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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.
Audiobook Received for Review in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
For those of you that know that I’m an audiobook fan, if you guessed that I only heard this one because of the narrator, then you are correct. I have heard of this book, but it didn’t catch my interest much until I found out one of my favorite narrators performed this one. This book was so odd. It was beautiful and sad and pretty and also a little bit boring and depressing but still beautiful all at the same time. Those are such weird ways to describe a book, but that’s exactly how I felt about We Are Okay. I did like the story, but at the end I had two overall conflicting thoughts: 1) nothing happened… so much happened and 2) this was beautiful…this was a little boring.
Marin doesn’t have anybody in her life, her grandpa, who was the only constant in her life died and since then she ran away, started college all on her own. We don’t find out right away why she ran away but through flashback scenes we slowly start to get the bigger picture about her life in her old town with her grandpa who hid a lot of secrets from her, who she was close to but also not as close as she thought. We also learn about her deep friendship with Mabel which ended up blossoming into something more before she left. It’s now winter break and since she has nowhere to go to, she gets special permission from the school to remain at the dorms in the middle of a snowstorm, all alone. See, depressing right?
Luckily, Mabel had plans to visit her that week and although Marin doesn’t know if she will show up since they haven’t talked since she ran away, she is happy and relieved when she still shows up. Things aren’t the same between them anymore, but their friendship is just as strong, even if it gets off on a rocky start. Marin is forced to face her life choices and decide if she wants to be the person who runs away from her problems and spend her life alone, or if she will accept that there are still people out there that love her and care for her, like Mabel and her family. Like I said, not much happens in the story, they are mostly stuck in the dorms, they talk about their issues and Marin makes an important choice at the end. So in a way, so much happens…even though nothing really happened. This book was written very beautifully and it packed a pretty emotional punch, and at the end, my feelings toward it are a lot more positive than negative. This is a very character driven story, so if you aren’t a fan of plots that don’t move along fast enough, then this may not be for you. But if you like stories about characters that go through a huge growth arc, then this is a lovely book to check out.
Some of my favorite quotes:
-I was okay just a moment ago. I will learn how to be okay again.
-What I mean is don’t be a person who seeks out grief. There is enough of that in life.
-I wonder if there’s a secret current that connects people who have lost something. Not in the way that everyone loses something, but in the way that undoes your life, undoes your self, so that when you look at your face it isn’t yours anymore.
-It’s a dark place, not knowing.
It’s difficult to surrender to.
But I guess it’s where we live most of the time. I guess it’s where we all live, so maybe it doesn’t have to be so lonely. Maybe I can settle into it, cozy up to it, make a home inside uncertainty.
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