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Friday, 7 June 2019

BOOK REVIEW | 'We Are Not Okay' by Natália Gomes (****)

Hey guys, and happy Friday! Today I am thrilled to be bringing you another book review, this time a review of a book I have wanted to read for a really long time - We Are Not Okay by Natália Gomes. As soon as I read the blurb I knew this book was right up my street - and it totally lived up to my expectations. 

We Are Not Okay is about growing up, shame, secrets and the danger that keeping them can bring. The novel follows four very different girls with very different problems, but it all comes circles back to the pressures that we put on young girls in our society today, and the harm that this pressure can do. Faultlessly told and worryingly authentic, We Are Not Okay is a powerful reflection on our society, and how rotten it is beneath the surface. 

I was kindly sent We Are Not Okay by Nina Douglas, on behalf of HQ Stories, in exchange for an honest review :)

Intrigued? Check out the blurb here...


13 Reasons Why meets John Green and Jennifer Niven in We Are Not Ok - a powerful novel about what happens when girls are silenced.

If only they could have spoken out.
Lucy thinks she’s better than the other girls.
Maybe if she’s pointing fingers at everyone else, no one will see the secret she’s hiding.

Ulana comes from a conservative Muslim family where reputation is everything. One rumour -
true or false – can destroy futures.

Trina likes to party. She’s kissed a lot of boys. She’s even shown her red bra to one. But she didn’t consent to that
night at Lucy’s party. So why doesn’t anyone believe
her?

Sophia loved her boyfriend. She did anything for him, even send him photos of herself. So why is she the one being pointed at in the hallways, laughed at, spat at when it was him who betrayed her trust?

I thought the characterisation in this book was excellent, and the different narratives worked really well. I love stories that share multiple viewpoints, especially when they are all diverse. We Are Not Okay is an excellent and powerful mouthpiece for girls' voices, on issues that plague our society such as peer pressure, slut-shaming, sexual assault and body image. I found it really powerful, and wish I had it to hand as a teenager, although I had a better time at school than these characters!

The writing was fresh and authentic and the dialogue was also spot-on. Gomes is excellent at representing teenagers and bringing them, and their voices, to the forefront. Every character had a distinct voice, and I liked the dynamic between the characters as well, particularly one friendship that blossomed towards the end. I will definitely be checking out Gomes' other books now; her writing style is flawless, and I'm a sucker for a character-driven, emotional, brilliantly-told story.


Check out Natália Gomes here: https://twitter.com/nd_gomes?lang=en-gb

Until next time :)

2 comments:

  1. I didn't enjoy We Are Not Okay. While it did commentate on our society and social issues like rape, teenage pregnancy, and other important issues, it could've developed the characters and plot more. I found myself dissatisfied as I read the ending, because Trina never talked about her rapist and what happened to him. It felt like she'd moved on way too fast. Rape is a traumatic event. It affects you for years to come. I wish Trina would've gone to therapy so she could heal instead of just moving on straight away.

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