Friday, December 1, 2017

Audiobook Review: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Title: We Are Okay
Author: Nina LaCour
Publication Date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Pages: 256
Add to Goodreads

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. 

I had heard a lot of people praising We Are Okay, but I still wasn't convinced it was a book I should pick up. Contemporary is something that is very hit or miss with me....usually miss. It takes quite a lot for me to really love a contemporary novel. While I didn't completely love We Are Okay, I did enjoy it and I am glad that I finally picked it up.

This is definitely more of a character-based novel. You will not find much action happening here. The reader is meant to become absorbed in the characters lives - feel their pain, understand their actions, comprehend their motivations. The characters definitely feel human. I saw myself in Marin and felt like I could see myself making the same decisions she did. That being said, however, I didn't find myself really connecting with any of the characters. They were great, real characters, but they were missing that extra something that makes you feel like they don't just exist in the pages of a book.

We Are Okay told a beautiful story that was heartbreaking and real. Unfortunately, Marin's story was a bit too real for me at the time I was reading it. I had just gone through something similar in my life, and I may not have been ready to read this book. (My life had far less twists and turns than the book, but the sadness was there just the same.) I may have been able to appreciate the story a bit more at a different time in my life, but I still enjoyed it.

I can definitely understand why so many people love this book. It may not be one of my new favorites, but I can appreciate that it is a well-written and beautiful story. Contemporary is just incredibly hard for me to get behind, especially when the story is so close to something in my real life. However, if you do like reading contemporary works, I definitely recommend We Are Okay. It is a lovely book with wonderful LGBTQ+ representation (which is always an A+ in my book) that I think a lot of different readers will be able to enjoy.