very important messages about family, death, grief, mental health, and forgiveness.
It is mind-blowing to me that LaCour was able to fit all that heavy subject matter into 240 pages and still produce a story that is incredibly entertaining and uplifting.
LaCour has created a cast of characters for this book that is unique and complex while still being completely relatable. Even those with the most severe character flaws still have underlying motivations that are comprehensible if not necessarily justifiable.
This book is absolutely gorgeous and another one of those books that I just want EVERYONE read. This book boils so many human emotions down in a way that we can all understand and relate too, and I think that level of human understanding is something that our world needs a whole lot more of right now.
So happiest of book birthdays to We Are Okay and Nina LaCour! I hope you’re all able to pick this one up soon!
I LOVE this cover. The color scheme is stunning, and it’s so striking in its simplicity. It’s also very symbolic of Marin’s loneliness and her discovery of the dark truths that exist in her life.
This isn’t what I would call a swoony read, though it does have some charming romantic moments. This is much more about Marin’s story and how she has to learn to move forward from her complicated past that she has only recently even become aware of. I’m not giving a swoon-worthiness rating to this book like I usually do, because the lack of swoon in no way took away from the greatness of this novel.
About the Author
Nina LaCour is the author of the award-winning Hold Still and widely acclaimedThe Disenchantments. Formerly a bookseller and high school English teacher, she now writes and parents full time. A San Francisco Bay Area native, Nina lives with her family in Richmond, California. http://www.ninalacour.com
Have any of you read We Are Okay yet? Will anyone be purchasing it today to celebrate its release date? Does anyone have any recommendations for me of other YA novels that brilliantly discuss family and mental health?