We Are Okay

We Are Okay

A Novel

Book - 2017
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FPL_Jenni Apr 17, 2021

We Are Okay is a realistic fiction novel about Marin and her struggle to cope with the loss of her grandfather and the secrets he kept from her. After his death, Marin leaves California, and her best friend Mabel, with only her phone and her wallet and heads to New York where she will start her freshman year of university in a couple of weeks. LaCour describes Marin’s emotions about the whole situation with such empathy, and although audiences will surely relate to Marin, it does hurt to see her struggle in accepting everything that has happened to her. Marin attempts to erase her past by ignoring it wholeheartedly, but that all comes to a halt when Marin shows up at her dorm during winter break (in which Marin was planning on spending alone). With an achingly honest and beautiful narrative, it is no wonder that the novel was awarded the 2018 Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature.

Apr 16, 2021

We Are Okay tells the story of a college student named Marin who has left behind everything and everyone from her old life after the unexpected death of her grandfather. Her best friend, Mabel, is set on connecting with her again and visits Marin as she is spending winter break alone in her dorm. The novel explores the decline of Marin’s mental health and her inner struggle with depression.
This novel was extremely moving and powerful. It managed to flawlessly explore so many relevant issues like depression, mental health, and tragedy. Besides a minor plot hole, I loved everything about it and thought the author did a great job humanizing her characters. I especially appreciated how she didn’t shy away from painful realities, which managed to retain the story’s authenticity. This is the kind of story that stays with you long after you read it. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to read a touching, heartfelt story that explores important themes like mental health. 4.5/5 stars.

Barrie_Teen_Lists Mar 22, 2021

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour is a story about Marin and her past best friend Mabel. After Marin loses her grandfather, she decides that the memories she has of life in San Francisco are too painful to let her continue to live there. She runs away to New York, where she begins university classes and lives with her roommate, Hannah. The book begins at Christmastime, when all of the students have gone home to be with their families.

Feb 24, 2021

We Are Okay is such an amazing book! It is sad, heartfelt, and just so beautiful. The author: Nina LaCour portrayed the hurt her character felt so wonderfully I felt as though I was going through all that hurt myself. We Are Okay has love, loss and loneliness-I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good book with a sad, lonely main character trying to find themselves. We Are Okay follows Marin and her past and present self as she goes from the happy-go-lucky girl in California to the lonely-friendless girl in New York. I would recommend this book to readers 13+. If you choose to read this book, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 4.5/5 stars
@goodies06 of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Jan 01, 2021

The writing and plot moves quickly. I was able to finish this book in two days. There are a few really good lines and the setting and characters are believable. Not everything gets wrapped up perfectly by the end of this book, but I honestly love that. I'd recommend this book to people in the future, so for me, that's a good read.

Nov 22, 2020

This book should be a must-read for anyone who has ever had the feeling to run.

Jan 23, 2020

Oh my god this book was beautiful! I felt every second of grief and emotion that flowed throughout. I must admit that I began reading as a girl who likes girls and was REALLY routing for the girls to get together, but after I finished I made my peace with the fact that that wasn't the point. It was about the main character's emotional journey and her internal struggle to find some semblance of peace. I couldn't have asked for a better ending. I read it at work and I literally cried. It was so beautiful and passionate and hard. I could really relate in many ways as someone who went through depression and I almost felt a since of companionship and understanding with the main character.

I would recommend this book to people who are into deep literature. I would not recommend this book to people who are not prepared to deal with deep and hard emotional experiences.

Beautiful. Not my typical read, but I don't even care. So, so good.

Gina_Vee Jan 11, 2020

A few notes on this book... I started reading this book because Barnes and Noble listed it as a feminist read. Unless I'm missing something, this book is definitely not about feminism. It's about loss, grief, mental illness, love, friendship, sexuality, and family. I loved reading about how grief is portrayed in this book. Grief is such a complicated, life-changing stage in life, and the book does a great job of talking through those complications and what it looks like. I hated that the book didn't give me more on the relationship between the main character and her family. It sort of grazes over it in umbrella-like speech. As far as I can remember, not a lot in this book made me laugh. It's a pretty serious book. There were parts that almost made me cry though. Without giving any spoilers, there was a scene at the end of the book with Ana that hit me with such a force of tenderness, I almost cried. Overall, I'd definitely recommend the book to teens trying to understand grief.

Nov 18, 2019

A heartbreaking yet heartwarming story of love, loss, and the family we call our own.

Oct 10, 2019

This is probably one of the most beautifully heartbreaking books I’ve ever read. I don’t know much about the kind of grief that Marin went through, but this book helps me understand it a little more. I would recommend it to anyone who either wants an interesting story or is going through grief and wants someone to relate to.

LPL_MaryW Jul 20, 2019

When Marin suddenly flees her southern California home for college in New York, she leaves behind everything but her phone, her wallet, and a picture of her mother. Her best friend, Mabel, is even left in the dust - Marin won't answer her texts or calls. Over winter break, Marin stays alone in her college dorm, awaiting Mabel's arrival for a three-day visit. A lonely tale of grief and love, "We Are Okay" tests the limits of familial bonds and explores what it takes to start over. A stunning, compact volume featuring queer romance and parallels to "Jane Eyre" - definitely worth a read.

“I was okay just a moment ago. I will learn how to be okay again.”
This book is slow in pace, but I loved that it was written slowly, in the middle of winter, set in a nearly empty campus in a dorm room. It adds to the lonely, isolated, and desolate feelings that Marin is grappling with. One day Marin gets up and leaves her current life behind and starts over at a college in California, not having spoken to anyone from her former life in N.Y. She's alone in her dorm and awaiting a visit from her best friend Mabel, to finally confront her past. This is a beautifully woven story of grief, acceptance, and learning how to move on. Be prepared to read something light to lift your spirits after the heaviness of this beautiful story.

_m1_ Apr 06, 2019

This is a slow moving, character driven book which only takes place over a few days, with flashbacks. It's all about the emotional turmoil the main character is going through, which is slowly revealed throughout the story. I really empathized with the main character; her struggles are presented in such an honest way. I don't normally like YA fiction but to me, this book isn't limited to teens only. Also the cover art is amazing; I actually thought it was a graphic novel.

OPL_MichelleC Jan 16, 2019

Beautifully written and very powerful. Emotionally complex.

Nov 01, 2018

We Are Okay written by Nina LaCour encircles towards relationships and emotions. Marin’s brain is only full of sorrow and incompleteness as she is always feeling lonely and isolated, especially after her grandfather’s sudden death. She left her family and friends unnoticeably and settled into her new life with just a wallet, a cell phone, and a picture of her mother. She needed a break. The novel’s message is that it is best to move on, as someone you love is not how they always turn out to actually be. I feel that in this generation, this topic is very relevant as now’s society is always about putting on a fake personality so someone will like you, at least from what I have encountered in life before. It is important to love yourself since YOU are the only person YOU need. Of course, in this case, it was more than just loving one’s self for Marin. She is queer, and being a member of that community means going through severe times of loneliness and isolation. On top of this, she had to leave everything behind due to the sudden death of her grandfather. She encountered many obstacles starting at such a young age. I am not queer, but the reason I enjoyed this read was that it was short, and managed to convey a very strong saying regarding self-love. It was just such a beautifully impactful piece of literature that has so much meaning behind it. Give it a read! 4 stars
@Bookland of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

I chose this book initially for its beautiful cover art. Although I don't gravitate towards contemporary fiction, this breathtakingly, beautifully written book about love, loss, friendship, and loneliness, grabbed me from the start and would not let go until the end of time. If you enjoy books that are character driven and heartfelt, this is a good book for you. This is a very quiet written YA novel and It builds slowly, giving you only slivers of information to pull you along to give you the bigger picture. Morin's story is one of a person suffering from grief, which is something I know I can personally connect with. Her story is one of isolation, and mournful, but also hopeful. Nina LaCour is such a brilliant writer and this book feels so realistic and raw with emotion. "We Are Okay" is a fantastic read for those who love tougher topics in their YA novels and in this one, the story reveals itself slowly, page by page, just as the character emerges from the grief that envelopes her, the reader learns bit by bit what has brought her to this point. By the end, I couldn't tear myself away. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
@PocketFullOfBooks22 of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

We Are Okay is the story of Marin's old best friend, Mabel, coming to visit her. Honestly, I didn't like the story. I thought it was boring. The pace of the book is very slow. It's mostly character-driven. I tend to prefer books that contain more adventure. But there were a few parts I did enjoy about it. Seeing the story of Mabel's grandpa unfold seemed interesting to me. Other than that, it wasn't that appealing to me. It was quite emotional at times, but I didn't really feel it. Other people might enjoy this story a lot, but I personally didn't. Just not my style. 2.5/5 stars
@endoplasmicreticulum of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Aug 19, 2018

This is a short book that is all about emotion. There is no action. It's slow moving and takes place over 3 days with some flashbacks. It really made me sad listening to it. No one should go through that kind of loneliness and heartache.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Aug 06, 2018

A lovely character-driven exploration of grief. While this isn't the book every teen will want to read...the right reader will find the journey magical.

loonylovesgood Jun 28, 2018

Beautifully written. The last page made me cry, I admit. This would be a great pick for a teen YRCA book.

Apr 04, 2018

I loved the slow reveal of this heartbreaking novel. The story reveals itself slowly, page by page, just as the character emerges from the grief that envelopes her, the reader learns bit by bit what has brought her to this point. By the end, I couldn't tear myself away.

Feb 13, 2018

This is a very quiet YA novel. It builds slowly, giving you only slivers of information to pull you along to give you the bigger picture. Morin's story is one of a person suffering from grief, something I know I can personal connect with. Her story is one of isolation. It's mournful, but also hopeful. Nina LaCour is such an amazing writer and her teens always feel so realistic and raw with emotion. "We Are Okay" is a fantastic read for those who love tougher topics in their YA novels.

kobrien3 Feb 06, 2018

I chose this book initially for its beautiful cover art. While I don't often gravitate towards contemporary fiction, this beautifully written book about love, loss, friendship, and loneliness, grabbed me from the start and would not let go. If you enjoy books that are character driven and heartfelt, this may be a good pick for you.

SPPL_YouthServices Jan 30, 2018

All Marin has left for family is her grandpa. After his death, Marin must face starting her first year in college feeling alone both emotionally and physically. This is a quiet, moving story about family, grief, loneliness, forgiveness, and resilience. Teens who are going through life changes would relate well to this book. Recommended for grades 8 and up.

Jan 23, 2018

I don't usually read contemporaries. And I NEVER read books about grief or mental illness. I typically don't care to read about sad people and their woes in my spare time. However, this book and the way it dealt with grief struck a chord with me. It reminded me of the sadness and confusion I went through when I lost my father 15 years ago, and it also introduced to me the type of grief that others go through. I'm usually the type to tell people to just "get over it". This novel showed me, in detail, what Marin's thought process was, and how she was processing the events of the summer before in a way that I could understand and accept. Even though not much happened here, I was hooked the entire time I was listening to the audiobook and finished it in two days. I had trouble putting it down. Marin's character growth was done beautifully. I really, truly believed in what happened at the end. For such a short book, this really packs a punch- and I honestly think that I will be buying a copy of this to put on my shelf. Final rating 4.5.

The way this book was written, in terms of word choice was beautiful, but the way the author chose to not put the events in chronological order made the story hard to follow. If you like books where the story is merely about the characters and their relationships, you will love this book. If you look for a book that is plot driven, you will find “We Are Okay” very boring. I found the characters very real because of the amount of detail that the author gave so I expected myself to connect with the main character, Marin, but I just could not get into it. Sadly, I did not enjoy the slow pace of the book and couldn’t wait to be finished with it. - Ravia


This book is about a character named Marin who escapes her life in California to move to New York. Months after she left home, her best friend Mabel comes to visit her and now Marin is forced to face all the problems that she left behind in California.
I really liked how the book was written, where it bounced between present time and the year prior. And it was also written in a way where it was easy to understand but also beautifully written. I highly recommend this book because of its relatable and complex characters and for the happy ending. -Tanya

Marin left her home with only a few things in her pocket and moved to New York to attend college. She hasn’t spoken with anybody from her home for 3 months, until her friend Mabel comes to visit her from their hometown in California. Marin is reminded of her old life that she left behind and has to face the problems she has been trying to run away from.

Nina LaCour’s writing style is one of my favourite things about this book, the scenes are described with many details that really add to the story. The emotions within this story are incredibly captivating and are complemented by the writing style. The relationship between Marin and her grandfather was complicated, but by the end of the book, I understood the complexity of it. I also adore the diverse set of characters we are presented. They are all different in their own ways that make them interesting and fascinating to read.

The middle of the book became somewhat tiresome as I read on; there aren’t that many interesting events or scenes within this section of the story. However, I really enjoy the ending of the story and feel that it sums up the book perfectly.

All in all, this was a beautifully written, emotional and quick read. This is a melancholy story that really expresses the feeling of the book in a poignant and compelling manner.

Oct 21, 2017

There were a few good moments in the book, especially the ending, I was blown away but for the most part I felt Marin's pain, her sense of loss and longing and of the irrevocable change that had happened to her and that she would never be the same. But I guess that was the whole point to the book, right? I wish it had happened differently because I love happy endings that result from a plot that builds up to it. So even though I loved the ending, once again I was blown away, I'm still left feeling empty, unfulfilled. I had hopes for Marin, for Mable, heck even for Hannah but instead everything was messy and too real. Still it was a good read if you like that sort of thing, but I don't, not enough happy in it for me.

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