We Are Okay
by Nina LaCour

Overview - Winner of the 2018 Michael L. Printz Award -- An achingly beautiful novel about grief and the enduring power of friendship.

" Short, poetic and gorgeously written. " -- The New York Times Book Review

"A beautiful, devastating piece of art. 

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More About We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Winner of the 2018 Michael L. Printz Award -- An achingly beautiful novel about grief and the enduring power of friendship.

"Short, poetic and gorgeously written." --The New York Times Book Review

"A beautiful, devastating piece of art.
" --Bookpage

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.

An intimate whisper that packs an indelible punch, We Are Okay is Nina LaCour at her finest. This gorgeously crafted and achingly honest portrayal of grief will leave you urgent to reach across any distance to reconnect with the people you love.

Praise for We Are Okay

"Nina LaCour treats her emotions so beautifully and with such empathy." --Bustle

"Exquisite." --Kirkus

★ "LaCour paints a captivating depiction of loss, bewilderment, and emotional paralysis . . . raw and beautiful." --Booklist

★ "Beautifully crafted . . . . A quietly moving, potent novel." --SLJ

★ "A moving portrait of a girl struggling to rebound after everything she's known has been thrown into disarray." --Publishers Weekly

★"Bittersweet and hopeful . . . poetic and skillfully crafted." --Shelf Awareness

"So lonely and beautiful that I could hardly breathe. This is a perfect book." --Stephanie Perkins, bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss

"As beautiful as the best memories, as sad as the best songs, as hopeful as your best dreams."
--Siobhan Vivian, bestselling author of The Last Boy and Girl in the World

"You can feel every peak and valley of Marin's emotional journey on your skin, in your gut. Beautifully written, heartfelt, and deeply real." --Adi Alsaid, author of Never Always Sometimes and Let's Get Lost

  • ISBN-13: 9780525425892
  • ISBN-10: 0525425896
  • Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
  • Publish Date: February 2017
  • Page Count: 240
  • Reading Level: Ages 14-UP
  • Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.75 pounds

Related Categories

Books > Young Adult Fiction > Social Themes - Death, Grief, Bereavement
Books > Young Adult Fiction > Social Themes - Friendship
Books > Young Adult Fiction > LGBT

BookPage Reviews

A devastating, poignant story of a teen dealing with grief

In We Are Okay,author Nina LaCour (Everything Leads to You)tells a story more of absence than presence, looking with calm directness at grief and betrayal and the ways they can multiply outward. It’s a beautiful, devastating piece of art.

Marin is in school in New York, quietly living a new life and trying to leave behind the life she ran from. Her lonely Christmas break is interrupted by a visit from her best friend (and now ex-girlfriend), Mabel. The truth about the event that caused Marin to leave San Francisco with only what she held in her hands comes out slowly, and her grief in the face of it is cavernous. But notice the details LaCour shines a light on: the perfect yellow bowls Marin bought at a pottery shop, the potted plant thriving and in need of a larger container. If her existence now is sparse, it is not without color, or life.

The title hints at a happy ending, but the journey toward it passes through some of the darkest corners of the heart. Be prepared to be gutted—and grateful. We Are Okay is an extraordinary work by an author who keeps redefining and elevating her genre. Readers are lucky to have it.

This article was originally published in the February 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

BAM Customer Reviews