The 100 Best YA Books of All Time
August 11, 2021 7:36 AM EDT

As a toddler, Marin lost her mother to a surfing accident. Now, the 18-year-old has lost her grandfather, too. After the man who raised her dies, Marin flees across the country, from San Francisco to New York, with only her phone, her wallet and a picture of her mother on her. We Are Okay opens four months later in snowy upstate New York, where Marin is spending winter break of her first year at an unnamed college alone in her dorm, awaiting a visit from her long-time best friend Mabel. The problem is that she hasn’t spoken to anyone from her life in California, including Mabel, since the day she left. Alternating between Marin’s isolated present and the summer leading up to her grandfather’s sudden death, Nina LaCour’s Michael L. Printz Award-winning novel, published in 2017, is a brief but powerfully affecting meditation on loneliness and grief. As Marin and Mabel rediscover their friendship—which had begun to grow into something more—Marin is prompted to finally work through her feelings about the events that sent her running. —Megan McCluskey

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