When it came time to think of my favorite read of March, two books instantly came to mind. One I already reviewed (and by reviewed I mean gushed over) on this blog. The other is We Are Okay, by Nina LaCour. Gosh, this book is beautiful. With full, nuanced characters and an emotional, nonlinear, sparse pacing my emotions were running high while reading the story of eighteen-year-old Marin. After a family tragedy, Marin leaves her California beach town to head to college in New York City two weeks early. She doesn’t say goodbye or offer explanations to anyone in her life, not even her best friend Mabel.
In the present of the story, Mabel is coming to visit Marin during winter break. They haven’t talked since the summer. Mabel has questions. Marin wants to avoid thinking about anything having to do with her old life.
In the past of the story, we see the summer unfold: the changing nature of Mabel and Marin’s friendship, their plans for the future, and finally the event that changed everything for Marin.
The structure of the book creates an unravelling string of information. But it’s isn’t suspense that kept me reading. Beautiful writing on a sentence level and characters I came to deeply care about fully engaged me in their story. It is a meditation of grief, but also on connection, friendship, and family.