We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
“Tragedy, heartbreak, betrayal, these are all things that change a person. If we endure them and we aren’t changed, then something is wrong.”
I was planning to finish this book before the year ended as a sign of leaving excess baggage to the year that was. Dramatic, I know. But due to unfortunate circumstances – me spending the remaining days of 2017 sick, I was not able to finish the book on time. Ugh. Anyway, I’m feeling better and am under recovery, and I have just put the book down a while ago and decided to get started writing this review before moving on to my new batch of reads for 2018.
Marin is an orphan who grew up with her grandfather. She knows very little about her mother and doesn’t bother asking her grandfather for fear of making him relive the pain of losing his daughter. Nevertheless, she grew up feeling loved despite having a the emptiness inside her. Things took a turn for the worse when one night, Marin came home and saw no trace of her grandfather. Her discovery about her grandfather’s deception made her run away and leave everything behind.
Mabel, Marin’s best friend, tracks her down and will be spending a few days with her during winter break. It has been a while since they last talked and saw each other. Mabel’s visit is about to open closed (unhealed) wounds and Marin is about to face and answer a lot about her decision to disappear like a bubble.
I have mixed feelings about the novel. I liked how Marin’s grief and loneliness was woven in the story. There were a lot of things suddenly going on in her life. She was discovering herself and was trying to figure things out when things came crushing down on her. She has put her grandfather on a pedestal and finding out his secrets made her question everything. She felt deceived and betrayed by the person she treasured the most. On the other hand, she has growing feelings for her best friend Mabel. She is starting to acknowledge that their kissing practices were more than what it was meant to be. She knows she likes Mabel more than just as a best friend but she doesn’t have the courage to question what they truly have for fear of losing her best friend.
The story was all about pent up emotions and the lack of a proper outlet for Marin. The things going on in her life may be relatable to some readers and may be something that makes the story attractive. It’s a good read for empathic readers who want something that overflows with emotions. But, this is also the down side of the story itself. It was too much. It was jumping from one issue to the next which makes the plot move slowly. In the end, there were things left unanswered despite them being ‘okay’.
“I was okay just a moment ago. I will learn how to be okay again.”
PS: Let me comment about how I loved the cover. If I were to judge a book by its cover then it will definitely get a high score. It actually looks like a cover of a graphic novel. It also paints a general picture of what the book is all about. Kudos to the cover artist Adams Carvalho.