On My Bookshelf: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

December 16, 2019

In We Are Okay by Nina LaCour, Marin is raised by her grandfather after her mother's death. She has no other family and her grandfather shared little with her about her mother as she was growing up. Just before Marin is set to head off to college, her grandfather, who had worsening health issues, disappears. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.
The basic plot from Amazon: 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.

Why I liked it: I cried my way through Hold Still two years ago and had a similar reaction to We Are Okay. Both are beautifully written, but filled with incredible sadness. In We Are Okay, Marin is raised by her grandfather after her mother's death. Marin was just a toddler, when her mother, a surfer, died and has little memory of her. She has no other family and her grandfather shared little with her about her mother as she was growing up. Just before Marin is set to head off to college, her grandfather, who had worsening health issues, disappears, presumably purposefully drowning himself in the ocean. It is after his death that Marin discovers all of the belongings and photos of her mother he had hidden from her, including letters she thought he was writing to a friend, but were really to her mother.
In We Are Okay by Nina LaCour, Marin is raised by her grandfather after her mother's death. She has no other family and her grandfather shared little with her about her mother as she was growing up. Just before Marin is set to head off to college, her grandfather, who had worsening health issues, disappears. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.

Feeling completely abandoned, Marin spirals into a depression and leaves for college early, cutting herself off from everyone back home. Her best friend from back home, Mabel, forces her to allow her to visit over winter break and tries to convince Marin to come back home, but Marin just ins't ready yet, so instead Mabel's parents join them at Marin's dorm for the holiday.

Classroom application: I would recommend this for high school and up mostly because of the intense emotions.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of We Are Okay for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here.

Note: The Literary Maven is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

In We Are Okay by Nina LaCour, Marin is raised by her grandfather after her mother's death. She has no other family and her grandfather shared little with her about her mother as she was growing up. Just before Marin is set to head off to college, her grandfather, who had worsening health issues, disappears. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.

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