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