Rummanah Aasi

Description: 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.

Review: Though a slight book, Nina LaCour's We Are Okay is able to address all of the levels of grieving and a spot-on voice of Marin, a teen who is unable to face her past. After completing her first semester of college, Marin stays alone in the dorms over break. She would much rather be alone, isolated even with the threat of a snowstorm looming, rather than return to San Francisco, where bad memories and pain lurk. Marin's best friend Mabel comes to stay with her and over the next few days tries to coax Marin to return to San Francisco wither her. As Marin slowly opens up, we learn more about her life. Her mother, a surfer, drowned when Marin was just a toddler. She has an absentee father who she never knew. Marin was lovingly raised by her grandfather yet he also held up walls between them. After painful events where Marin felt loss and betrayal, Marin packs up and runs away.
 I really liked how LaCour took advantage of her settings and created distinct emotions associated with them. In San Francisco there is warmth, memories filled with people who held personal relationships with Marin. In New York there is isolation, cold temperatures, and loneliness. I also really liked Marin as a character too. She is introspective and introverted and the story reflects her personality as there is very little plot in the book and the narrative emphasizes Marin's internal dialogue and musings on literature and art. Along with coping with grief, Marin is also dealing with her complicated relationship with Mabel who may be more than just her confident and best friend. Though the book deals with loss it does thankfully end on a hopeful note as Marin begins to face her problems and let others help her instead of pushing them away.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language and a scene of underage drinking. Recommended for Grades 9 and up.

If you like this book try: History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, The Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

3 Responses
  1. This book has been getting some great reviews. I like the way the cities and their descriptions added to the depth of the book. I should try this one as I am still coping with grief.

  2. Kindlemom Says:

    These type of reads about grief can always be so tender, which is why I think I love them so much. Great review for this and Yay about Letters to the Lost, so happy you are loving it too!

  3. I'm glad you liked this book. I think Nina LaCour is really good

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