We Are Okay

Nina LaCour


UQP

March 2019

$19.95 AU

236p pb

ISBN: 978-0702262562

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We Are Okay, written by Nina Lacour is a bildungsroman novel which explores the complexity of the teenage mind. The novel targets raw themes such as depression, anxiety and isolation but manages to convey them sensitivity with an authentic insight making the novel palatable to read. Told from the perspective of a teenage girl, the story captures her pain and torment, transforming it into an inspirational read.

After losing her grandfather, the protagonist Marin plans to spend her holiday break in New York's cold and bitter winter, isolated in her dorm room, rather than returning to San Francisco to face the ruins of her old life. During the break, her best friend Mabel visits her with the intention to convince her to return home. Mabel is determined to rebuild their relationship and to help Marin rediscover herself. Mabel's visit unlocks Marin's repressed memories, forcing Marin to remember and come to terms with her past hardships.

Written as a character-driven novel, little action takes place in the plot. The majority of the writing is Marin's memories and her perception of the world. This means the novel becomes slightly repetitive with a heavy emphasis on similar themes. Even so, LaCour writes a strong and intelligent character, one that conveys grief, self-doubt and anxiety perfectly, creating a realistic perception of the teenage mind and engaging readers to make an emotional connection.

Written with a beautiful insight into issues faced by youth, targeted for youth 13+, We Are Okay is a quick read ensured to leave readers with a positive impact.

Siobhan, Year 10


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