We Are Okay


Winner of the 2018 Michael L. Printz Award

Grieving.  It's Christmas break and Marin is the only student left in the dorms.  The groundskeeper knows she's there and she won't be alone for long. Her best friend from San Francisco is coming to spend three days with her bringing the memories of Grandpa and young love with her.

Mabel arrives and the two girls awkwardly begin to rebuild their friendship.  It's empty at first except for the pain they have caused each other.  But as the hours pass the memories of that one special summer start reeling off month by month and we are brought into the pain and the grief that both girls carry.  Marin lost her surfer mother when she was three years old.  She lived with her grandfather for years the two of them settled into a comfortable routine that clicked together like two gears meshing.  Except that Marin lived in the rooms in the front of the house and her grandfather holed up in the rooms in the back. Shared space included the kitchen and the laundry room.

Bloody handkerchiefs were Marin's first clue that everything wasn't going to last forever.  He was all she had.  He was the link to her mother.  Then he was gone and her world simply dissolved sending her into an abyss of grief and pain and never wanting to feel again.

Mabel is a bridge for Marin to get back to herself and to get back to the world that holds love and trust and real friendship.

This is an exquisitely told story of the moments of a life that can seem ordinary yet are actually tiny steps being taken in the direction of healing and a second chance.  This is about one human being who has suffered and is suffering the kind of pain that shuts you down and makes you want to hide from yourself.  You just don't want to know.

These are the words of someone who observes life in great detail; who sees the value and the hope in the smallest lift of an eyebrow or glance out the window.   For readers who appreciate the emotional journey and the courage of the choice to return to the place that let you down with the faith that love will be there.

240 pages     978-0525425892     Ages 14 and up


"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."--from the publisher

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