Book Review: We Are Okay

We Are Okay (2017)
Nina LaCour

I had high expectations of this (dare I say ugly?) little book, because it was this year’s Printz Award winner. The Michael J. Printz Award is awarded by the American Library Association to the “best book for teens” in its publishing year (more information can be found by clicking here). It’s kind of like the Newbery Award for young adult literature.

It didn’t disappoint.

As the book opens, Marian is staying by herself in her college dorm room over the Christmas holidays. She is isolated in every way, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Her self-imposed loneliness is easier for her to handle than examining her feelings about the recent death of the grandfather who raised her, the earlier death of her mother, and the fact that she can’t get herself to answer texts from her best friend, Mabel.

She knows Mabel is coming to visit and anticipates her coming with a mixture of dread and longing. As Mabel arrives, it becomes harder and harder for Marian to maintain her emotional walls, though she fights the cracks that form like a champ. As Mabel readies to go back home across the country, you wonder if this is another relationship that Marian will let go to protect herself.

Reminiscent of the best that John Green has written, LaCour’s introspective and utterly relate-able book is incredibly powerful in its 200 or so pages. A short and important read for anyone who’s ever lost anyone.

To request a copy, click here.

Review by Andrea Terry, Circulation Staff

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