REVIEW: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour | What Wren Reads

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Synopsis:

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.

Info:

We Are Okay By Nina LaCour
Publication Date: February 14, 2017 (Dutton Books for Young Readers)
Pages: 256
Started Reading: October 24, 2017
Finished Reading: November 1, 2017
GenreYoung AdultContemporary

Rating: 5/5 Stars

So, here we go.

I finished We Are Okay this morning at around 2:30am. Thanks to a mix of the ending and the time, I was an emotional mess.

I don’t know why, but I don’t often react very emotionally to books, It usually happens to me more in movies. But my god this book hit me hard.

I had read La Cour’s book Everything Leads to You last year, and I enjoyed it but it wasn’t anything particularly memorable about it. Flashforward to last week when I finished Percy Jackson and needed a new ebook to read during lectures. I had remembered how much I loved the cover for We Are Okay and noticed it was quite short so I decided to give it a try!

The beginning of the book was a little slow, and I considered taking a star off for this as I was reading, but by the middle and end of the book I realized the pace worked incredibly well with the book as a whole. There is no information dump, but rather a steady flow of information bits here and there as you read, and it moves so smoothly that you will be unable to stop reading.

Through a mix of curiosity and attachment to the characters, this story becomes addicting. There is something so natural and interesting about the main character Marin that I became so attached to her the more I read.

The isolation of the campus setting mixed with the emotions that Marin projects is an incredible tone that LaCour sets in this novel. This has really stuck with me, the overall mood and tone is so clear through the writing it’s amazing. I honestly have not read a book that did a better job at creating a feeling in me, the writing portrayed the mood of the setting so well that it almost felt nostalgic.

By focusing on the relationships Marin has instead of the plot, the depth of these relationships is amazing, and it’s one of the reasons that the story will have such an impact on the reader. The reveal of information, especially with Marin and her grandfather, is just devastating.

The writing has to be some of the best I’ve encountered this year as well. Usually, I will only notice a writing style if I don’t enjoy it, but Nina LaCour’s stuck out to me so much. Also, this was one of the few books that I’ve read where I actually didn’t want it to end. I enjoy endings in books, which is why I really like short books, but this one could have kept me interesting for as long as it wanted honestly. But, even though I did want it longer, the ending was spectacular. Perfectly written with hope, reconciliation, and what I hope was pure happiness.

In one word: beautiful.

This book, the characters, the writing and the story: beautiful

As always, let me know what you thought of this book, or another LaCour book if you have read one.

-wren

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