Since this will more than likely be the last book I read in June, I wanted to go with something different and short. We Are Okay fits that description perfectly and it was everything I had hoped for and more. The book just kept getting better and better as I turned each page.
I have a lot to touch on so let’s get this out of the way. I’ll be talking about spoilers from We Are Okay by Nina Lacour. If you haven’t read it, you need to read it but also be aware!
From what I’ve heard on Booktube, I went into this book with a completely different idea. I imagined I was reading about a teenage runaway who left her mother and was trying to make her way in the world. Boy was I wrong.
The book actually follows Marin, a college freshman who leaves town after her Gramps passes away. The book goes between flashbacks of the summer including times with her best friend Mabel and her Gramps. The majority of the book focuses on the present because Marin is staying at her college dorms for Christmas break instead of going home because she technically doesn’t have one.
Her estranged best friend, Mabel decides to visit her and things start to happen for there on out. The one thing I loved was how Lacour wrote Marin’s grief. You could feel how emotionally drained she was and how badly she was grieving. She was almost uncomfortably pessimistic at times, not really focusing on her future and focusing a lot on the past. The again, grief will do that to a person.
As far as characters, Marin was a great character after you learned about what happened to her and the hardships she went through. At first, I honestly didn’t like Marin much because she seemed so down but after reading, I learned to love her. She was the way she was for a reason as Ana put it, “betrayal.” The girl was seemingly betrayed by everyone she loved and no one can come back from that altogether.
The minor characters of Javier, Ana, and Birdie all felt extremely real. The relationship between Javier and Ana was probably my favorite of the whole book. They seemed like a real legitimate couple and their love for Marin was heartwarming. Birdie was interesting and I didn’t expect the twist of her being Marin’s mother. I just assumed it was one of Gramp’s lady friends and that shocked the hell out of me.
The most important side characters were Mabel and Gramps. I liked Mabel from the second she was mentioned. She was such a warm and loving character, making her best attempt at getting her best friend back. Mabel was one of my favorite characters in the book and I’m happy she got her “happy ending.” Then there was Gramps who was such a treat to read about. He was everything I wished for a grandparent and he always took great care of Marin, trying to do the best for her. She was
Then there was Gramps who was such a treat to read about. He was everything I wished for in a grandfather and he always took care of Marin, wanting the best for her. He tried his best and tried to make a good life for her, but he had issues. He had some traumatic past experiences, possibly some mental health issues but overall, an awesome character.
The characters were one of my favorite parts of the story, but my favorite part was how the story focused on Marin. We’re watching her grief, try to cope and make peace with her new self. She’s broken for a majority of the story and she still is at the end, but she’s finally found a place. It might not be where she’d hoped but she knows that everything will work out.
As far as not liking things in the book, there wasn’t much. I wasn’t that crazy about the romance between Marin and Mabel. To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting it. I’m really glad it ended on good terms, though and the two were still able to remind friends. Rekindling a friendship after heartbreak is hard, but Lacour tackled it seamlessly. The other issue I had was the book had pretty slow pacing. It took a while to find out Marin’s story and you had to really pay attention at some points but it was definitely worth it in the end.
This book was an extremely draining and emotional journey considering how short it is so take that into consideration. There’s a lot of talk about loneliness, grief, and sadness as well. It was raw and even inspired by Lacour’s own grandfather passing away. We Are Okay has to be one of my favorite books I’ve read this year.
I give We are Okay 4.5 out of 5 stars.