thank you to NetGalley & Harper Collins HQ for a free copy of WE ARE NOT OKAY to review. this doesn’t affect my rating or review
TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE, ABUSE, BULLYING, EATING DISORDERS, ISLAMOPHOBIA, SUICIDE, SLUT SHAMING
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
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?
WE ARE NOT OKAY is the type of book that reminded me why i was so happy to have left school and why i never bothered going to the school prom. it deals with so many issues faced by teens in their day-to-day lives.
it shows the problems that come with being at the top and the bottom of the food chain in the popularity game, how detrimental and damaging bullying can be, and just how toxic and dangerous social media is.
issues such as bullying, rape, cyber bullying, eating disorders and teen pregnancy are explored within the book, through four perspectives. all four girls are facing the above problems, weighed down by society’s values and labels.
it’s a tale as old as time: the girl is always blamed, no matter what happened to her. she will be the victim and she will be blamed. this same thing was examined in my discussion of The Undoing of Ryder Burke.
the girls stories and lives intersect in school and through their struggles, we see how they change as people and grow as characters. WE ARE NOT OKAY highlights the importance of bullying and slut-shaming, the severity of bullying and the horrifying impact it can have on a person.
it reveals the brutal reality of how different the repercussions are for girls and boys and the double standards that constantly take place within society. it’s harrowing and heartbreaking, and i found myself relating to Sophia and Trina the most.
despite the raw and honest truth this book speaks about, and how important all the topics are, i didn’t really enjoy the writing itself. it felt almost like a completely unrevised, first version or a book written by a teen — i didn’t connect with the writing style whatsoever and found it subpar and a struggle to continue to reading.
the plot was good, it was important to read about and raise awareness for — but it just wasn’t fleshed out or executed well. because of that, i’d say WE ARE NOT OKAY is a 2.5 out of 5.
i do wish it was written better, so i didn’t have to skip through some of it. unfortunately, despite the seriousness of all of the issues, i would not recommend WE ARE NOT OKAY.
however one thing that should be taken into account from this book is how important is to always speak up and support one another, through every tragedy and every hard battle. life is hard enough as it is, without knocking down another person. it can have dire consequences.