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I Am Not Okay

*This is a book review of This Close to Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith.

“I make no apologies for loving sunny, happy music! The world is dark enough.”


Quick Facts

Author: Leesa Cross-Smith
Release Date: February 2, 2021
Genre: Fiction
Main Characters: Tallie and Emmett
Number of Pages: 320
SJ Rating: 79%

The Synopsis

When all seems lost, two very broken strangers come together for a few fateful days to learn and heal [a little] in a way that will change the trajectory of their lives.

The Good

Leesa Cross-Smith wasted no time getting into the plot of the story described in the initial synopsis, which made my soul happy. After the first couple of chapters, I also found an appreciation for the alternating points-of-view between the two leads.

The book is descriptive in all the necessary parts, which makes it decently easy to imagine and watch a mental movie. Like, when the author describes Emmett and Tallie as “soul-connected.”

One thing I deeply appreciate is that the author showcases the release that therapists, counselors, etc. need since they carry the weight of so many others’ problems on top of their own.

Something I absolutely loved is the consistent mention and discussion of interracial couples/relationships. I’m such a sucker for watching love conquer and create a merger of two cultures.

In some aspects, Emmett is the dream, and in some aspects, Tallie shares bits of my personality (especially being an empath and discontinuing relying on men so she does things by herself). Like, when she says, “Everyone likes pasta, right? It’s comforting.”

The Bad

I think I would like it a bit more in first person pov. I was so close to keeping this book, but the third person pov just doesn’t feel right to me for this particular story–even though the actual plot and wit and imagery is absolutely phenomenal, pretty much breathtaking.

As beautifully detailed as it was, I still found myself often times struggling to imagine the voices of the leads, especially when they consistently interrupted each other and gave me whiplash from the constant subject changing.

The Overall

After finishing this book, I have created another goal for myself: Have a beautiful instant connection like Emmett & Tallie and try to convince my brain that’s not unrealistic.


There’s a section in the story that talks about receiving closure, and with the way the book ended, I don’t feel like I received closure.

There was something unsatisfactory about the ending.

Next book to be read and reviewed: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

“I was open with you, and you hurt me, but I don’t regret any of this!”

– Tallie

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