Title: We Are Okay

Author: Nina LaCour

Pages: 240 Pages

Publisher: Dutton Books

The Blurb

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.

The Review

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour is a story that has many facets. It looks at grief, loss of identity, loss of family and what it means to fully accept yourself for who you are.

It is about Marin, a young girl who has led from her home in California for New York. She has ran away from a past that she barely knows the truth of, ran away from the only home she has ever known and ran away from the people who love her.

For Marin, it is safer to be alone.

This belief is not shared by her best friend Mabel who comes to New York to find her friend.

We Are Okay has a very subdued and quiet kind of story telling which lends to the subject matter of the book. You at once feel calm but overwhelmed by Marin’s story. Her grief is so hidden but equally it drips off the pages. LaCour has done a stunning job of making you feel for Marin.

This isn’t a massive, outrageous novel. It is a stoic read but one that packs a punch.

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour is available now.

For more information regarding Nina LaCour (@nina_lacour) please visit www.ninalacour.com.

For more information regarding Dutton Books (@DuttonBooks) please visit www.duttonbooks.tumblr.com.

Title: The Disenchantments

Author: Nina LaCour

Pages: 307 Pages

Publisher: Speak

The Blurb

Colby and Bev have a long-standing pact: graduate, hit the road with Bev’s band, and then spend the year wandering around Europe. But moments after the tour kicks off, Bev makes a shocking announcement: she’s abandoning their plans – and Colby – to start college in the fall.
But the show must go on and The Disenchantments weave through the Pacific Northwest, playing in small towns and dingy venues, while roadie- Colby struggles to deal with Bev’s already-growing distance and the most important question of all: what’s next?

Morris Award-finalist Nina LaCour draws together the beauty and influences of music and art to brilliantly capture a group of friends on the brink of the rest of their lives.

The Review

I know I keep banging on about this and I am probably getting boring by YA fiction is nailing it. It just is.

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour is a great example of young adult fiction just getting it right. It is a coming-of-age story of Colby and Bev. Two friends who have promised each other that neither will go to college and that they will just head off and have adventures. Sometimes plans go a bit catawampus and life throws you a curve ball. This is exactly what happens and is the basis of this story.

What LaCour manages to do so skilfully is encapsulate the feelings of vulnerability in the face of the unknown whist also displacing the characters from their comfort zones. At the same time she has her characters dealing with emotions that we have all dealt with: fear, love and lust just to name a few.

I was not disappointed by The Disenchantments. Cheesy as it is to say, I was, in fact, thoroughly enchanted.

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour is available now.

For more information regarding Nina LaCour (@nina_lacour) please visit www.ninalacour.com.

35 Stars

You Know Me WellTitle: You Know Me Well

Author: Nina LaCour and David Levithan

Pages: 256 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other — and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour and David Levithan, the best-selling author of Every Day and co-author of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green), You Know Me Well is a deeply honest story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.

The Review

Good golly I love YA fiction. I love that even as a 32 year old woman I can read it and become utterly absorbed in the stories o characters way younger than myself; I love that YA fiction always seems to be fresh and exciting but more than anything I love that YA fiction is tackling issues and helping to positively shape our youth’s opinion on some major topics by (for want of a better word) “normalising” them such as LGBTQIA. Take the new release from Nina LaCour and David Levithan. LaCour and Levithan have co-written You Know Me Well.

You Know Me Well is a coming of age story that focuses on Mark and Kate; two teenagers who are discovering life’s changes and the rapid fluidity that life takes when you are that age. They are discovering that the world after high school can be a very scary place; they are figuring out that friends come and go and they also figure out that first love can be wonderful and horrible in equal measure.

Oh, wait…do you think Mark and Kate are together? No, no, no, no, no. Mark and Kate are friends who are helping each other deal with the trials and tribulations of love (for other people) and learning to accept their flaws. It is a realistic story about love. You may wonder why I keep going on about love but the weekend that I read this book was the weekend of the Orlando shootings. You Know Me Well is classed as an LGBTQIA fiction because the film focuses on the gay scene in San Francisco. This is why this book is important. Hopefully, teenagers will read this book and the atrocities that happened in June 2016 will never happen again. #LoveisLove.

You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan

For more information about Nina LaCour (@nina_lacour) please visit her official website www.ninalacour.com.

For more information about David Levithan (@loversdiction) please visit his official website www.davidlevithan.com.

For more information about Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) and their future releases please visit the official website www.panmacmillan.com.

4 Stars