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We Are Okay

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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.

236 pages, Hardcover

First published February 14, 2017

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About the author

Nina LaCour

20 books5,666 followers
Nina LaCour is the Michael L. Printz Award-winning and nationally bestselling author of six young adult novels, including Watch Over Me and We Are Okay; the children's book Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle; and Yerba Buena, a novel for adults. She's on faculty at Hamline University's MFA in writing for Children and Young Adults program, and teaches an online class of her own called The Slow Novel Lab. A former indie bookseller and high school English teacher, she lives with her family in San Francisco.

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5 stars
27,829 (32%)
4 stars
33,437 (38%)
3 stars
18,930 (21%)
2 stars
4,584 (5%)
1 star
1,418 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 12,612 reviews
Profile Image for Ariel.
301 reviews64.1k followers
February 14, 2017
This is the kind of book I want to write. Which is a pretty big thing to say, I suppose.

What I really appreciated was that Nina LaCour abandoned the idea that a novel has to be entirely plot driven. This is a book about relationships and emotions and I liked being caught up in Marin's brain. I loved that it took place in winter, on an abandoned university campus, where everything amplified Marin's feelings of emptiness and isolation. I like that things like being coloured or queer were present but not plot devices. It all felt real and relevant. I also, and I cannot emphasize this enough, loved Nina LaCour's use of technology. I've made a video all about this, but I'm really irked by teenager representation that doesn't involve the internet or cellphones. Here it was masterfully intertwined. It never took me out of the story, it made it feel more grounded and real. I also loved that the book was short. It told it's story and then it stopped. It never dragged or wasted time. I love brevity, what can I say! I also really enjoyed that there was lots of cross-generational relationships - teenagers, parents, grandparents - because sometimes YA feels like a bizarre teen-only world.

I'm giving this 4 stars because I don't think it was my perfect book. I think some of Marin's reactions to things were overly angsty and that there weren't many powerful moments. I said this is the type of book I want to write because it felt like something that Nina LaCour poured herself into, something subtle and strong, a message she wanted to share. It isn't a new favourite for me, but I appreciated it lots.
Profile Image for chai ♡.
321 reviews156k followers
April 23, 2023
Have you ever finished reading a book and wondered what the last person who read it and resonated deeply with it is feeling and if they're okay?

This book is such an aching record of loneliness, and it's loneliness that cuts too close to the skin. But it's not what I'll remember years down the line, when I think about this book. Instead, I will remember its tender, beautiful, heartbreaking promise that things will be okay. That loneliness in the moment is never a guarantee of loneliness in the future, that sadness is not a fixed point in one’s life any more than happiness is. That it will be hard, another day in the bathroom stall, crying for no reason you can put words around, another day of not answering your friends' texts and being unable to get yourself out of bed. But happiness will show up, and you will learn to find it even if it’s not where you expected it: your cat purring in your lap, a stranger smiling at you in the train, some stupid meme your friend sent you because it reminded them of you, an exceptionally beautiful sunset, or just a really good book. Happiness will show up, and for however long it stays, you will be okay.
Profile Image for Kat.
270 reviews80k followers
October 10, 2022
we are okay?? we? are? okay? WE are okay??????? who is we??? WHO IS WE?! i have never been worse! nina lacour is so good at ghost stories, this was beautiful. the loneliness was palpable, the quietness so loud. i could taste the emotion, or maybe it was just the salt from my own tears?? cried in a park while staring into the unsympathetic rodent eyes of a squirrel hiding nuts for the winter. what a time, excellent reread experience, would recommend!
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,535 reviews9,942 followers
August 18, 2022
I’m not sure what’s going on with me, but this book was on my favorites list and I loved it so much. I’ve left my previous review below as I’m totally confused as to why I dropped this to 3 stars abd I felt it was a slog to get through. I can only guess that we really do change sometimes 😕

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾


This book was everything to me. 5 Stars

"'Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can."'


You go through life thinking there's so much you need. Your favorite jeans and sweater. The jacket with the faux-fur lining to keep you warm. Your phone and your music and your favorite books. Mascara. Irish Breakfast tea and cappuccinos from Trouble Coffee. You need your yearbooks, every stiffly posed school-dance photo, the notes your friends slipped into your locker. You need the camera you got for your sixteenth birthday and the flowers you dried. You need your notebooks full of the things you learned and don't want to forget. You need your bedspread, white with black diamonds. You need your pillow-it fits the way you sleep. You need magazines promising self-improvement. You need your running shoes and your sandals and your boots. Your grade report from the semester you got straight As. Your prom dress, your shiny earrings, your pendants on delicate chains. You need your underwear, your light-colored bras and your black ones. The dream catcher hanging above your bed. The dozens and dozens of shells in glass jars.

The cab was waiting at the station.
The airport, I said, but no sound came out.
"The airport," I said, and we pulled away.
You think you need all of it.
Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.

First off the book cover it one of the best ever. And the inside pages are beautiful too. The front page with the one light in the dorm room speaks so many volumes to me.

Marin is trying to make a new life for herself. She has a roommate in college, she's trying to get a job, which she eventually does at a wonderful place, she's just trying to live from day to day. She's alone while everyone is away for the holidays. There are a few left in the dorms but not many. And her best friend Mabel is on her way to see her. What is going to happen? Will Marin share the reasons why she left everything, everyone?

I can't believe I have had this book for so long and just now found out what a jem I had. It went straight to my favorites list. Is if for everyone? No. But I'm not everyone. I'm ME. It touches a part of me that made me feel happy/sad/hopeful.

Did I cry. Yeah. And that ending. I can't even.

How could such a small book pack such a powerful punch to me. I'm going to do some things that were in the book. Just some little things. Everything is in the little things people. EVERYTHING...

Mel ♥

Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for emma.
1,866 reviews54.4k followers
April 23, 2023
The person who will like this book is a very particular one.

If you don’t like character-driven stuff, STAY FAR AWAY FROM THIS BOOK. No, seriously. Leave this review right now, even. There is not even a question of you possibly liking this book. SO GET OUT OF HERE, OKAY?

Just kidding. You can stay if you want. But only if it’s for my charming personality and not for a potential recommendation.

Okay. Now I am going to try to make A Point that is perched on a very thin line. And I will almost certainly fail ini this endeavor.

As someone who writes a lot of negative reviews, I understand that people have varying opinions on books. Duh. That’s, like, part of what makes this whole reviewing thing fun. And even with the books I love most, I try to never be like, “What the hell!!!! It’s illegal for you to give this one star!!!”

Except for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Because I’m currently thirty-seven months away from achieving the “sole Goodreads admin” phase of my eighteen-step world domination program, and when that happens it literally will be impossible for you to give one star to the greatest book of all time.

If you think about it, I’m really just being considerate.

But back to this point I’m procrastinating.

Here’s what I’m trying to sidestep, but will eventually just have to come out and say in some way, shape, or form, and I may as well do so succinctly and now:

If you don’t like this book, I think you’re wrong.

The major complaint I’ve seen about it is that it’s “boring.” And I get that. And like, I’m really sorry, but depression is not exactly a day trip to the amusement park. So it’s not going to rank alongside heists and nefarious plotting and research montages in terms of top-five most entertaining storylines.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not an important book.

If you don’t want to read a depiction of mourning and depression and a semi-realistically-staged healing process, that’s fair - so just STAY AWAY. Don’t blame the book for being boring. It’s not fun to be depressed.

There were bits of the overall depiction that I didn’t like. Things that felt too convenient, or dramatic, or cheesy. There was a strange twist I never understood, and the relationship at the core of the text confused me to no end, and there was maybe a little too much hope. (Depression isn’t there and gone.)

But generally, this is one of the better renditions of depression I’ve seen in YA. It’s also so f*cking good at discussing some of the difficulties of going to college. It captures that initial loneliness.

(Wow. I’m really making myself excited to start all over again when I start at a whole new college at the end of the summer. Yay, transferring.)

Jesus Christ I wish I had a half star. This book was not a three star read, but I’m equally opposed to giving it four, goddamn it.

Anyway. I feel preach-y and I hate myself for it and I want to shut up. So I’m just going to say this book is also beautifully written and then throw in some quotes and leave.

Bottom line: Only read it if you know what you’re getting into. Because if you two-star it for being boring after reading this review, I get to pinch you.

Read the fine print.


“I wish you more happiness than can fit in a person.”

“I could say the night felt magical, but that would be embellishment.
That would be romanticization.
What it actually felt like was life.”

“We were nostalgic for a time that wasn't yet over.”

“If only I had something to take the edge off the loneliness. If only lonely were a more accurate word. It should sound much less pretty.”

reread update

all is right with the world (because i'm buddy reading with lily)

raised to 4 stars from 3.5 upon reread
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,095 reviews17.7k followers
August 30, 2019
We Are Okay is a book about learning the people you used to love were something beyond what you believed them to be. It is a book about learning to move on. It is a book about learning to be with yourself and be with your grief. It is also a book about loneliness, deep and profound loneliness, cloying and suffocating.

In clearer terms, this is a book about Marin, a girl who has lost her grandfather, and in doing so, pushed away her former best friend, Mabel. So when Mabel comes to town, Marin does not know what to do with the memories. Marin at once does not want Mabel here, regrets her being here, but also desperately wants Mabel to love her. She has walls up and she wants them down, but she is too terrified for them to ever come down. Marin has lost everything, including Mabel, her best friend and her maybe-something-more.

But it’s not a romance between Marin and Mabel. That is what is perhaps the saddest part. I once saw Nina LaCour talk live about this book, and she said something that perfectly sums up what is so arresting about this book: being queer and in love with your best friend is different than being straight and in love with your best friend. One is an experience in first love, and one is also that, but with an added experience of fear – not of rejection but of disgust. We do not want to hurt our best friends by loving them. We have learned to be ashamed of love and we carry that with us, through thick and through thin.
“If only I had something to take the edge off the loneliness. If only lonely were a more accurate word. It should sound much less pretty.”

Loneliness is not a queer-only experience, not by any means; that would not be a fair claim. But being queer is a loneliness experience. We are all, in our own ways, not a part of the norm, not a part of the life others are allowed. We find our own lives in the cracks and spaces. (“I could say the night felt magical, but that would be embellishment - that would be romanticization. What it actually felt like was life,” Marin says of her first and only date with Mabel.) And in the wake of losing a grandfather, of losing the only person she has ever been raised by, Marin has found herself caught in a trap of being alone; she cannot rekindle a friendship with Mabel, because their history screams too loud.

None of this is stated in We Are Okay, but the idea of loneliness is perhaps the most consistent fact of the story; whether alone or with Mabel, Marin is always lonely. She is always lonely, until she and Mabel finally discuss and unpack their history, and move on to a future where they can both heal, as friends if not as lovers.

We Are Okay is not an action-packed story, and it is not in your face, and it will not make you scream at One Specific Significant Line. It is a book to feel, a book to hurt, and a book to heal. I’ve been trying to understand for months how I felt about this book because I think sitting on something like this is absolutely essential. We Are Okay is an incredibly slow, an incredibly quiet, an incredibly subtle story, but thinking back on my experience reading it two years ago, I feel like crying. It means the world.

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Profile Image for Natalie.
567 reviews3,196 followers
June 5, 2020
“The trouble with denial is that when the truth comes, you aren’t ready.”

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.

“If our past selves got a glimpse of us now, what would they make of us?”

This book came so unexpectedly into my life, but I'm eternally grateful that it did so. There's simply so much to love about We Are Okay that I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed writing this, but thankfully lists exist for me to break it down point by point:

• We have a switching narrative between the past and future, which adds tremendously to the ongoing intrigue. Usually with books that have a similar structure, I struggle connecting with either the past or the present but that was not the case with We Are Okay. Far from it, actually. I kept switching my love for the chapters set in the past and those set in the present.
• The author gets so many things right. From leaving your home and friends and childhood behind, to tackling loneliness, grief, friendship, f/f love, bisexuality, heartbreak, and talking about books and paintings, positive adult figures, and so much more. But I especially want to address how Marin’s broken longing felt so palpable. I could virtually feel her grief coming off the page, which is by no means an easy feat to achieve in writing.
• Speaking of, LaCour's words blew me off the page. I just loved how certain scenes drew a perfectly fitting picture in my mind.

Exhibit A:

“She leans over our table and turns the sign in the window so that it says CLOSED on the outside. But on our side, perfectly positioned between Mabel’s place and mine, it says OPEN. If this were a short story, it would mean something.”

I had to laugh at how witty that passage was.

And then hiding my smile at this gentle and still scene following at nighttime:

“So I turn over and find Mabel closer to me than I’d realized. I wait a minute there to see if she’ll move away, but she doesn’t. I wrap my arm around her waist, and she relaxes into me. My head nestles in the curve behind her neck; my knees pull up to fit the space behind hers.
She might be asleep. I’ll only stay here for a couple of minutes. Only until I thaw completely. Until it’s enough to remind me what it feels like to be close to another person, enough to last me for another span of months. I breathe her in. Tell myself I need to turn away.
Soon. But not yet.
“Don’t disappear again,” she says. “Okay?”
Her hair is soft against my face.
“Promise me.”
“I promise.”

My heart. These two have my heart.

• The summer chapters are set in San Francisco, mainly at the beach, which is one of my all-time favorite locations.

“Tourists descended onto our beach, sat in our usual places, so we borrowed Ana’s car and crossed the Golden Gate to find a tiny piece of ocean to have for ourselves. We ate fish-and-chips in a dark pub that belonged in a different country, and we collected beach glass instead of shells, and we kissed in the redwoods, we kissed in the water, we kissed in movie theaters all over the city during matinees and late-night showings. We kissed in bookstores and record stores and dressing rooms. We kissed outside of the Lexington because we were too young to get in. We looked inside its doors at all the women there with short hair and long hair, lipstick and tattoos, tight dresses and tight jeans, button-ups and camisoles, and we pictured ourselves among them.”


• And since Marin’s from San Francisco but moved to NYC for college, the winter chapters set for the perfectly gloomy and quiet atmosphere. And as this books mentions, “It was quiet, maybe, but it wasn’t simple.”
• I loved the attention paid to details. You could tell how much the story meant to the author just by little things such as the names of the girls:

“Just different enough,” I said.
“As usual.”
Since we’d met, we had a thing for our names’ symmetry. An M followed by a vowel, then a consonant, then a vowel, then a consonant. We thought it was important. We thought it must have meant something. Like a similar feeling must have passed through our mothers as they named us. Like destiny was at work already. We may have been in different countries, but it was only a matter of time before we would collide into each other.”

• And now that I've successfully circled back to my favorites, I have to talk about how stunningly earnest their relationship felt. We get to see them through all the stages: from strangers to friends to lovers to something more to something undefinable and then... And then going back and forth until they find their footing. It was everything I wanted and more. They're so good for one another.
• Like I wrote in my review for Queens of Geek, I live for books that write about girls. Girls supporting girls. Girls loving girls. Girls, girls, girls!!! And so this book fulfilled my heart while reading about Marin's remarkable roommate and compassionate new boss and noteworthy best friend.

“I look at her. I wish her everything good. A friendly cab driver and short lines through security. A flight with no turbulence and an empty seat next to her. A beautiful Christmas. I wish her more happiness than can fit in a person. I wish her the kind of happiness that spills over.”

This is still one of the kindest things I’ve ever read. My eyes are burning again.


• Side note: the amount of times my eyes teared up while reading was low-key alarming. But it was like I couldn't help it, especially towards the end. Like Marin said, “I was crying, trying not to cry.” We Are Okay is tragic and hopeful and morose and every adjective in the world that will help encompass the beauty of this story.
• And last but not least, I delighted in the fact that the families played such a big part in this book. Specifically centering on Mabel's Mexican-American family and how fervently they welcomed Marin with open arms. Ana and Javier are two of the kindest souls and made my heart swell more than once with their words and actions.

All in all: I'm beyond grateful that I picked this up on a whim because I don't think I'll find anything like it soon. But I know that I'll look forward to any of Nina LaCour's future works to come out.

P.S. This song felt really fitting for the mood this story is conveying (since it also mentions summertime and being seventeen and drinking whiskey). I listened to it on repeat until, to paraphrase this book, its sound turned to nothing.


Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying We Are Okay, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!

This review and more can be found on my blog.
Profile Image for Cindy.
407 reviews116k followers
March 4, 2018
A short and simple read that surprisingly packs with emotion. I related to the main character a lot and ended up crying at the end of her emotional journey. The writing is simplistic but manages to craft a very purposeful mood that portrays the loneliness of a young girl so realistically. It may not be the most amazing book ever, and it doesn't have a crazy-spectacular plot, but it's a quiet story that hits home for me.
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
546 reviews34.7k followers
November 11, 2019
”I wonder if there’s a secret current that connects people who have lost something. Not in the way that everyone loses something, but in the way that undoes your life, undoes your self, so that when you look at your face it isn’t yours anymore.”

This book was one of the most beautiful books I ever read. Not only because the writing style is amazing but also because there is so much truth in it. The truth can be beautiful, it can be bittersweet, it can be painful and excruciating, it can hurt you but it can also give you hope. The truth of “We Are Okay”? It does all those things and even more.

”No one will know if you stay in bed all day. No one will know if you wear the same sweatpants for the entire month, if you eat every meal in front of television shows and use T-shirts as napkins. Go ahead and listen to that same song on repeat until its sound turns to nothing and you sleep the winter away.”

There’s a sadness in this book, on every page, in every single line. It seeps from the pages, it’s a tangible and breathing thing. It makes it hard to pick up the book and it stays throughout the entire story. A silent and looming companion, something to be afraid of but also something that keeps you going, something that accompanies you, for better or for worse. There were so many things I could relate to and I think my personal experiences made up a big part of the story’s appeal.

”I’m just afraid that one day something’s going to catch me by surprise. Stale coffee. Squares of American cheese. Hard tomatoes, so unripe they’re white in the center. The most innocent things can call back the most terrible.”

How can anyone who hasn’t gone through loss even comprehend how hard it is to remain a living, functioning and acting part of this world? The answer is simple: They can’t. Grief is something that changes you, it turns and twists you, you might look the same on the outside but on the inside you’re shaken to your core. Once grief found you, it leaves its mark and it’s something you carry with you for the rest of your life. You can’t get rid of it and you recognize it in people that made the same experiences.

”But I know that there’s a difference between how I used to understand things and how I do now. I used to cry over a story and then close the book, and it all would be over. Now everything resonates, sticks like a splinter, festers.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m always glad for the people who never experienced such a profound loss. They still have some sort of innocence to them; they’ve never been shattered like that and don’t have to try to fit together the pieces of a puzzle they didn’t even know existed. It’s not easy to come back from this kind of grief and it doesn’t only take away your innocence, it also steals your youth.

”In the kitchen, I put a pot of water on the stove. Before the water reaches a boil, he will be here. I dropped pasta in and set the timer. Before the then minutes are up. I melted some butter. I wasn’t hungry, but I would eat it anyway, and by the time I was done, he would walk through the door and call out my name.”

*sighs* How I could relate to this part of the book. The waiting, the hoping that her grandfather would turn up. The ingrained KNOWING that he wouldn’t. That utter and deafening sense that something is wrong but you can’t do anything to make it right. You’re helpless, desperate and frantic and you just don’t know what to do. Until, well, until someone eventually confirms your biggest fears. Until someone shatters your world forever.

”And Hannah kept saving me. She saved me with never asking questions, with instead reading to me about bees and botany and evolution. She saved me with clothes she loaned me and never took back. She saved me with seats next to her in the dining hall, with quick evasions when people asked me questions I couldn’t answer, with chapters read aloud and forced trips off campus and rides to the grocery store and a pair of winter boots.”

But thankfully there are people like Hannah out there. People that watch out for you, that don’t turn away from you but embrace you with all your shattered parts. I’m pretty sure Hannah might have experienced loss too because she stuck with Marin and in my experience only people that went through it will react like that. The others? Well, those who are fortunate will have never experienced anything like it, so they’ll say how sorry they are, they’ll try to cheer you up, but when you fall into that black and endless rabbit hole of grief. Well, they’ll eventually lose interest after a few days or weeks (if you’re lucky) and then move on. Without you…

It took Marin months to speak about her loss; it took me an entire year to open up and to speak about mine. A year that changed me forever, a year I’ll never get back. I really wish I would have had this book when I was seventeen and I hope and pray that everyone who experiences the very same thing will stumble upon it. That they’ll find solace and hope in Nina LaCour’s words and that they’ll eventually find the strength to move on. Because the truth is: Life is merciless and it doesn’t pause for the living.

If I learned anything then it’s this and that you’ve to live your life like there will be no tomorrow.
Make your experiences, don’t regret anything, recognize your loss, stay true to yourself, keep on fighting, keep living, because it’s worth it. Life is so worth it and you only have one chance! Make it count! ;-)

This said, I love this book with all my heart and I’ll recommend it to everyone who ever experienced loss! This, this is your book! Your voice! Your thoughts on paper! Read it and heal! <3

"Say yes."


A lot of my friends read this book and they all gave it a stellar rating, so I’m pretty curious if I’ll like it too.

From what I could glean from the updates the title seems to be the complete opposite of what it claims and naturally this only caused me to be even more intrigued.

“We are okay.” Until we’re not

Let’s find out if this is one of those stories…
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.5k followers
March 5, 2019
lets talk about grief. and how it affects everyone in different ways. its can slowly creep up on you. it can hit you suddenly and with great intensity. and sometimes its always present, making itself comfortable in your loneliness. its one of those emotions that is difficult to express and, because of that, i applaud this story. grief and loneliness are not pretty feelings, but this novel handles them will care and authenticity. and while the writing in this story is beautiful, grief can be a very ugly thing and i appreciate how this story shows that. ugliness and all. this story is so human and its very refreshing to read.

the main reason i didnt round up my rating, which i normally do, is because this didnt quite impact me as much as i was hoping. for being such a real and heavy story, i felt a little emotionally distant from it. due to the content matter, i believe this is the kind of story will impact people in different ways depending on whats going on in the readers life. for me, grief isnt something i have experienced a lot lately. i have no doubt that if i were to pick this up at a different point in time, this story would resonate with me more profoundly.

overall, this is a such a genuine and tender story about grief, loneliness, and one girls desire to overcome them via the bonds of friends and family. a must read for those needing a little extra support, love and a gentle reminder that you are not alone.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Warda.
1,207 reviews19.7k followers
December 12, 2017
[4.5 stars] I'm crying buckets. I haven't cried this much over a book since I finished reading A Court of Wings and Ruin. This book was stunning. Absolutely stunning. I felt every single word. Some of them were just outright painful, but I was connected, grieving alongside Marin.

It is an incredible story about a girl who's coming to terms with the death of her grandfather and her losses in life, which she's experienced so much of so young. Such a short book, but so beautifully impactful.
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,607 reviews10.7k followers
December 13, 2022



Words are hard. I read this in under 24-hours and feel a little lost, not gonna lie. Nina LaCour, how dare you!?

How dare you stomp on my heart with your beautiful, thoughtful story!

Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews596 followers
February 28, 2019
Update -- This is $2.99 today as a kindle download -- (read other reviews) -- its not for everyone -- but it was for me. I haven't given away my hard copy -I love how it feels in my hand -- its funny how my mind works - If this were a $1.99 today --(instead of $2.99) -- I might buy it --then finally give my physical copy away. Gotta clear out books once in awhile!

Point is -- if you THINK this book is for YOU -- it probably is!!!! I saw 'low' reviews 'before' I read it --yet I still knew I wanted to read it. I loved it!! sooooooooooo much feeling --things to think about in this little pint size book!

Morning Thursday greetings!!! xox

I was drawn to this book from the first time I saw it. Soon after, I saw several 'low' . I was still curious.

I knew parts of this book took place in the SF Bay Area... parts in New York....plus I had read that the author, Nina LaCour, lives in Oakland, Ca. I was 'jazzed'. How bad could this book be? NOT BAD AT ALL FOR ME!!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!

I read this book slow over 3 days. ----The story takes place over 3 days too!

It's a tiny book. It could be read in one or two hours, but that's not how I read it. I knew early on that I didn't want to say goodbye to MARIN!!! I didn't want to leave her... I just wanted to be there - with this young girl as much as possible. I wanted to tell her ---"I understand the loneliness- the grief - the fears - the emptiness. I related to her and her situation.
.....of the summer between my Senior Year in High School and College
.....of living alone with only my mother -passing each other like distant roommates.
......years of living in an apt. -- threadbare- just my mother and I.
......I thought of David Vann's book, "Aquarium", ... even though the stories are different. This book brought back feelings I had from that powerful book, too.
......I remembered a time - living in Oakland - around the time Martin Luther King died...of not knowing where my mother was for a couple of days - scared and worried.
......I thought about my grandparents and their pawnshop store on Broadway Ave. in Oakland. I thought about my private time with my 'Gramps' before he died. I was only 7 when he died of a stroke - two years after my dad died of a heart attack.
......I thought about all the many kids that grow up with with only 1 caretaker-adult. ( especially an only child).
......I also thought of our own older daughter. ( a sweet happy memory). There was reference to the play "The Turning of the Screw", in "We Are Okay".
Our daughter played the leading female role at the San Jose Rep. She was 12 years old. It was her first equity performance -- phenomenal show -- performances were extended beyond the standard 6 week run.
........I 'still' wish I didn't have to say goodbye to Marin. I like Mabel too!!

To me .... this is close to a perfect book! It may not be for everyone- but for some of us it allows our souls to sing!!!

One excerpt:
"It was a summer of trying not to think too deeply. A summer of pretending that the end wasn't coming. A summer I got lost in time, when I rarely knew what day it was, rarely cared about the hour. A summer so bright and warm it made me believe the heat would linger, that there would always be more days, that blood on handkerchiefs was an exercise in stain removal and not a sign of oblivion".

I've already been reading pages again. I absolutely treasure this book!!!!!!

Even the 'acknowledgments' .... the touching sharing by author Nina LaCour moved me - and warmed me all over!!!
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 6 books13.7k followers
November 13, 2020
“If only lonely were a more accurate word. It should sound much less pretty.”

There are books that roar and scream and radiate power. This is not one of those books. It is a book that shows ultimate strength in its tranquillity. We Are Okay may be a quiet book, but its force will tear you apart and put you back together again. It will give room to your grief, then stroke your hair, hug you tightly and warm your heart piece by piece.

By the first page, I was already lost between the pages of this book. By page sixty I had nearly burst into tears in public three times. I recommend you do not read this on public transport. But I could not put it down. I savoured every single sentence, every word. This book tells the story of loss, grief, and loneliness. It resonated deeply with me, and more than once I felt completely understood. The author knows how to define different kinds of silence: That between two people who have lost each other and try to find their way back to being an "us", a "we". The silence of a heart too hurt to remember the past. The silence of a warm fireplace and snow falling outside. Nina LaCour knows about growing up, about nostalgia for something that has not yet passed and, more importantly, she knows how to put these feelings into words that make you feel them, too.

She also knows that your sexuality is not the only important thing about you as a person. That it is not the only story you have to tell.

I think I fell a little bit in love with this book.

Find more of my books on Instagram
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
720 reviews1,113 followers
May 17, 2022
4 ⭐️

“But I know that there’s a difference between how I used to understand things and how I do now. I used to cry over a book and then close the book, and it would all be over. Now everything resonates, sticks like a splinter, festers.”

A quiet, but powerful and emotional read.
Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone since she let to go to university. Not even her best friend Mabel.

We start with Marin about to spend the entire Winter break alone in her university dormitory. Mabel is due to visit for a few days, between the conversations they have and the flashbacks we read, Marin’s past is revealed to us bit by bit.

It is very sad in places and quite shocking. It covers a lot of ground in such a short book. I found it pretty overwhelming, but important nonetheless.

Ordered online because book buying has become my new coping mechanism.
Profile Image for BernLuvsBooks .
828 reviews4,706 followers
February 17, 2019
"Life is paper thin and fragile. Any sudden change could rip it wide-open."

A short, easy read (I read it in a few hours in 1 sitting) about loneliness, heartbreak & eventual healing. It's slow paced - there isn't any real action in the plot. It's really centered around emotion - Marin's feelings which become clearer to us as we read, allowing us to learn her truths.

I enjoyed the story for what it was but I personally wasn't blown away by it. There were parts that dragged a bit for me and with it being such a quick/short read I didn't expect that. The end though - I really enjoyed it. There was so much love, raw emotion & hope within those last few pages. I just didn't enjoy the entire book as much as I did those last few pages making this one a 3.5 star read for me. It wasn't bad. It wasn't great. It was a book I enjoyed, just not one I think I will remember with much detail over time.
Profile Image for l..
491 reviews2,136 followers
January 6, 2022
(Yes, rereading books with emma is one of the greatest pleasures in my life.)


I am not okay.

This book’s title sounds like something I tell people when in reality it’s the exact opposite of what I am.
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,509 reviews29.5k followers
June 21, 2019
4.5 stars.

"I wonder if there's a secret current that connects people who have lost something. Not in the way that everyone loses something, but in the way that undoes your life, undoes your self, so that when you look at your face it isn't yours anymore."

Marin (pronounced like the county in California) was once surrounded by people who loved her. She was raised by her grandfather since her mother's death when she was young, and Marin and her best friend, Mabel, were inseparable. She even was close to Mabel's parents, who treated her a bit like she was their own daughter.

But Marin fled her California home in the wake of a discovery and a tragedy, and now she is poised to spend Christmas by herself in her dorm room in chilly New York. Although her roommate has helped Marin navigate the many awkward moments and uncertainties of freshman year in college, she still considers herself to be a loner, unworthy of the attention people are paying her and unsure of how to interact with people.

What Marin is most apprehensive about during the holidays is facing Mabel, who is coming to visit from California for three days. The two haven't spoken since Mabel left for college, just before the tragedy that sent Marin running. Mabel doesn't understand what happened to her friend, and why she hasn't responded to almost all of her texts, calls, and emails. And no one understands why Marin left her old life behind.

Marin isn't sure she's ready to share the truth with anyone, let alone Mabel. If she does, she also will have to confront her feelings, which have mostly remained hidden all this time, and she may have to accept how much things have changed. She's also afraid to let her guard down and leave her heart open, for fear that once again she might be left with nothing.

What happened back in California that made Marin run and not look back? Why is she willing to be alone rather than share her pain, her fears, her grief with those who love her? Why would she rather be alone than try to make friends and move on with her life?

Nina LaCour's We Are Okay is nearly 250 pages long, but it packs a potent, emotional punch. This is a thought-provoking, tremendously poignant book that so deftly explored how grief and betrayal can truly destroy a person, and how when we need rescuing the most we're unwilling to let anyone help. At the same time, the book painted a fascinating picture about friendship, and how it can bring both joy and pain.

I loved the book that LaCour wrote with David Levithan, You Know Me Well , and this book cemented my admiration of the way she writes. I was a little confused by some elements of the plot and it took a while for Marin to reveal—to Mabel and to the reader—the reasons behind her actions. (I'll admit I still was unclear for longer than I should have been!) But those issues notwithstanding, this book left me a teary-eyed mess when I read it in one sitting on a flight.

Books about friendships and how they shape us—for better or worse—always appeal to me, and We Are Okay is an excellent addition to that oeuvre. Pick it up for the emotion; stay for LaCour's sensational storytelling.

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.

Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2018.html.

You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
Profile Image for Sarah Samir.
609 reviews358 followers
June 5, 2023
قراءة مشتركة مع صديقتي الغالية داليا نور الدين وكانت اكتر قراءة صادمة لينا احنا الاتنين الحقيقة ومن كل النواحي الممكنة
بما انها كانت قراءة متعددة اللغات هي باللغة العربية وانا الاصلية باللغة الانجليزية واكتشفنا ان كل واحدة فينا معاها حمادة تاني خالص

مصيبة عملتها عصير الكتب وكانت البداية بترجمة العنوان الغريبة ..لما قررتوا تحتفظوا بمفهوم العنوان ترجموه زي ما هو طالما مش مطلوي اسم تجاري وهي مش رواية بوليسية يعني

المهم بقى نيجي لأهم نقطة واللي غاظتني اوي
فخلينا نتكلم عن حمادة اللي عندي الامريكاني ونقارنه بحمادة المصري الكيوت
الرواية بتتكلم عن مارين بنت توفت امها وعاشت مع جدها حياة مستقرة نوعا لكن منفصلة بما انها كلها خصوصيات وماحدش ليه دعوة بالتاني لكن المعاملة جميلة والجد كان سند في كل الاحوال في اساسيات الحياة (نفس الكلام مع حمادة المصري)
مارين ليها صديقة اسمها مايبل في حمادة الامريكاني مارين شاذة ومايبل bisexual
والمصيبة ان بينهم علاقة حب ومشاهد من اياها وتعلق مرضي من ناحية مارين
(حمادة المصري مايبل سند وصديقة جدعة وحبوبة ونتمنى كلنا زيها وكلها صداقة بريئة) والنقطة دي قطمت وسطنا انا وداليا جدا

بأي حق المترجم ودار النشر يدوا لنفسهم الحق في التغييرات الجوهرية دي.. ازاي نحول علاقة شاذة ما بين بنتين ومبني عليها ال��حداث وردود الافعال لمجرد صداقة وسند جميل
طب انا كقارئ كتبت مراجعة كيوت وكلها مشاعر عن رواية عظيمة اوي وييجي شخص قرأ النسخة الاصلي ويفترض تماما من كلامي اتفاقي مع علاقة البنتين ببعض اللي انا فاكراها صداقة واخوة لعلاقة شذوذ مقززة في النسخة الاصلية وبناءا على مراجعتي العميقة حد من الاصدقاء يقرر يقرأ النسخة الأصلية ويتصدم بالقرف اللي فيها
واطلع انا من الجماعة ال open-minded اياهم
اللي الدنيا كلها peace عندهم وكل واحد حر

في نيتي ما كنتش هكتب مراجعة بما اني مختلفة مع المفهوم الاساسي وتوجه البطلتين وميولهم واللي يخالف مفاهيمي وديني واخلاقي
بس بما اني شوفت هبل عصير وشوفت ان الترجمة خداعة فقررت اني اكتب كلمتين وقفوا في زوري
واقول لعصير شكراااا عشان هترجعوني للقراءة باللغة الاصلية بدل المترجم اللي قرب ينسيني الانجليزي خالص

التقييم نجمة ليا انا والله استحقها بعد العك دا 💔
شكرا صديقتي العزيزة داليا على المشاركة الجميلة وحرقة دمنا المشتركة وربنا يستر من اللي جاي 😅❤

مراجعة صديقتي داليا
Profile Image for 『 jaelyn ♛』.
143 reviews37 followers
March 6, 2021
“I was okay just a moment ago. I will learn how to be okay again.”

this book feels like a journal to me. i felt like Nina LaCour just ransacked my bedroom and found my nonexistent journal and was like "hmm well she's sad and gay so let's make a book about that" and the rest is history.

i feel like 2018 is the year i finally read books by the authors i've been wanting to read for years. Maggie, Adam, Schwab, Becky, et cetera. and now, it's nina!! i've been interested in her books ever since Everything Leads to You came out. it's just because i'm a lazy ass who has mood changes and doesn't pick up her anticipated releases until years after. (i swear i'll read you soon <3). i regret nothing after reading this book.

this book feels like a safe place for me. it's quietly beautiful, inside and out (look at the cover !!! ohmygod). while i was reading this, i was listening to soft piano, then classic ghibli. you could say i was in tears by the first paragraph. Nina's writing is simple yet impactful. from the suddenness of marin's thoughts, to mabel's concern. everything just felt lovely and this is one of my favorite books so far this year.

i think it's because i just relate so so much to marin and how she feels inside. i've felt her kind of loneliness countless of times. where even my favorite book couldn't make me want to crawl out of the hole i've dug myself in. i've felt her kind of sad. to the point where i'm afraid of being too sad, too scared, too loud. if her character was written another way, i feel like i would have given this a lower rating (3.75 stars probably). i've been in the same place as her—i've experienced all the uneasy thoughts and emotions she feels throughout this novel. and i think that's what makes me love this book as much as i do.

because, even though it's not even 300 pages, it still impacts you more than any 700+ novel could ever try to do.


i loved the rep in this: a latina bisexual woman, lesbian woman. idk man, i just love when latino povs are featured in books (and done correctly!) and it made me like the book even more ahhh. i absolutely loved the relationship/friendship between mabel & marin. it was so sad to read, sure, but you could tell they still deeply loved and cared about each other. i loved how mabel was always looking out for marin the best way possible, and how she made marin a better person. i also love how marin grew and how she finally overcame her grief and loneliness!!!! my lovesssss.

even though the book has an overwhelming sense of loneliness and sorrow, it still tells a message: you will be okay. that the sadness and loneliness you feel deep inside your chest will go away. it will slowly disappear, and happiness will soon take over. i know it may seem impossible, but trust me, it will happen. and that's what We Are Okay shows you.

you will be okay.

“I wish you more happiness than can fit in a person.”

is it slow? yes. does it have plot? barely. is it very character driven? very.

if we share at least SOME of the same reading tastes, i'm 97.99% you'll love this. it's a story about a girl who's grieving, who's sad and lonely and filled with too many emotions. and her overcoming it and accepting herself and being OKAY.


(also btw, i rec this for literally everyone. please read this book)

“And I think of how time passes so differently for different people.”
Profile Image for Dalia Nourelden.
542 reviews759 followers
September 17, 2023
في البداية كده انا هتكلم عن الترجمة عشان انا مصدومة وزعلانة ومتعصبة ومش عارفة ازاى ممكن اتكلم عن الرواية بموضوعية ويكون كلامي فعليا عن الرواية الاصلية مش الرواية اللى قرأتها . وبجد ليه اي واي دار نشر محترمة زى عصير تعمل كده . لان اللى حصل ده مش حذف مشهد خارج او شاذ ، لأ ، ده تغيير كامل في الرواية.ده حتى شكل النهاية متغير.

اللى عرفته بالصدفة اصلا وصدمني لأن سارة كانت بتقرأ النسخة الانجليزي وانا بقرأ النسخة العربي فاتفاجأت أنها بتتكلم عن موقف علاقة جسدية حصل بين مارين ومابيل تم حذفه تماماً في الترجمة وحتى مفيش تلميح ان حاجة زى كده حصلت . طب ليه كده ، دي حاجة ليها تأثير كبير على نظرتي للعلاقة بينهم ومن حقي كقارئة وانا بحكم على الرواية وعلى كلامهم وعلاقتهم . ليها تأثير رئيسي على فكرة الرواية اصلا واللي عايزة تقدمه .
إزاى احكم صح على الرواية وانت شايل جزء مهم منها ؟؟! . المشكلة انه مش مجرد مشهد اتحذف ، المشكلة ان علاقتهم اتغيرت تماما وحتى محصلش تنويه ان شئ زى كده حصل بينهم وبالتالي عشان الترجمة اختارت حذفها كان لازم معاها تتغير شكل الرواية وتفاصيلها .

‏أنا ضد ان المترجم والدار يختاروا يسيبوا ايه ويحذفوا ايه . مفروض دورك كمترجم انك تنقل وتوصل لنا الكتاب وافكار الكاتب وكل حاجة بالعربي مش انه يحدد انى اقرأ ايه !! مش من حقك تغير اتجاه الرواية ولا أفكارها لمجرد انك رافض الفكرة وأنها حرام فتقوم تلغيها من الرواية وتغير الكلام عشان يتناسب مع الرواية بدون النقطة دي . اه ماشى هى نقطة ضد دينا وطبيعتنا ومعتقداتنا ورافضينها بس الكاتبة مقدماها وانت مترجم عن الرواية فلازم تنقلها صح ، ثم لو الفكرة مش مستسيغها بتترجمها ليه اصلا !!! في مليون كتاب تانى.

‏المشكلة بأه انى مش عارفة اقيم الرواية على أى اساس اذا كان في تغييرات كبيرة كده!!!
‏حتى لو كانت علاقتهم مش هي أساس الرواية وفكرتها الرئيسية بس انت كده صورتها كعلاقة صداقة بريئة وعادية جدا وده مش حقيقي ، في جانب تانى حصل بينهم أنت كمترجم تجاهلته تماماً كأنه لم يكن.. واصلا الجانب ده قام عليه جزء كبير من الرواية وجزء أساسي مش عابر خالص .

‏ انا في النسخة العربي هتكلم عن علاقة صداقة جميلة في الوقت اللى النسخة الاصلية بتتكلم عن علاقة شاذة وحب ومش حاجة عابرة ، لأ دى نقطة اساسية وأن البنت اصلا شاذة ودي حاجة اساسية في شخصيتها وحياتها ازااى يتم حذفها بالكامل !!!!

‏حركة الترجمة دي قفلتني قبل كده من دار كتوبيا لانهم اختصروا في اجزاء مش حولوا الرواية تماما بالشكل السخيف ده !!! واكتشفت دلوقتي انه نفس المترجم محمد عبد العزيز هو اللى ترجم كل شئ هادئ على الجبهة الغربية وقفلتني الترجمة !! . وحقيقي مكنتش عايزة اتقفل من دار عصير الكتب بالشكل ده .وهفقد الثقة في ترجمتهم بعد كده .

كانت هتبقي مراجعة مختلفة تماما لو كانت الترجمة بتعبر عن الرواية الاصلية بشكل حقيقي ، مش ان الترجمة عبارة عن اختذال لجانب من الرواية .وبيخليك تتسائل ايه الحقيقي في الرواية وايه اللى تم تعديله ليتوافق مع ماتم حذفه !!

انا كتبت مراجعة عن الرواية بس بصراحة حسيت ان ملهاش مكان و كنت غالبا هقيم الرواية ب ٣.٥ او ٤ لو كانت هي الرواية الحقيقية لكن الآن لن اقوم بتقييمها لاني هكون بقيم رواية تانية مش الرواية الأصلية.

قراءة مشتركة مع صديقتي سارة سمير واللى كانت السبب انى اكتشف خديعة الترجمة .شكرا ياسارة ❤

مراجعة سارة

٣ / ٥ / ٢٠٢٣
Profile Image for Reading_ Tamishly.
4,452 reviews2,401 followers
December 7, 2021
No more, please.

Into 50 percent of the book, like literally forcing myself to read half of the book in three days and almost getting myself into one nasty reading slump, I had to DNF this one.

The writing is so damn average that it failed to pull me into the story. The characters are so damn annoying. And the story almost never started.

Don't get me wrong. This is just the kind of book I am always looking for. The description got me interested and moreover many of my favourite booktubers, bookstagrammers as well as my GoodReads buddies love this book and I really wanted to love this book but.... I was getting more and more annoyed the more I was reading the book further.

Three main reasons for DNFing this read:
*The characters lacked chemistry and development. Actually I was so annoyed with them especially whenever there's a scene between the main character and her so called best friend, Mabel. Something's going on between them and their relationship seems so confusing and superficial.
*I failed to connect with any of the characters especially with the main character
(The only characters I was happy with were the grandparents. Even they lacked proper presence in the story in the first half)
*I just couldn't get into the damn book till 50 percent of the book.

And yes, I am aware that everything good lies in the second half of the book. And I ultimately spoiled the book when I accidentally saw something on the last page. Ugh!

I have no desire to pick up this book again until and unless there's a person who I completely love or hate with all my heart personally recommends me this book.
Profile Image for Hannah Greendale.
701 reviews3,352 followers
February 27, 2020
We Are Okay is a succinct exploration of grief with an abysmal twist. How this book recieved the Printz Award over Strange the Dreamer is unfathomable.
I wonder if there's a secret current that connects people who have lost something. Not in the way that everyone loses something, but in the way that undoes your life, undoes your self, so that when you look at your face it isn't yours anymore.
Profile Image for Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd).
332 reviews7,306 followers
February 13, 2017
*3.5 stars

This is such a hard rating, because the last quarter was incredible, but the middle was definitely a solid 3. I loved the exploration of grief itself. It was done beautifully and I cried multiple times throughout reading this. Nina LaCour has such beautiful writing, I just get frustrated sometimes by her more... tropey moments? She has these plot elements that happen that are so unrealistic and I find myself get frustrated because her writing is incredible and I want the plot to live up to that writing.

Anyway, the end was amazing and I sobbed. Marin was a wonderful character and I loved how lonely and aching this entire book felt. And I will be doing a full video review in the next couple of weeks to talk a bit more about how I felt!

*Thanks to Penguin Teen for sending along a copy of this book!
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