Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
We Are Okay is a sad yet beautiful book. It tells the story of a young girl, Marin, who loses the only family she has and finds out truths that makes her feel as though her whole life has been a lie. She runs away from everyone she knows and now, months later, her best friend, Mabel, is coming to visit her and she’ll have to confront all that happened in the last few weeks after Mabel left for college and Marin’s life came apart.
Now, even though I usually avoid books that may have flashbacks, I try not to let my personal dislike for it stop me from reading potentially great books. This is a great book, and the backstory didn’t bother me. The author kept things to-the-point and those chapters were very important for us to understand Mabel and Marin’s relationship as well as the magnitude of the revelations. It was the only way we could even come close to understanding why Marin reacted the way she did, and cut off all her friends.
Obviously, I can’t tell you what those reasons are but they’re good reasons. I still don’t completely understand Marin’s choices but I guess it’s just something you have to experience. Besides, everyone deals with grief and shock in their own way.
The novel, due to the theme of grief, has a very sombre tone. It’s a simple story about someone finally having to face some hard truths and coming to terms with what they may or may not mean. But at the same time, it’s not overbearingly sad. You won’t get The Bell Jar treatment, don’t worry (I only read half of that one and it managed to kill every once of hope that I had). This is mellow and beautifully written. The word I would use is ‘melancholy’ because it’s a beautiful, yet sad, word. Also, the ending is very hopeful.
Overall, I loved this book and if you’re looking for a quick and meaningful character story, this is one I’d definitely recommend. I’ll leave you with one of my favourite lines from the book:
I stayed in there, petting her [the dog’s] head for a little for a little bit longer, because it felt special to be somewhere other people weren’t allowed to go.
It’s just a little observations about people, something very common, that no one usually deems significant enough to notice, much less put into words. This one thing moved the book from four to five stars.