Well, it took me long enough to write up this review and I want to do it justice because We Are Okay was one of the most beautifully written books I’ve read in 2017. I finished reading this one on the flight to Florida earlier in April and sadly, it took me this long to write the review. Will I ever be better at this? It’s now my personal goal this year to be a bad ass book blogger and not bore you with things like life updates <_<
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.
Rating: 5/5 wintry evenings
Just a heads up, I have a lot of thoughts about this book. Good thoughts, but thoughts.
I truly loved this story and in the past few chapters of this book I couldn’t put it down. The story is laid out in a past/present format alternating between what happened before Marin disappeared and what’s happening in the future. The writing was in Marin’s point of view and really captured a maturity in someone who has seen a lot of tragedy in her life.
The message: People grieve in different ways. Some people cry it out. Others hide it behind a mask. Some people push others away while others bring people closer. We lash out. We fight. We love. We create. We destroy. There’s no right or wrong way to grieve the loss of a friend, a loved one, a favorite pet. This is a story that shows the ways we grieve and how even though we try our best to keep a smile on our face or show people we’re ok, we’re sometimes not.
The story begins with Marin, a teenager who recently lost her grandfather. She’s in her dorm room in New York waiting for her childhood friend, Mabel, to arrive and spend the Holidays with her. However, there’s a huge veil of mystery surrounding Marin and the most important one being where she went for the few weeks before her first semester at school started.
As the story goes along, you realize that Marin not only lost her grandfather, but her mother as well. What you get from Marin is raw, emotion-filled anxiety about who she is, who her family is, and will she ever recover from the loss of every stable entity in her life. She does the one thing that only makes sense to her and that’s to run away.
Fortunately, what you find is that she isn’t alone. Before disappearing, Marin developed feelings for her best friend Mabel and the two of them spent their summer languishing in youthful love. I loved the story between Mabel and Marin. It was unobstructed and not the plot of the story. This story could easily have been the struggle of two teenagers finding true love and the struggle for them to be accepted by society and their family, but it wasn’t and I loved it. The message stayed pure and that is that sometimes loss takes different forms in different people, but I think the most important message to take away from all of this is that nothing stays lost forever.