I read this book between April 20th and April 21st 2020 and gave it four stars. Of course, the stakes were high because I haven’t met a Nina LaCour book I haven’t loved. This wasn’t the exception, obviously. If anything, We Are Okay is more hard-hitting than her other books, at least the ones I’ve read from her.
Marin, the main character, is staying in her dorm over winter break because she claims she has no home or family to go to. The way in which she describes everything made it pretty clear for me that suffered from depression, and I know that for me this would have been triggering a few years ago. I think for that reason, the first chapter is hard to get through. It personally reminded me of a kind of crappy time in my life, but once I was past that, I could appreciate the story for what it was and I stopped relating it to my own life story.
We find out that a character called Mabel is going to visit Marin and she has conflicting feelings about this visit. Mabel is (was?) Marin’s best friend back home and Marin has been ignoring her texts since she decided to leave. This is a Nina LaCour book, so we know, even before learning about Mabel and Marin’s story that there had been something else going on between them. And, oh, my angsty heart.
There are two timelines in this book and the alternate between the chapters. We get Marin in New York on winter break, and we get the events that led to Marin’s leaving so suddenly without telling anybody and basically shutting everyone from her life out. At one point those two timelines collide and then we only get the present, and honestly, it felt like I’d been reading this book for months and not for a couple of days because there was so much to unpack.
Like Marin, I had conflicting feelings towards Mabel. There were times when I loved her and others when I wanted her to leave Marin alone and be gone from the book. This is something that has happened before with Nina LaCour books, but it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story in any way. If you’re into understated, quiet contemporary YA novels with hard-hitting elements that feature a queer relationship without it being the center of the plot (or a coming-out story), then you’ll love this.
I hope you’re having a great day and do let me know which book you’re reading/would read for this challenge.
Love, Miss Camila