A book where nothing and so much happens: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

A book where nothing and so much happens: We Are Okay by Nina LaCourWe Are Okay
Release Date: February 14th 2017
Genres: YA
Format: Hardcover, Audiobook
Narrator: Jorjeana Marie
Length: 5 hrs and 37 mins
Pages: 234
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Source: Audiobook Received for Review

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.

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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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Nereyda is a 31 year-old mother of two girls with addiction to Friends, fashion, books, Pinterest, Netflix, the color black and a little bit of everything else. Also, the world's worst texter...
  • kindlemom1

    I love how you described this, both the bad and the good. Beautiful review!

  • Ahh… this books drive me nuts. I hate when I feel conflicted and I get through the story and I am not sure what the point was. This is what I consider an art book where the author is trying to make some point but you have to dig deep through all the pretty stuff to find it.

  • This sounds like such a melancholy book. I have a copy from the library. How was the narrator in your opinion?

  • I guess this is one of those “thinking book” – where you have to dig deep for the buried magnificence. :/

  • This is one I want to read but have seen mixed reviews. It is short so I think it not being a super plot driven book would be ok. Great review!

  • The fact that’s slow and boring puts me off a lot but like Grace said, since it’s short I could give it a try.
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews

  • Chrystal M

    I love the honesty of this review and that so little and so much happens. I’m going to check this out from my library soon.

  • I am fairly excited to read this even though I have heard it is quite average because it’s so beautiful and it’s diverse and I’ve heard fantastic things about Nina LaCour’s work! Hopefully I enjoy it!

    xx Anisha @ Sprinkled Pages

  • Angel @Angel Reads

    I’ve been umm and argging If I want to pick this one up. I don’t mind character driven stories, love then sometimes. But I’ve heard mixed things about this one and just don’t now yet. Thanks for the review.

  • This is one of those books I’ve been dithering about for a while. On the one hand I know Nina LaCour writes beautiful books but on the other I know they often are less plot and more character. It sounds like this is more of the same but it does sound like a beautiful read that is about character development and about people rather than the story. I may try and get it from the library and see what I think.

  • Nina LaCour is such a talented writer, and since I love a character driven story I’m excited to pick this one up! It definitely sounds like a book you need to take your time over and absorb, even though it’s a slow moving story.