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Marin wishes Mabel weren’t coming to visit. She meant to leave her old life completely when she left California. She was supposed to start anew at college. And even though she hasn’t been entirely successful at hiding her grief, at least her new roommate didn’t know the old Marin. Whereas Mabel knows her far too well. What will she think when she sees Marin’s blank white walls, her empty bulletin board? Though she hasn’t spoken to Mabel in months–not since the day she found out her grandfather’s secrets–she knows Mabel will see right through her the minute she walks through the door. And when she does, Marin knows the tragic past she’s been trying to escape will drown her.
Though quiet in plot, this novel is loud in emotion. A deserved Printz Award winner, WE ARE OKAY bathes the reader in an authentic experience of grief and growth, of changing friendships, families, and relationships. Persistent story questions about the nature of the past tragedy provide enough suspense to keep readers turning pages even as the action of the plot itself is gentle and contained. I would highly recommend this book to fans of emotional YA realistic fiction. It’s an exceptional one.