We Are Okay: YA Review

43694552We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Genre: Queer YA Contemporary
Publication: March 5th 2019
Publisher: UQP
Source: Review copy from UQP – Thank You
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ✵✵✵✵✵

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.


I was a little apprehensive going into this read. I knew being a book dealing with grief that it would be a ‘sad book’ and I was afraid it might drag up somethings for me. But being that I had only heard good things about the book from trusted bookish friends, I dived in.

I found We Are Okay to be a slow burning and beautiful queer contemporary tale of a young woman drowning in, then dealing with her grief for the grandfather and life she’s lost and for the mother she never knew.

I adored the protagonist Marin and connected with her deeply.
I liked how the chapters go back and forth between the present and the past, slowly bringing the truth to light.
And I felt that the ending leaves with the reader with the knowledge that while Marin still has a lot of healing to do, she is on the mend and she will be okay.

We Are Okay is a beautiful story that will break your heart, then turn around and heal it.
We Are Okay is a story for everyone who has lost something or someone.
We Are Okay is a story for anyone who has ever ran away from pain.
We Are Okay is a for anyone who has every lost themselves and had to fight to get themselves back.

Nina LaCour’s Goodreads | Twitter | Website.

Jade and I did a little We Are Okay book chat over on the
#AusYABloggers group site, you can view it HERE.

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

I Had Such Friends: #LoveOzYA Review

40530953I Had Such Friends by Meg Gatland-Veness #LoveOzYA
Genre: Contemporary YA
Publication: August 1st 2018
Publisher: Pantera Press
Source: Copy for review from publisher – Thank You.
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ✵ ✵ ✵ ✵

When Charlie Parker dies, it affects everyone who knew him. Everyone, that is, except for seventeen-year-old Hamish Day, the boy who lives on a cabbage farm and only has one friend. But Hamish soon finds himself pulled into the complicated lives of the people left behind. Among them is Annie Bower, the prettiest girl in school. As he uncovers startling truths about his peers, his perspectives on friendship, love, grief and the tragic power of silence are forever altered.

Meg’s own teaching experience has enabled her to delve deeper into the true nature of a universal high school experience. I Had Such Friends will speak to high school students/teenagers on a personal level, and foster important conversations among Australian youth, school and family culture on issues including abuse, failure and neglect.

With hard-hitting themes including unrequited love, abuse, neglect, sexuality, bullying, prejudice, death and suicide, I Had Such Friends is a poignant journey of self-discovery, grief and the tragic power of silence. A gripping look at adolescent pain with a narrative maturity that accurately reflects its YA milieu, I Had Such Friends resonates with young adult audiences and pushes them to reflect on their own ‘sliding doors’ moment.


Damn, I’ve been struggling with how to review this one.
While I loved parts of it, it also made so super sad.

The story follows Hamish, a self described scrawny farm kid loser who hates farming, during his last year of high school. We journey with Hamish as he discovers his sexuality, self-identity and true friendship. This story is filled with grief, hate, and heartbreaking sadness.

Things I liked:

♥ Going on Hamish’s journey with him.
♥ Hamish’s self confidence and self-worth growing as the story progressed.
♥ Hamish learning how to let people into his heart again.
♥ Hamish figuring out the whole friendship thing and making a lifelong meaningful and healing friend in Annie.
♥ Peter finding comfort, friendship, and someone he could confide in with Hamish.

Things I disliked / made me sad:

I feel Peter should have been able to end up in the flat with Hamish and Annie. He could have done labouring work, while Hamish and Annie attended Uni. The story would have still carried valuable messages, but have left your heart warmed in the end.

I had such friends was a beautiful story and I did really enjoy it, I just feel it doesn’t offer any kind of hope to a person in Peter’s situation. Peter was without a doubt my favourite character in the story. I liked Hamish and Annie. But I loved peter. Even in our much more progressive modern society people in Peter’s situation still do not make it out, that’s why in my mind his character should have.

Who would like this story: Anyone who wants to read something ‘real’ feeling. Anyone wanting a glimpse into queer teenage australia. #LoveOZYA aficionados. #AusQueerYA aficionados. Anyone into ‘day in the life’ style contemporary reads.

Trigger Warnings: child abuse, homophobia, bullying, death and suicide.

I will be keeping an eye out for more books by Meg Gatland-Veness and am keen to read what she writes next.

[ LINKS: Facebook | Goodreads | Pantera | Booktopia | Amazon AU | Amazon US ]

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).