Hey there, everyone! Hope y’all are having a good day. I’m back again this week with the second segment of Reading the Rainbow! For those of you that don’t know, Reading the Rainbow is a segment I have on my blog where I match queer book covers with the colors of the rainbow. I also try my best to choose books that may not be as well known.
“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.”
Trigger/Content warnings for the novel:
death of a family member
grief and loss
Representation in the novel:
characters of color
Note: apologies, but I lost the list I had that had the rep on it, which is why it’s so broad
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5/5 stars
This is the first book I have read by Nina LaCour, and I am in love. We Are Okay is a tale of love, grief, loss, and how to let go. And honestly? I thought it was executed perfectly.
We Are Okay is about Marin, a young student who left her home in California for the New England college she attends. Her friend from California, Mabel, is visiting her for the holidays. Because of this, Marin has to face her grief and the reasons she truly left her home.
Oh my goodness, I love Marin. What the reader learns about her is heartbreaking, and I do not know what I would do in her shoes. She did what she thought was right for herself, even if the people around her were hurt by it. The book is told from her point of view, and I loved it. The reader has a front-seat look into Marin’s emotions, and they are often conflicting.
Mabel, on the other hand… Mabel, Mabel, Mabel. I did not like her. I understand why shou could have been upset with Marin, but she acts as if she could just up and be better again after everything that happened. And. No. That is not how grief works. Who knows, I am sure other readers love or like her, but I am not one of them.
Since the book is heavily focused on characters, there is not a huge action-packed plot. But every other chapter (or close to it), there are flasback scenes and chapters where the reader slowly learns about Marin’s past, including what happened with Mabel and what caused Marin to leave. Personally, I loved it. Seeing both of them interact in the present and how it differentiates from the flashbacks was really interesting for me. This format definitely worked. I do have to say, if people want more action that character introspection, this probably would not be the book for them. But wow, can it make the reader sad.
Overall? Loved this book. I thought grief and its effects on people were handled really well. If I come across another Nina LaCour book, I would probably pick it up. But, question, are they all this heart-wrenching?
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