Those feels when the cover is more beautiful than the story.
Objectively, I can admit that this is a good novel. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour has most of the elements I look for in a novel: central female characters, queer characters, themes of grief, love, and acceptance, strong family bonds. Yet, I didn’t really like it. Maybe it’s because I’ve read some absolutely incredible novels recently, and it’s just fallen flat in comparison. Maybe it’s because I ran through the book, finishing it in an afternoon, rather than letting the words sit with me for a few days. Or maybe it’s just not for me.
Brief summary provided by yours truly: Marin is living across the country for university, and has no family to return to for Christmas in California since her grandfather’s recent passing. Her best friend, whom she hasn’t spoken to since his death, is coming to New York to spend 3 days with her. During this period, Marin comes to terms with the relationships in her life, and the truth behind her grandfather’s death and life.
My biggest issue is with the characters. The plot was great; it kept me captivated enough to keep flipping page after page, even after I promised I would stop. I wanted to know Marin’s secrets, and I wanted to understand her grief. But when I came to the end, I found that I didn’t understand Marin… at all. Who was she? Don’t ask me. I don’t even know how I would describe her, other than “sad.” The same goes for every other character: they all fell flat and dull. I felt like I was reading words on a page, and not the stories of living people. They could have been anybody. They could have been nobody.
And because of that, everything else just became “meh.”
We Are Okay is an easy read, and the story itself is rather satisfying, but I didn’t like the characters and in a story like this, based so deeply in character relationships, if the characters fall flat, then the story fizzles away.
2 stars out of 5.