|We are okay|
Author: LaCour, Nina
After picking up and leaving everything behind in California, eighteen-year-old Marin, with the help of her former friend, must confront her grief and the truths that caused her to flee her home.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 187723
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 9-12
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 70668
Kirkus Reviews (+) (12/01/16)
School Library Journal (12/00/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (00/01/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2016 Gr 8 Up—Her first semester of college behind her, Marin stays alone in the dorms over break, even with the threat of a snowstorm looming, rather than return to San Francisco, where bad memories lurk. Her best friend Mabel comes to stay with her, and over the next few days, Marin contemplates the events of last spring and summer and deals with her complicated relationship with Mabel. Slowly, readers learn more about Marin's life: the surfer mother who drowned when Marin was young, the father she never knew, the loving grandfather who raised her but whose concealed secrets kept a wall between them, and the painful events that sent Marin fleeing San Francisco. LaCour's use of settings is masterly: frigid and desolate upstate New York reflects Marin's alienation, while vibrant San Francisco evokes moments of joy. Though there's little action, with most of the writing devoted to Marin's memories, thoughts, and musings, the author's nuanced and sensitive depiction of the protagonist's complex and turbulent inner life makes for a rich narrative. Marin is a beautifully crafted character, and her voice is spot-on, conveying isolation, grief, and, eventually, hope. With hauntingly spare prose, the emphasis on the past, and references to gothic tales such as The Turning of the Screw and Jane Eyre, this is realistic fiction edged with the melancholy tinge of a ghost story. VERDICT A quietly moving, potent novel that will appeal to teens, especially fans of Laurie Halse Anderson and Sara Zarr.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2017 Reeling from the loss of the grandfather who raised her and information that changes her view of him, Marin heads to college in New York early. After an incommunicado period, she agrees to let her best friend, Mabel, visit over the holidays. Mabel’s arrival is awkward given that she and Marin had been exploring a romantic relationship before Marin disappeared, but Mabel has moved on and is now involved with a boy at her own college in California. What Mabel offers instead of a romantic relationship is a home with her family for the orphaned Marin, who is just starting to come to terms with the fact that her grandfather was too caught up in his own grief and mental health problems to give her the kind of love she needed growing up. That’s a solid emotional core, but there’s not much plot here to move it forward; instead this is a mood piece touched with contrivance and inclined more toward beauty than authenticity. However, Marin’s yearning for a deeper love even as she has settled all her life for her grandfather’s tepid warmth is poignant, and readers interested in the psychology of loneliness and unresolved grief rendered in lovely, gauzy prose may appreciate this. KC - Copyright 2017 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 12/01/2016 *Starred Review* It’s the winter break during Marin’s first year at college, and she is facing the holidays thousands of miles from her San Francisco home. Since her grandfather died the previous summer, Marin feels set adrift. Not only has she lost Gramps, her sole caretaker, but he’d been keeping secrets, and when she discovers the truth, it shatters everything she believed was true about her life. Engulfed in pain and feeling alone, she shuns her best friend Mabel’s numerous calls and texts. But Mabel flies cross-country, determined to help her friend deal with her grief. Marin is afraid that Mabel regrets the physical intimacy that had grown between the two girls while she was still in California, and braces herself for more heartache, but Mabel surprises her in more ways than one. With the most delicate and loving strokes in Marin’s first-person narrative, LaCour paints a captivating depiction of loss, bewilderment, and emotional paralysis. Images of the icy winter surrounding Marin in New York contrast sharply with her achingly vibrant memories of San Francisco. Raw and beautiful, this portrait of a girl searching for both herself and a sense of home will resonate with readers of LGBTQIA romances, particularly those with bisexual themes, and the poignant and affecting exploration of grief and betrayal will enchant fans of character-driven fiction. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.