We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
After a tragedy involving her grandfather, who raised her, Marin leaves her old life behind and flees to college. But now her best friend has come to reconnect with her, and she will have to confront her trauma.
Queer, young adult, contemporary
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.
This is a short, sad book about depression and grief. Marin’s depression is sadly a common reality for many, especially teenagers. I myself could relate to her lack of motivation and her attempts to make it seem like she is doing better than she is to her friend.
This was a very heartbreaking book. There are flashbacks of her time with her grandfather throughout, and the grief she deals with is so realistic. Almost everyone in a traumatic experience wants to run away from it, and escape like it didn’t happen. Marin tries to do this but cuts herself off from her other loved ones in doing it.
The story is slow-paced and not very plot-driven. It’s all about Marin’s internal journey and thoughts. Realistically, Marin doesn’t “get over” her depression, but the book is hopeful and shows a way forward. The slow pace is not for everyone, but I really enjoyed it and teared up at the bittersweet ending. The love and compassion people show for each other in this book is heartwarming.
A very beautiful and emotional read.