Monday, November 14, 2016

Book Review: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

We Are Okay by Nina Lacour

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour is a compact novel with tremendous impact. It is a novel about loneliness, grief, acceptance, and the various ways we love.

Marin is a young woman marked by grief. Having lost her mother at a young age, she grew up with her grandfather, a kind man with a grief of his own to bear. The summer before she moved across the country for college, Marin's life was irrevocably changed. The lines between friendship and love were blurred, and a tragedy sent Marin fleeing her life in California without a word. Now, months later, Marin is the only student left on her New York college campus for the holiday break. After months of ignored calls, texts, and e-mails, her best friend Mabel will be arriving soon to break Marin's silence.

We Are Okay is a book that I'm going to be thinking about for a very long time.  It's unflinchingly honest, deeply heartfelt, and so beautifully written. It made me ache for someone to hold, for someone to reach out to. It's incredibly difficult to adequately describe my feelings for this book. Never before have I read a book that captures grief so completely and accurately. I found myself crying through quite a bit of this 240 page book. Marin's sadness echoed my own so fully that it was hard to read at times.

This was my first Nina LaCour book and it won't be my last. It was so refreshing to read a book with a bi latinx love interest and a lesbian main character. Growing up in the south, I didn't realize that it was okay to love women, especially if I also loved men, and reading stories about girls whose friendships evolved into something more echoes feelings that I ignored or repressed as a teen. Teenagers today can read this book and feel comfort and safety in the ways their love is expressed.

Thank you for reading!

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