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We Are Okay

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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 colleg 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.


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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 colleg 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.

30 review for We Are Okay

  1. 4 out of 5

    chai ♡

    Do you ever think about a book and then wonder what the last person who also read it and related to it was doing or if they were okay? Because right now I want to write something but I honestly don't know what to say. My thoughts are lying face down on the floor with passion and I just wish someone could put a blanket over them and tell them they're fine. And I swear it's like every book makes me sad in a different way but really...it’s all the same. So yeah. I guess I'm just going to keep arrang Do you ever think about a book and then wonder what the last person who also read it and related to it was doing or if they were okay? Because right now I want to write something but I honestly don't know what to say. My thoughts are lying face down on the floor with passion and I just wish someone could put a blanket over them and tell them they're fine. And I swear it's like every book makes me sad in a different way but really...it’s all the same. So yeah. I guess I'm just going to keep arranging words until something slips out and everyone claps and someone feels something? “I was okay just a moment ago. I will learn how to be okay again.” (x) This book was so full of sadness and loneliness that it might as well have been made of it. You're reading and your heart feels like someone is crushing it so slowly with a combine harvester and you just want to lay your head down on a soft bread roll and maybe just be quiet for a bit. You're reading and lying on your side and a little tear trickles into your ear (which is the most tragic of all eye moisture) because you're both sad and dramatic and listening to this song and thinking that your heart would actually envelop Marin in blankets if it had arms or blankets. It goes like this: Marin's story starts and you know something tragic has happened and she's left everything behind but you don't know the whys or the hows. You guess maybe it has something to do with her grandfather and the things left unspoken and unanswered (like the room where she never sat foot and the picture he "couldn't" find). Or maybe it was Mabel and somewhere between them walking to the beach in sweats with a blanket and alcohol and sitting on the shore kissing and the three thousand miles she traveled to see her...something went terribly wrong. See at this point, you don't really know Marin's story, but something about her words and feelings resonates with you so accurately, so intimately. There's no tangible plot yet but still... it feels as if someone has dipped their finger in a lake of you and made a ripple that goes on and on and on. Your understand her kind of lonely. The kind of lonely that doesn’t depend on your surroundings, that doesn’t give a shit about the 85 unanswered messages from people who genuinely love and care about you, that is engrained so deep in your soul it’s like you’re permeable and your own skin can’t protect you from it. The kind of lonely that just makes you want to hide inside yourself more, reminding you that you’re just an insignificant blip in the infinite structure of the universe, brought into this physical reality when you wish you could just exist fleshlessly in your head so they can’t see you and you can’t let them down. You understand her kind of sad. The kind of sad where it’s not enough to feel sad, you have to feel guilty for feeling sad because you feel as if you’re manipulating the people around you by being sad. You’re constantly berating yourself for making a separate physical entity stop the process of their life just to make sure your bricks were still up in a wall. You’re constantly afraid that you’re being too sad, too loudly, too obviously, that you have dug yourself into a bottomless hole of self-pity and the walls are too high to see anyone else’s problems but your own and you're so terrified it's going to ruin your relationship with everyone. The kind of sad that is just not fair because you haven't earned it—when your life is in an objectively good place but then it all comes back at once and there is no escape—you have fallen back again into a destructive mindset and you're trying so hard but it keeps pulling you back in and you feel as if you're losing your grip on yourself and you're just going to keep shrinking until you can barely feel yourself there anymore. And something about all of these things combined still makes me feel dangerously close to tears. “I thought that it was more likely the opposite. I must have shut grief out. Found it in books. Cried over fiction instead of the truth. The truth was unconfined, unadorned. There was no poetic language to it, no yellow butterflies, no epic floods. There wasn’t a town trapped underwater or generations of men with the same name destined to make the same mistakes. The truth was vast enough to drown in.” But what this book tells you is this: you will be okay. That loneliness in the moment is no guarantee of loneliness in the future. That feelings are transient and situations change and we just need to get through this rough patch to the place where things are better. That you can be content and happy but little twinges of sadness will always seep in and it’s okay, because happiness has never been a fixed point in one’s life and life is just a series of challenges and ups and downs and you must learn to go with the flow. That it can be hard and it's another day in the bathroom stall, sobbing for five minutes. Another day of giving in to depression naps in the middle of the day, another day of being unable to graduate from under your duvet. But then happy shows up. And it’s your cat purring on your lap, it’s curling up on the couch with a book, it’s a girl smiling at you on the train, its a small unexpected kindness from a stranger, it's a rainy night and blankets and your soul is warm, it’s a lovely comment a stranger left on your review, it’s some stupid meme your friend sent you because it reminded them of you, it’s finding money in your jeans pockets, it's in coffee shops and bookstores and sunsets and your grandmother's embrace, it’s your best friend coming home from college in two weeks, it’s your otp being canon and an uploaded new chapter of your favorite webcomic. Happy will show up. And you will learn to find it even if it’s not where you expected it. And you will be okay. “it’s a dark place, not knowing. It’s difficult to surrender to. But I guess it’s where we live most of the time. I guess it’s where we all live, so maybe it doesn’t have to be so lonely. Maybe I can settle into it, cozy up to it, make a home inside uncertainty.”

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    This is the kind of book I want to write. Which is a pretty big thing to say, I suppose. What I really appreciated was that Nina LaCour abandoned the idea that a novel has to be entirely plot driven. This is a book about relationships and emotions and I liked being caught up in Marin's brain. I loved that it took place in winter, on an abandoned university campus, where everything amplified Marin's feelings of emptiness and isolation. I like that things like being coloured or queer were present b This is the kind of book I want to write. Which is a pretty big thing to say, I suppose. What I really appreciated was that Nina LaCour abandoned the idea that a novel has to be entirely plot driven. This is a book about relationships and emotions and I liked being caught up in Marin's brain. I loved that it took place in winter, on an abandoned university campus, where everything amplified Marin's feelings of emptiness and isolation. I like that things like being coloured or queer were present but not plot devices. It all felt real and relevant. I also, and I cannot emphasize this enough, loved Nina LaCour's use of technology. I've made a video all about this, but I'm really irked by teenager representation that doesn't involve the internet or cellphones. Here it was masterfully intertwined. It never took me out of the story, it made it feel more grounded and real. I also loved that the book was short. It told it's story and then it stopped. It never dragged or wasted time. I love brevity, what can I say! I also really enjoyed that there was lots of cross-generational relationships - teenagers, parents, grandparents - because sometimes YA feels like a bizarre teen-only world. I'm giving this 4 stars because I don't think it was my perfect book. I think some of Marin's reactions to things were overly angsty and that there weren't many powerful moments. I said this is the type of book I want to write because it felt like something that Nina LaCour poured herself into, something subtle and strong, a message she wanted to share. It isn't a new favourite for me, but I appreciated it lots.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    This book was everything to me. "'Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can."' •••••••••• You go through life thinking there's so much you need. Your favorite jeans and sweater. The jacket with the faux-fur lining to keep you warm. Your phone and your music and your favorite books. Mascara. Irish Breakfast tea and cappuccinos from Trouble Coffee. You need your yearbooks, every stiffly po This book was everything to me. "'Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can."' •••••••••• You go through life thinking there's so much you need. Your favorite jeans and sweater. The jacket with the faux-fur lining to keep you warm. Your phone and your music and your favorite books. Mascara. Irish Breakfast tea and cappuccinos from Trouble Coffee. You need your yearbooks, every stiffly posed school-dance photo, the notes your friends slipped into your locker. You need the camera you got for your sixteenth birthday and the flowers you dried. You need your notebooks full of the things you learned and don't want to forget. You need your bedspread, white with black diamonds. You need your pillow-it fits the way you sleep. You need magazines promising self-improvement. You need your running shoes and your sandals and your boots. Your grade report from the semester you got straight As. Your prom dress, your shiny earrings, your pendants on delicate chains. You need your underwear, your light-colored bras and your black ones. The dream catcher hanging above your bed. The dozens and dozens of shells in glass jars. The cab was waiting at the station. The airport, I said, but no sound came out. "The airport," I said, and we pulled away. You think you need all of it. Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother. First off the book cover it one of the best ever. And the inside pages are beautiful too. The front page with the one light in the dorm room speaks so many volumes to me. Marin is trying to make a new life for herself. She has a roommate in college, she's trying to get a job, which she eventually does at a wonderful place, she's just trying to live from day to day. She's alone while everyone is away for the holidays. There are a few left in the dorms but not many. And her best friend Mabel is on her way to see her. What is going to happen? Will Marin share the reasons why she left everything, everyone? I can't believe I have had this book for so long and just now found out what a jem I had. It went straight to my favorites list. Is if for everyone? No. But I'm not everyone. I'm ME. It touches a part of me that made me feel happy/sad/hopeful. Did I cry. Yeah. And that ending. I can't even. How could such a small book pack such a powerful punch to me. I'm going to do some things that were in the book. Just some little things. Everything is in the little things people. EVERYTHING... Mel ♥ Melissa Martin's Reading List

  4. 5 out of 5

    Elle (ellexamines)

    We Are Okay is a book about learning the people you used to love were something beyond what you believed them to be. It is a book about learning to move on. It is a book about learning to be with yourself and be with your grief. It is also a book about loneliness, deep and profound loneliness, cloying and suffocating. In clearer terms, this is a book about Marin, a girl who has lost her grandfather, and in doing so, pushed away her former best friend, Mabel. So when Mabel comes to town, Marin do We Are Okay is a book about learning the people you used to love were something beyond what you believed them to be. It is a book about learning to move on. It is a book about learning to be with yourself and be with your grief. It is also a book about loneliness, deep and profound loneliness, cloying and suffocating. In clearer terms, this is a book about Marin, a girl who has lost her grandfather, and in doing so, pushed away her former best friend, Mabel. So when Mabel comes to town, Marin does not know what to do with the memories. Marin at once does not want Mabel here, regrets her being here, but also desperately wants Mabel to love her. She has walls up and she wants them down, but she is too terrified for them to ever come down. Marin has lost everything, including Mabel, her best friend and her maybe-something-more. But it’s not a romance between Marin and Mabel. That is what is perhaps the saddest part. I once saw Nina LaCour talk live about this book, and she said something that perfectly sums up what is so arresting about this book: being queer and in love with your best friend is different than being straight and in love with your best friend. One is an experience in first love, and one is also that, but with an added experience of fear – not of rejection but of disgust. We do not want to hurt our best friends by loving them. We have learned to be ashamed of love and we carry that with us, through thick and through thin. “If only I had something to take the edge off the loneliness. If only lonely were a more accurate word. It should sound much less pretty.” Loneliness is not a queer-only experience, not by any means; that would not be a fair claim. But being queer is a loneliness experience. We are all, in our own ways, not a part of the norm, not a part of the life others are allowed. We find our own lives in the cracks and spaces. (“I could say the night felt magical, but that would be embellishment - that would be romanticization. What it actually felt like was life,” Marin says of her first and only date with Mabel.) And in the wake of losing a grandfather, of losing the only person she has ever been raised by, Marin has found herself caught in a trap of being alone; she cannot rekindle a friendship with Mabel, because their history screams too loud. None of this is stated in We Are Okay, but the idea of loneliness is perhaps the most consistent fact of the story; whether alone or with Mabel, Marin is always lonely. She is always lonely, until she and Mabel finally discuss and unpack their history, and move on to a future where they can both heal, as friends if not as lovers. We Are Okay is not an action-packed story, and it is not in your face, and it will not make you scream at One Specific Significant Line. It is a book to feel, a book to hurt, and a book to heal. I’ve been trying to understand for months how I felt about this book because I think sitting on something like this is absolutely essential. We Are Okay is an incredibly slow, an incredibly quiet, an incredibly subtle story, but thinking back on my experience reading it two years ago, I feel like crying. It means the world. Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube

  5. 5 out of 5

    emma

    all is right with the world (because i'm buddy reading with lily) raised to 4 stars from 3.5 upon reread ---------------- The person who will like this book is a very particular one. If you don’t like character-driven stuff, STAY FAR AWAY FROM THIS BOOK. No, seriously. Leave this review right now, even. There is not even a question of you possibly liking this book. SO GET OUT OF HERE, OKAY? Just kidding. You can stay if you want. But only if it’s for my charming personality and not for a potential re all is right with the world (because i'm buddy reading with lily) raised to 4 stars from 3.5 upon reread ---------------- The person who will like this book is a very particular one. If you don’t like character-driven stuff, STAY FAR AWAY FROM THIS BOOK. No, seriously. Leave this review right now, even. There is not even a question of you possibly liking this book. SO GET OUT OF HERE, OKAY? Just kidding. You can stay if you want. But only if it’s for my charming personality and not for a potential recommendation. Okay. Now I am going to try to make A Point that is perched on a very thin line. And I will almost certainly fail ini this endeavor. As someone who writes a lot of negative reviews, I understand that people have varying opinions on books. Duh. That’s, like, part of what makes this whole reviewing thing fun. And even with the books I love most, I try to never be like, “What the hell!!!! It’s illegal for you to give this one star!!!” Except for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Because I’m currently thirty-seven months away from achieving the “sole Goodreads admin” phase of my eighteen-step world domination program, and when that happens it literally will be impossible for you to give one star to the greatest book of all time. If you think about it, I’m really just being considerate. But back to this point I’m procrastinating. Here’s what I’m trying to sidestep, but will eventually just have to come out and say in some way, shape, or form, and I may as well do so succinctly and now: If you don’t like this book, I think you’re wrong. The major complaint I’ve seen about it is that it’s “boring.” And I get that. And like, I’m really sorry, but depression is not exactly a day trip to the amusement park. So it’s not going to rank alongside heists and nefarious plotting and research montages in terms of top-five most entertaining storylines. But that doesn’t mean it’s not an important book. If you don’t want to read a depiction of mourning and depression and a semi-realistically-staged healing process, that’s fair - so just STAY AWAY. Don’t blame the book for being boring. It’s not fun to be depressed. There were bits of the overall depiction that I didn’t like. Things that felt too convenient, or dramatic, or cheesy. There was a strange twist I never understood, and the relationship at the core of the text confused me to no end, and there was maybe a little too much hope. (Depression isn’t there and gone.) But generally, this is one of the better renditions of depression I’ve seen in YA. It’s also so f*cking good at discussing some of the difficulties of going to college. It captures that initial loneliness. (Wow. I’m really making myself excited to start all over again when I start at a whole new college at the end of the summer. Yay, transferring.) Jesus Christ I wish I had a half star. This book was not a three star read, but I’m equally opposed to giving it four, goddamn it. Anyway. I feel preach-y and I hate myself for it and I want to shut up. So I’m just going to say this book is also beautifully written and then throw in some quotes and leave. Bottom line: Only read it if you know what you’re getting into. Because if you two-star it for being boring after reading this review, I get to pinch you. Read the fine print. SOME QUOTES “I wish you more happiness than can fit in a person.” “I could say the night felt magical, but that would be embellishment. That would be romanticization. What it actually felt like was life.” “We were nostalgic for a time that wasn't yet over.” “If only I had something to take the edge off the loneliness. If only lonely were a more accurate word. It should sound much less pretty.”

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nat

    “The trouble with denial is that when the truth comes, you aren’t ready.” 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 visi “The trouble with denial is that when the truth comes, you aren’t ready.” 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. “If our past selves got a glimpse of us now, what would they make of us?” This book came so unexpectedly into my life, but I'm eternally grateful that it did so. There's simply so much to love about We Are Okay that I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed writing this, but thankfully lists exist for me to break it down point by point: • We have a switching narrative between the past and future, which adds tremendously to the ongoing intrigue. Usually with books that have a similar structure, I struggle connecting with either the past or the present but that was not the case with We Are Okay. Far from it, actually. I kept switching my love for the chapters set in the past and those set in the present. • The author gets so many things right. From leaving your home and friends and childhood behind, to tackling loneliness, grief, friendship, f/f love, bisexuality, heartbreak, and talking about books and paintings, positive adult figures, and so much more. But I especially want to address how Marin’s broken longing felt so palpable. I could virtually feel her grief coming off the page, which is by no means an easy feat to achieve in writing. • Speaking of, LaCour's words blew me off the page. I just loved how certain scenes drew a perfectly fitting picture in my mind. Exhibit A: “She leans over our table and turns the sign in the window so that it says CLOSED on the outside. But on our side, perfectly positioned between Mabel’s place and mine, it says OPEN. If this were a short story, it would mean something.” I had to laugh at how witty that passage was. And then hiding my smile at this gentle and still scene following at nighttime: “So I turn over and find Mabel closer to me than I’d realized. I wait a minute there to see if she’ll move away, but she doesn’t. I wrap my arm around her waist, and she relaxes into me. My head nestles in the curve behind her neck; my knees pull up to fit the space behind hers. She might be asleep. I’ll only stay here for a couple of minutes. Only until I thaw completely. Until it’s enough to remind me what it feels like to be close to another person, enough to last me for another span of months. I breathe her in. Tell myself I need to turn away. Soon. But not yet. “Don’t disappear again,” she says. “Okay?” Her hair is soft against my face. “Promise me.” “I promise.” My heart. These two have my heart. • The summer chapters are set in San Francisco, mainly at the beach, which is one of my all-time favorite locations. “Tourists descended onto our beach, sat in our usual places, so we borrowed Ana’s car and crossed the Golden Gate to find a tiny piece of ocean to have for ourselves. We ate fish-and-chips in a dark pub that belonged in a different country, and we collected beach glass instead of shells, and we kissed in the redwoods, we kissed in the water, we kissed in movie theaters all over the city during matinees and late-night showings. We kissed in bookstores and record stores and dressing rooms. We kissed outside of the Lexington because we were too young to get in. We looked inside its doors at all the women there with short hair and long hair, lipstick and tattoos, tight dresses and tight jeans, button-ups and camisoles, and we pictured ourselves among them.” • And since Marin’s from San Francisco but moved to NYC for college, the winter chapters set for the perfectly gloomy and quiet atmosphere. And as this books mentions, “It was quiet, maybe, but it wasn’t simple.” • I loved the attention paid to details. You could tell how much the story meant to the author just by little things such as the names of the girls: “Just different enough,” I said. “As usual.” Since we’d met, we had a thing for our names’ symmetry. An M followed by a vowel, then a consonant, then a vowel, then a consonant. We thought it was important. We thought it must have meant something. Like a similar feeling must have passed through our mothers as they named us. Like destiny was at work already. We may have been in different countries, but it was only a matter of time before we would collide into each other.” • And now that I've successfully circled back to my favorites, I have to talk about how stunningly earnest their relationship felt. We get to see them through all the stages: from strangers to friends to lovers to something more to something undefinable and then... And then going back and forth until they find their footing. It was everything I wanted and more. They're so good for one another. • Like I wrote in my review for Queens of Geek, I live for books that write about girls. Girls supporting girls. Girls loving girls. Girls, girls, girls!!! And so this book fulfilled my heart while reading about Marin's remarkable roommate and compassionate new boss and noteworthy best friend. “I look at her. I wish her everything good. A friendly cab driver and short lines through security. A flight with no turbulence and an empty seat next to her. A beautiful Christmas. I wish her more happiness than can fit in a person. I wish her the kind of happiness that spills over.” This is still one of the kindest things I’ve ever read. My eyes are burning again. • Side note: the amount of times my eyes teared up while reading was low-key alarming. But it was like I couldn't help it, especially towards the end. Like Marin said, “I was crying, trying not to cry.” We Are Okay is tragic and hopeful and morose and every adjective in the world that will help encompass the beauty of this story. • And last but not least, I delighted in the fact that the families played such a big part in this book. Specifically centering on Mabel's Mexican-American family and how fervently they welcomed Marin with open arms. Ana and Javier are two of the kindest souls and made my heart swell more than once with their words and actions. All in all: I'm beyond grateful that I picked this up on a whim because I don't think I'll find anything like it soon. But I know that I'll look forward to any of Nina LaCour's future works to come out. P.S. This song felt really fitting for the mood this story is conveying (since it also mentions summertime and being seventeen and drinking whiskey). I listened to it on repeat until, to paraphrase this book, its sound turned to nothing. Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying We Are Okay, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission! This review and more can be found on my blog.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥

    ”I wonder if there’s a secret current that connects people who have lost something. Not in the way that everyone loses something, but in the way that undoes your life, undoes your self, so that when you look at your face it isn’t yours anymore.” This book was one of the most beautiful books I ever read. Not only because the writing style is amazing but also because there is so much truth in it. The truth can be beautiful, it can be bittersweet, it can be painful and excruciating, it can hurt you ”I wonder if there’s a secret current that connects people who have lost something. Not in the way that everyone loses something, but in the way that undoes your life, undoes your self, so that when you look at your face it isn’t yours anymore.” This book was one of the most beautiful books I ever read. Not only because the writing style is amazing but also because there is so much truth in it. The truth can be beautiful, it can be bittersweet, it can be painful and excruciating, it can hurt you but it can also give you hope. The truth of “We Are Okay”? It does all those things and even more. ”No one will know if you stay in bed all day. No one will know if you wear the same sweatpants for the entire month, if you eat every meal in front of television shows and use T-shirts as napkins. Go ahead and listen to that same song on repeat until its sound turns to nothing and you sleep the winter away.” There’s a sadness in this book, on every page, in every single line. It seeps from the pages, it’s a tangible and breathing thing. It makes it hard to pick up the book and it stays throughout the entire story. A silent and looming companion, something to be afraid of but also something that keeps you going, something that accompanies you, for better or for worse. There were so many things I could relate to and I think my personal experiences made up a big part of the story’s appeal. ”I’m just afraid that one day something’s going to catch me by surprise. Stale coffee. Squares of American cheese. Hard tomatoes, so unripe they’re white in the center. The most innocent things can call back the most terrible.” How can anyone who hasn’t gone through loss even comprehend how hard it is to remain a living, functioning and acting part of this world? The answer is simple: They can’t. Grief is something that changes you, it turns and twists you, you might look the same on the outside but on the inside you’re shaken to your core. Once grief found you, it leaves its mark and it’s something you carry with you for the rest of your life. You can’t get rid of it and you recognize it in people that made the same experiences. ”But I know that there’s a difference between how I used to understand things and how I do now. I used to cry over a story and then close the book, and it all would be over. Now everything resonates, sticks like a splinter, festers.” I don’t know about you, but I’m always glad for the people who never experienced such a profound loss. They still have some sort of innocence to them; they’ve never been shattered like that and don’t have to try to fit together the pieces of a puzzle they didn’t even know existed. It’s not easy to come back from this kind of grief and it doesn’t only take away your innocence, it also steals your youth. ”In the kitchen, I put a pot of water on the stove. Before the water reaches a boil, he will be here. I dropped pasta in and set the timer. Before the then minutes are up. I melted some butter. I wasn’t hungry, but I would eat it anyway, and by the time I was done, he would walk through the door and call out my name.” *sighs* How I could relate to this part of the book. The waiting, the hoping that her grandfather would turn up. The ingrained KNOWING that he wouldn’t. That utter and deafening sense that something is wrong but you can’t do anything to make it right. You’re helpless, desperate and frantic and you just don’t know what to do. Until, well, until someone eventually confirms your biggest fears. Until someone shatters your world forever. ”And Hannah kept saving me. She saved me with never asking questions, with instead reading to me about bees and botany and evolution. She saved me with clothes she loaned me and never took back. She saved me with seats next to her in the dining hall, with quick evasions when people asked me questions I couldn’t answer, with chapters read aloud and forced trips off campus and rides to the grocery store and a pair of winter boots.” But thankfully there are people like Hannah out there. People that watch out for you, that don’t turn away from you but embrace you with all your shattered parts. I’m pretty sure Hannah might have experienced loss too because she stuck with Marin and in my experience only people that went through it will react like that. The others? Well, those who are fortunate will have never experienced anything like it, so they’ll say how sorry they are, they’ll try to cheer you up, but when you fall into that black and endless rabbit hole of grief. Well, they’ll eventually lose interest after a few days or weeks (if you’re lucky) and then move on. Without you… It took Marin months to speak about her loss; it took me an entire year to open up and to speak about mine. A year that changed me forever, a year I’ll never get back. I really wish I would have had this book when I was seventeen and I hope and pray that everyone who experiences the very same thing will stumble upon it. That they’ll find solace and hope in Nina LaCour’s words and that they’ll eventually find the strength to move on. Because the truth is: Life is merciless and it doesn’t pause for the living. If I learned anything then it’s this and that you’ve to live your life like there will be no tomorrow. Make your experiences, don’t regret anything, recognize your loss, stay true to yourself, keep on fighting, keep living, because it’s worth it. Life is so worth it and you only have one chance! Make it count! ;-) This said, I love this book with all my heart and I’ll recommend it to everyone who ever experienced loss! This, this is your book! Your voice! Your thoughts on paper! Read it and heal! <3 "Say yes." ___________________________ A lot of my friends read this book and they all gave it a stellar rating, so I’m pretty curious if I’ll like it too. From what I could glean from the updates the title seems to be the complete opposite of what it claims and naturally this only caused me to be even more intrigued. “We are okay.” Until we’re not Let’s find out if this is one of those stories…

  8. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    lets talk about grief. and how it affects everyone in different ways. its can slowly creep up on you. it can hit you suddenly and with great intensity. and sometimes its always present, making itself comfortable in your loneliness. its one of those emotions that is difficult to express and, because of that, i applaud this story. grief and loneliness are not pretty feelings, but this novel handles them will care and authenticity. and while the writing in this story is beautiful, grief can be a ve lets talk about grief. and how it affects everyone in different ways. its can slowly creep up on you. it can hit you suddenly and with great intensity. and sometimes its always present, making itself comfortable in your loneliness. its one of those emotions that is difficult to express and, because of that, i applaud this story. grief and loneliness are not pretty feelings, but this novel handles them will care and authenticity. and while the writing in this story is beautiful, grief can be a very ugly thing and i appreciate how this story shows that. ugliness and all. this story is so human and its very refreshing to read. the main reason i didnt round up my rating, which i normally do, is because this didnt quite impact me as much as i was hoping. for being such a real and heavy story, i felt a little emotionally distant from it. due to the content matter, i believe this is the kind of story will impact people in different ways depending on whats going on in the readers life. for me, grief isnt something i have experienced a lot lately. i have no doubt that if i were to pick this up at a different point in time, this story would resonate with me more profoundly. overall, this is a such a genuine and tender story about grief, loneliness, and one girls desire to overcome them via the bonds of friends and family. a must read for those needing a little extra support, love and a gentle reminder that you are not alone. ↠ 3.5 stars

  9. 4 out of 5

    Warda

    [4.5 stars] I'm crying buckets. I haven't cried this much over a book since I finished reading A Court of Wings and Ruin. This book was stunning. Absolutely stunning. I felt every single word. Some of them were just outright painful, but I was connected, grieving alongside Marin. It is an incredible story about a girl who's coming to terms with the death of her grandfather and her losses in life, which she's experienced so much of so young. Such a short book, but so beautifully impactful. [4.5 stars] I'm crying buckets. I haven't cried this much over a book since I finished reading A Court of Wings and Ruin. This book was stunning. Absolutely stunning. I felt every single word. Some of them were just outright painful, but I was connected, grieving alongside Marin. It is an incredible story about a girl who's coming to terms with the death of her grandfather and her losses in life, which she's experienced so much of so young. Such a short book, but so beautifully impactful.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Christian

    Expectation: A new favorite. Reality: A new favorite. *throws five stars at the book from the floor, where he is a sobbing mess*

  11. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Update -- This is $2.99 today as a kindle download -- (read other reviews) -- its not for everyone -- but it was for me. I haven't given away my hard copy -I love how it feels in my hand -- its funny how my mind works - If this were a $1.99 today --(instead of $2.99) -- I might buy it --then finally give my physical copy away. Gotta clear out books once in awhile! Point is -- if you THINK this book is for YOU -- it probably is!!!! I saw 'low' reviews 'before' I read it --yet I still knew I wante Update -- This is $2.99 today as a kindle download -- (read other reviews) -- its not for everyone -- but it was for me. I haven't given away my hard copy -I love how it feels in my hand -- its funny how my mind works - If this were a $1.99 today --(instead of $2.99) -- I might buy it --then finally give my physical copy away. Gotta clear out books once in awhile! Point is -- if you THINK this book is for YOU -- it probably is!!!! I saw 'low' reviews 'before' I read it --yet I still knew I wanted to read it. I loved it!! sooooooooooo much feeling --things to think about in this little pint size book! Morning Thursday greetings!!! xox I was drawn to this book from the first time I saw it. Soon after, I saw several 'low' . I was still curious. I knew parts of this book took place in the SF Bay Area... parts in New York....plus I had read that the author, Nina LaCour, lives in Oakland, Ca. I was 'jazzed'. How bad could this book be? NOT BAD AT ALL FOR ME!!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS BOOK!!!! I read this book slow over 3 days. ----The story takes place over 3 days too! It's a tiny book. It could be read in one or two hours, but that's not how I read it. I knew early on that I didn't want to say goodbye to MARIN!!! I didn't want to leave her... I just wanted to be there - with this young girl as much as possible. I wanted to tell her ---"I understand the loneliness- the grief - the fears - the emptiness. I related to her and her situation. THIS STORY BROUGHT UP PAST MEMORIES for me..... .....of the summer between my Senior Year in High School and College .....of living alone with only my mother -passing each other like distant roommates. ......years of living in an apt. -- threadbare- just my mother and I. ......I thought of David Vann's book, "Aquarium", ... even though the stories are different. This book brought back feelings I had from that powerful book, too. ......I remembered a time - living in Oakland - around the time Martin Luther King died...of not knowing where my mother was for a couple of days - scared and worried. ......I thought about my grandparents and their pawnshop store on Broadway Ave. in Oakland. I thought about my private time with my 'Gramps' before he died. I was only 7 when he died of a stroke - two years after my dad died of a heart attack. ......I thought about all the many kids that grow up with with only 1 caretaker-adult. ( especially an only child). ......I also thought of our own older daughter. ( a sweet happy memory). There was reference to the play "The Turning of the Screw", in "We Are Okay". Our daughter played the leading female role at the San Jose Rep. She was 12 years old. It was her first equity performance -- phenomenal show -- performances were extended beyond the standard 6 week run. ........I 'still' wish I didn't have to say goodbye to Marin. I like Mabel too!! To me .... this is close to a perfect book! It may not be for everyone- but for some of us it allows our souls to sing!!! One excerpt: "It was a summer of trying not to think too deeply. A summer of pretending that the end wasn't coming. A summer I got lost in time, when I rarely knew what day it was, rarely cared about the hour. A summer so bright and warm it made me believe the heat would linger, that there would always be more days, that blood on handkerchiefs was an exercise in stain removal and not a sign of oblivion". I've already been reading pages again. I absolutely treasure this book!!!!!! Even the 'acknowledgments' .... the touching sharing by author Nina LaCour moved me - and warmed me all over!!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    Haunting. Stunning. Heart-wrenching. Words are hard. I read this in under 24-hours and feel a little lost, not gonna lie. Nina LaCour, how dare you!? How dare you stomp on my heart with your beautiful, thoughtful story! Haunting. Stunning. Heart-wrenching. Words are hard. I read this in under 24-hours and feel a little lost, not gonna lie. Nina LaCour, how dare you!? How dare you stomp on my heart with your beautiful, thoughtful story!

  13. 4 out of 5

    daph pink ♡

    brb, crying!

  14. 5 out of 5

    may ➹

    apparently I am still not sad and gay enough to love this one 2.5, rtc —————— rereading because I hated this in 2017 when I was straight and happy but now I am sad and gay // buddy read with girls with swords lover apparently I am still not sad and gay enough to love this one 2.5, rtc —————— rereading because I hated this in 2017 when I was straight and happy but now I am sad and gay // buddy read with girls with swords lover

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kai

    “If only lonely were a more accurate word. It should sound much less pretty.” There are books that roar and scream and radiate power. This is not one of those books. It is a book that shows ultimate strength in its tranquillity. We Are Okay may be a quiet book, but its force will tear you apart and put you back together again. It will give room to your grief, then stroke your hair, hug you tightly and warm your heart piece by piece. By the first page, I was already lost between the pages of this b “If only lonely were a more accurate word. It should sound much less pretty.” There are books that roar and scream and radiate power. This is not one of those books. It is a book that shows ultimate strength in its tranquillity. We Are Okay may be a quiet book, but its force will tear you apart and put you back together again. It will give room to your grief, then stroke your hair, hug you tightly and warm your heart piece by piece. By the first page, I was already lost between the pages of this book. By page sixty I had nearly burst into tears in public three times. I recommend you do not read this on public transport. But I could not put it down. I savoured every single sentence, every word. This book tells the story of loss, grief, and loneliness. It resonated deeply with me, and more than once I felt completely understood. The author knows how to define different kinds of silence: That between two people who have lost each other and try to find their way back to being an "us", a "we". The silence of a heart too hurt to remember the past. The silence of a warm fireplace and snow falling outside. Nina LaCour knows about growing up, about nostalgia for something that has not yet passed and, more importantly, she knows how to put these feelings into words that make you feel them, too. She also knows that your sexuality is not the only important thing about you as a person. That it is not the only story you have to tell. I think I fell a little bit in love with this book. Find more of my books on Instagram

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    Whyyyyyyy did I put off reading this for so long? I adored it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Claudia Ramírez

    3,5 stars

  18. 5 out of 5

    lily ☁️

    ✨ My full review is now up on my blog! ✨ (Yes, rereading books with emma is one of the greatest pleasures in my life.) * ➳ 3 1/2 stars … I am not okay. This book’s title sounds like something I tell people when in reality it’s the exact opposite of what I am. Blog | Bloglovin’ | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter ✨ My full review is now up on my blog! ✨ (Yes, rereading books with emma is one of the greatest pleasures in my life.) * ➳ 3 1/2 stars … I am not okay. This book’s title sounds like something I tell people when in reality it’s the exact opposite of what I am. Blog | Bloglovin’ | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter

  19. 4 out of 5

    BernLuvsBooks

    "Life is paper thin and fragile. Any sudden change could rip it wide-open." A short, easy read (I read it in a few hours in 1 sitting) about loneliness, heartbreak & eventual healing. It's slow paced - there isn't any real action in the plot. It's really centered around emotion - Marin's feelings which become clearer to us as we read, allowing us to learn her truths. I enjoyed the story for what it was but I personally wasn't blown away by it. There were parts that dragged a bit for me and wi "Life is paper thin and fragile. Any sudden change could rip it wide-open." A short, easy read (I read it in a few hours in 1 sitting) about loneliness, heartbreak & eventual healing. It's slow paced - there isn't any real action in the plot. It's really centered around emotion - Marin's feelings which become clearer to us as we read, allowing us to learn her truths. I enjoyed the story for what it was but I personally wasn't blown away by it. There were parts that dragged a bit for me and with it being such a quick/short read I didn't expect that. The end though - I really enjoyed it. There was so much love, raw emotion & hope within those last few pages. I just didn't enjoy the entire book as much as I did those last few pages making this one a 3.5 star read for me. It wasn't bad. It wasn't great. It was a book I enjoyed, just not one I think I will remember with much detail over time.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Larry H

    4.5 stars. "I wonder if there's a secret current that connects people who have lost something. Not in the way that everyone loses something, but in the way that undoes your life, undoes your self, so that when you look at your face it isn't yours anymore." Marin (pronounced like the county in California) was once surrounded by people who loved her. She was raised by her grandfather since her mother's death when she was young, and Marin and her best friend, Mabel, were inseparable. She even was clo 4.5 stars. "I wonder if there's a secret current that connects people who have lost something. Not in the way that everyone loses something, but in the way that undoes your life, undoes your self, so that when you look at your face it isn't yours anymore." Marin (pronounced like the county in California) was once surrounded by people who loved her. She was raised by her grandfather since her mother's death when she was young, and Marin and her best friend, Mabel, were inseparable. She even was close to Mabel's parents, who treated her a bit like she was their own daughter. But Marin fled her California home in the wake of a discovery and a tragedy, and now she is poised to spend Christmas by herself in her dorm room in chilly New York. Although her roommate has helped Marin navigate the many awkward moments and uncertainties of freshman year in college, she still considers herself to be a loner, unworthy of the attention people are paying her and unsure of how to interact with people. What Marin is most apprehensive about during the holidays is facing Mabel, who is coming to visit from California for three days. The two haven't spoken since Mabel left for college, just before the tragedy that sent Marin running. Mabel doesn't understand what happened to her friend, and why she hasn't responded to almost all of her texts, calls, and emails. And no one understands why Marin left her old life behind. Marin isn't sure she's ready to share the truth with anyone, let alone Mabel. If she does, she also will have to confront her feelings, which have mostly remained hidden all this time, and she may have to accept how much things have changed. She's also afraid to let her guard down and leave her heart open, for fear that once again she might be left with nothing. What happened back in California that made Marin run and not look back? Why is she willing to be alone rather than share her pain, her fears, her grief with those who love her? Why would she rather be alone than try to make friends and move on with her life? Nina LaCour's We Are Okay is nearly 250 pages long, but it packs a potent, emotional punch. This is a thought-provoking, tremendously poignant book that so deftly explored how grief and betrayal can truly destroy a person, and how when we need rescuing the most we're unwilling to let anyone help. At the same time, the book painted a fascinating picture about friendship, and how it can bring both joy and pain. I loved the book that LaCour wrote with David Levithan, You Know Me Well , and this book cemented my admiration of the way she writes. I was a little confused by some elements of the plot and it took a while for Marin to reveal—to Mabel and to the reader—the reasons behind her actions. (I'll admit I still was unclear for longer than I should have been!) But those issues notwithstanding, this book left me a teary-eyed mess when I read it in one sitting on a flight. Books about friendships and how they shape us—for better or worse—always appeal to me, and We Are Okay is an excellent addition to that oeuvre. Pick it up for the emotion; stay for LaCour's sensational storytelling. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2018.html. You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  21. 4 out of 5

    『 jaelyn ♛』

    “I was okay just a moment ago. I will learn how to be okay again.” this book feels like a journal to me. i felt like Nina LaCour just ransacked my bedroom and found my nonexistent journal and was like "hmm well she's sad and gay so let's make a book about that" and the rest is history. i feel like 2018 is the year i finally read books by the authors i've been wanting to read for years. Maggie, Adam, Schwab, Becky, et cetera. and now, it's nina!! i've been interested in her books ever since Everyth “I was okay just a moment ago. I will learn how to be okay again.” this book feels like a journal to me. i felt like Nina LaCour just ransacked my bedroom and found my nonexistent journal and was like "hmm well she's sad and gay so let's make a book about that" and the rest is history. i feel like 2018 is the year i finally read books by the authors i've been wanting to read for years. Maggie, Adam, Schwab, Becky, et cetera. and now, it's nina!! i've been interested in her books ever since Everything Leads to You came out. it's just because i'm a lazy ass who has mood changes and doesn't pick up her anticipated releases until years after. (i swear i'll read you soon <3). i regret nothing after reading this book. this book feels like a safe place for me. it's quietly beautiful, inside and out (look at the cover !!! ohmygod). while i was reading this, i was listening to soft piano, then classic ghibli. you could say i was in tears by the first paragraph. Nina's writing is simple yet impactful. from the suddenness of marin's thoughts, to mabel's concern. everything just felt lovely and this is one of my favorite books so far this year. i think it's because i just relate so so much to marin and how she feels inside. i've felt her kind of loneliness countless of times. where even my favorite book couldn't make me want to crawl out of the hole i've dug myself in. i've felt her kind of sad. to the point where i'm afraid of being too sad, too scared, too loud. if her character was written another way, i feel like i would have given this a lower rating (3.75 stars probably). i've been in the same place as her—i've experienced all the uneasy thoughts and emotions she feels throughout this novel. and i think that's what makes me love this book as much as i do. because, even though it's not even 300 pages, it still impacts you more than any 700+ novel could ever try to do. (x) i loved the rep in this: a latina bisexual woman, lesbian woman. idk man, i just love when latino povs are featured in books (and done correctly!) and it made me like the book even more ahhh. i absolutely loved the relationship/friendship between mabel & marin. it was so sad to read, sure, but you could tell they still deeply loved and cared about each other. i loved how mabel was always looking out for marin the best way possible, and how she made marin a better person. i also love how marin grew and how she finally overcame her grief and loneliness!!!! my lovesssss. even though the book has an overwhelming sense of loneliness and sorrow, it still tells a message: you will be okay. that the sadness and loneliness you feel deep inside your chest will go away. it will slowly disappear, and happiness will soon take over. i know it may seem impossible, but trust me, it will happen. and that's what We Are Okay shows you. you will be okay. “I wish you more happiness than can fit in a person.” is it slow? yes. does it have plot? barely. is it very character driven? very. if we share at least SOME of the same reading tastes, i'm 97.99% you'll love this. it's a story about a girl who's grieving, who's sad and lonely and filled with too many emotions. and her overcoming it and accepting herself and being OKAY. (x) (also btw, i rec this for literally everyone. please read this book) “And I think of how time passes so differently for different people.”

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Greendale

    We Are Okay is a succinct exploration of grief with an abysmal twist. How this book recieved the Printz Award over Strange the Dreamer is unfathomable. I wonder if there's a secret current that connects people who have lost something. Not in the way that everyone loses something, but in the way that undoes your life, undoes your self, so that when you look at your face it isn't yours anymore. We Are Okay is a succinct exploration of grief with an abysmal twist. How this book recieved the Printz Award over Strange the Dreamer is unfathomable. I wonder if there's a secret current that connects people who have lost something. Not in the way that everyone loses something, but in the way that undoes your life, undoes your self, so that when you look at your face it isn't yours anymore.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    A short and simple read that surprisingly packs with emotion. I related to the main character a lot and ended up crying at the end of her emotional journey. The writing is simplistic but manages to craft a very purposeful mood that portrays the loneliness of a young girl so realistically. It may not be the most amazing book ever, and it doesn't have a crazy-spectacular plot, but it's a quiet story that hits home for me. A short and simple read that surprisingly packs with emotion. I related to the main character a lot and ended up crying at the end of her emotional journey. The writing is simplistic but manages to craft a very purposeful mood that portrays the loneliness of a young girl so realistically. It may not be the most amazing book ever, and it doesn't have a crazy-spectacular plot, but it's a quiet story that hits home for me.

  24. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    “The trouble with denial is that when the truth comes, you aren't ready.” Winter break has come, and while everyone else has gone home to see families and significant others for a few weeks, Marin would be perfectly content to stay in her dorm room, alone with her grief, pretending that her life from before doesn't exist anymore. Life is never quite that simple, though, and Mabel is coming to visit, shoving her way into Marin's after. Marin has a lot of skeletons in her closet that need to be fac “The trouble with denial is that when the truth comes, you aren't ready.” Winter break has come, and while everyone else has gone home to see families and significant others for a few weeks, Marin would be perfectly content to stay in her dorm room, alone with her grief, pretending that her life from before doesn't exist anymore. Life is never quite that simple, though, and Mabel is coming to visit, shoving her way into Marin's after. Marin has a lot of skeletons in her closet that need to be faced, but can she handle letting go of her denial long enough to heal - and to move forward with Mabel? --- This book is intentionally vague to start off with; you realize very quickly that the grief that Marin is recovering from has something to do with her grandfather, who raised her (as her mother passed away in a surfing incident when Marin was a baby), but it takes a long time to dig into the meat of what happened, and why it was so traumatic that Marin completely ran away from her old life, as well as all of her former friends and loved ones. Due to the ambiguity of the writing, I actually felt like the beginning of the book dragged a little bit. I kept thinking that there was no way that the twist was going to be a big enough one to be worth spending the entire book drawing the scenario out, but without spoiling anything, I will just say that I was pleasantly stunned by the ending. I didn't realize this was an LGBTQ+ book when I picked it up - because I have somehow been living under a rock and had no idea that Nina LaCour was an LGBTQ+ own-voices author - so I was taken off-guard early in the book when the reveal occurred that Mabel was not only a former best friend, but also a former lover; the detail gave a really nice taste of tension to her entire visit, and kept me guessing as to how their relationship would end up. The writing itself was enjoyable, though nothing truly remarkable; Marin is a likable narrator who has made some questionable choices, but not without reason. The way she desperately wants to still be liked by Mabel, despite having been the one to disappear on their friendship, felt so authentic, especially in the way her walls gradually came down. I found myself frequently frustrated by her choices, yet still completely in understanding of why she was making them. I can't say I really recall any parts of this book particularly touching me, making me laugh, making me pause and think, or evoking any other noteworthy opinions - until the ending, when I was completely and fully shattered. I sobbed my way through the last several chapters, and closed the back cover feeling like I had undergone some brutal, but beautiful, catharsis. The ending of this book alone solidified it as a 4-star read for me and put Nina right up near the top of my "authors I need to read more from" list. I would recommend We Are Okay to anyone who enjoys a solid YA contemporary about grief, family (blood-related or not), positive lesbian/bi rep, and a heaping dose of heartache.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ahmed Ejaz

    Life is paper-thin and fragile. Any sudden change could rip it wide-open. Seems like I'm getting books based on loneliness in this month. Anyway, this book was fine. Having no certain plot but still not a bad book. CHARACTERS Marin (the main character & orphan & raised by her grandfather). Mabel (her best friend). The book mostly revolves arround them. This book is about Marin living in dorms even though it's winter break. She doesn't go back to her home because she doesn't wanna r Life is paper-thin and fragile. Any sudden change could rip it wide-open. Seems like I'm getting books based on loneliness in this month. Anyway, this book was fine. Having no certain plot but still not a bad book. CHARACTERS Marin (the main character & orphan & raised by her grandfather). Mabel (her best friend). The book mostly revolves arround them. This book is about Marin living in dorms even though it's winter break. She doesn't go back to her home because she doesn't wanna resurface her bad memories related to that place. She has left that place for good and without informing anyone. Mabel comes to visit her to get to know the reason why she disappeared all of a sudden. 》I think the book started pretty slow. Like reeealy slow. Nothing much happens in the first half. After that it started to get interesting. 》The writing was pretty good and straightforward. 》The ending was sweet and happy. Marin deserved that. (view spoiler)[ 》So her grandpa didn't tell her about that closet and the pictures of her mother. Why? Was he mentally ill? I felt that. (hide spoiler)] It was a fine book. I don't know what more to say about it. 3.5 Stars Buddy-read with: Abdullah Khalid, Elsa Qazi & Shabana Mukhtar 21st September, 2018

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)

    *3.5 stars This is such a hard rating, because the last quarter was incredible, but the middle was definitely a solid 3. I loved the exploration of grief itself. It was done beautifully and I cried multiple times throughout reading this. Nina LaCour has such beautiful writing, I just get frustrated sometimes by her more... tropey moments? She has these plot elements that happen that are so unrealistic and I find myself get frustrated because her writing is incredible and I want the plot to live u *3.5 stars This is such a hard rating, because the last quarter was incredible, but the middle was definitely a solid 3. I loved the exploration of grief itself. It was done beautifully and I cried multiple times throughout reading this. Nina LaCour has such beautiful writing, I just get frustrated sometimes by her more... tropey moments? She has these plot elements that happen that are so unrealistic and I find myself get frustrated because her writing is incredible and I want the plot to live up to that writing. Anyway, the end was amazing and I sobbed. Marin was a wonderful character and I loved how lonely and aching this entire book felt. And I will be doing a full video review in the next couple of weeks to talk a bit more about how I felt! *Thanks to Penguin Teen for sending along a copy of this book!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    16/11/17- Revising my rating to 5 stars instead of 4 because the more I think about this book the more I realise it's one of my favourites of the year (and also I can't stop thinking about it). “I was okay just a moment ago. I will learn how to be okay again.” I'D seen a few reviews of this book which called it 'boring' and I almost let them deter me from reading this. I'm so glad I didn't because honestly this book was lovely and melancholic and strangely beautiful and I genuinely enjoyed readin 16/11/17- Revising my rating to 5 stars instead of 4 because the more I think about this book the more I realise it's one of my favourites of the year (and also I can't stop thinking about it). “I was okay just a moment ago. I will learn how to be okay again.” I'D seen a few reviews of this book which called it 'boring' and I almost let them deter me from reading this. I'm so glad I didn't because honestly this book was lovely and melancholic and strangely beautiful and I genuinely enjoyed reading it!! I can understand why some people would find it boring because it is definitely slow; it isn't a plot heavy book, it's about the main character and her struggle with grief. Grief is such a powerful human experience to read about and the prose in this book completely nailed what it's like to feel alone in the aftermath of a big loss. The setting for the story (an empty university dorm during winter snowstorms) reflected the isolation of the main character Marin and I honestly just found it so beautiful and relatable. In a way it reminded me of a Haruki Murakami book- there was a lot of reflection on life and love and loss. I don't have heaps to say about this book. I definitely recommend it! I think the writing was super beautiful, there were moments that made me tear up. A lot of people wouldn't enjoy it because it is a slower book. Honestly though, it's the kind of book I would love to be able to write (if I was this good at writing) because I think creating a good story just around one character is really impressive.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kayla Dawn

    This was good! I liked the characters and their relationships a lot. The writing style was very nice as well. *very minor spoiler ahead I guess??* The ending was a little too good to be true in my opinion but other than that I really enjoyed it. (Well, I don't know what else to say. I'm much better at writing reviews about books I didn't like lol) This was good! I liked the characters and their relationships a lot. The writing style was very nice as well. *very minor spoiler ahead I guess??* The ending was a little too good to be true in my opinion but other than that I really enjoyed it. (Well, I don't know what else to say. I'm much better at writing reviews about books I didn't like lol)

  29. 5 out of 5

    the burning dreamer.

    If I were to ever marry a book cover, it would be this one.

  30. 4 out of 5

    prag ♻

    This is a book about sadness. I wonder if we will become okay again. I hope for it. This is a book about sadness. It's a book about pain and loss and love and death. It's about the death of a grandfather. It's about the death of a spirit. It's a book about family - and about Marin's dead mother. It's about Jones and Birdie and Ben and Laney and Hannah and Mabel. I wonder if there’s a secret current that connects people who have lost something. Not in the way that everyone loses something, bu This is a book about sadness. I wonder if we will become okay again. I hope for it. This is a book about sadness. It's a book about pain and loss and love and death. It's about the death of a grandfather. It's about the death of a spirit. It's a book about family - and about Marin's dead mother. It's about Jones and Birdie and Ben and Laney and Hannah and Mabel. I wonder if there’s a secret current that connects people who have lost something. Not in the way that everyone loses something, but in the way that undoes your life, undoes your self, so that when you look at your face it isn’t yours anymore. This is a book about sadness. It's a book about getting better. It's a book about taking care of yourself. It's about getting up. And taking help when you can't. There are many ways of being alone. That’s something I know to be true. I breathe in (stars and sky). I breathe out (snow and trees). This is a book about sadness. It's a book about coping with grief. Learning to live with it. About having people to rely on. About being okay. We are okay. 3.5 stars. (It made me cry.) Queer Book #6 of Pride Month

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