I am the queen of spontaneous book purchases;
it has to be said. I’m also a sucker for pretty book covers. Combine the two,
and right there is the reason why my bookshelves are so overflowing with unread
books. Sue me. Following this pattern, this month saw the purchase of the most
beautiful looking book I’ve seen in a very long time: We are Okay by Nina LaCour.
I’m going to start off by saying that this book
was one that I absolutely could not put down. Having read a book in which Nina
LaCour had collaborated with before, I thought I was oh-so-familiar with her
style of writing and naturally, I was very optimistic. Nothing could have
prepared me for the beautifully written prose that We Are Okay is all about.
The story concerns itself with the few months following the
death of our protagonist’s Marin’s grandfather, and the difficulties she faced
after isolating her friends and everyone who cared deeply for her. Having lost
her mother when she was a young child, Marin is no stranger to grief but losing
her grandfather seems to have had an inexplicable affect on her mental and
emotional health and wellbeing, to the point where she isolates even her best
friend, Mabel, a girl with whom she had an experimental, romantic relationship.
Immediately after learning of her grandfather’s passing she reorganises her
flight to New York, where she will be starting college shortly, and leaves
everything she has known behind. The story picks up with the arrival of Mabel
to her student residence over the Christmas break and follows their reunion,
uncovers their grief and explores relationships in a way that I have never before
been witness to.
The book skips backwards and forwards between
the past and the present day, uncovering different aspects of Marin’s life and
exploring the relationship that she has with Mabel. We learn of how their
friendship blossomed from nothing into a strong, loving and trusting one, and
how it fell apart after the demise of Marin’s grandfather. We witness the
rebuilding of this relationship, slowly and delicately, culminating in an
entirely different sort of bond. The writing style if beautifully effortless
and the characters are ones with which you form an instant bond.
I absolutely loved this story and devoured it
in a very short and enjoyable sitting. I found myself wishing that there was
more to the story and finishing the tale left me feeling devastated but full of