Everything's Fine (Hardcover)
June 2023 Indie Next List
“It’s hard to step away from this wonderful debut. Part romance, part office politics, Everything’s Fine addresses race, class, money, ethics, and identity for two twenty-somethings, Josh and Jess, out navigating the world as adults.”
— Terry Gilman, Creating Conversations, Redondo Beach, CA
An “extraordinarily brave…funny as hell” (Zakiya Dalila Harris, author of The Other Black Girl) debut and a “subtle, ironic, wise, state-of-the-nation novel” (Nick Hornby) that doesn’t just ask will they, but…should they?
On Jess’s first day at Goldman Sachs, she’s less than thrilled to learn she’ll be on the same team as Josh, her white, conservative sparring partner from college. Josh loves playing the devil’s advocate and is just…the worst.
But when Jess finds herself the sole Black woman on the floor, overlooked and underestimated, it’s Josh who shows up for her in surprising—if imperfect—ways. Before long, an unlikely friendship—one tinged with undeniable chemistry—forms between the two. A friendship that gradually, and then suddenly, turns into an electrifying romance that shocks them both.
Despite their differences, the force of their attraction propels the relationship forward, and Jess begins to question whether it’s more important to be happy than right. But then, it’s 2016, and the cultural and political landscape shifts underneath them. And Jess, who is just beginning to discover who she is and who she has the right to be, is forced to ask herself what she’s willing to compromise for love and whether, in fact, everything’s fine.
A stunning debut about “a love affair that turns inferno” (People), Everything’s Fine is a poignant and sharp novel that you won’t soon forget.
About the Author
Cecilia Rabess previously worked as a data scientist at Google and as an associate at Goldman Sachs. Her nonfiction has been featured in McSweeneys, FiveThirtyEight, Fast Company, and FlowingData, among other places. Everything’s Fine is her debut novel.
A Good Morning America Buzz Pick
A Most Anticipated Book of Summer 2023 from Bustle and Publishers Weekly
“A truly brilliant and amazing first novel with incredible dialogue and characters so real that I felt preoccupied with them when I wasn't reading. I couldn't have loved it more.” —CURTIS SITTENFELD (via Twitter), author of Romantic Comedy and Prep
"A love affair that turns inferno.... You'll be riveted."—People Magazine
“Does love conquer all? Does it now? Did it ever? These are questions Cecilia Rabess asks in her nimble, discerning debut…. Rabess has a gift for chemistry, and the chemistry between Jess and Josh is almost tangible; their eventual union is, well, climactic…. The ending of “Everything’s Fine” is one of the best I’ve read in years. It asks whether our choices stop and end with us. Is it ethical to date someone who goes against everything you believe in? Is it right to work in an industry that profits off a broken system? What do we owe, and to whom?”—The New York Times
“In Rabess’s timely debut novel, Jess and Josh are opposites — they have clashed over their views during college, and Jess expects more of the same when she joins Josh’s team at Goldman Sachs. As a Black woman in banking, Jess faces obstacles that Josh, as a White man, may not comprehend, yet neither of them can deny an attraction to each other. With the 2016 election looming, a volatile cultural and political landscape forces Jess and Josh to reckon with a relationship defined by their differences, and they find that the closer you are to someone the harder it is to villainize them.”—Washington Post
“A fascinating, honest read about the relatable impulse to cleave someone’s politics from the person they are when there’s an undeniable spark, and how hard it can be, even in a romance novel, to reach a happy ending under those circumstances. Sometimes, things aren’t as black and white as we want them to be.”—Cosmopolitan
“Everything's Fine poses incisive questions about love, identity, and the countless ways these things can both bruise and bolster one another. Cecilia Rabess has crafted an extraordinarily brave debut that's painfully real--but plain funny as hell, too.”—ZAKIYA DALILA HARRIS, New York Times bestselling author of The Other Black Girl
“Rabess doesn’t pull punches about the friction that arises between two people whose principles are totally at odds. But, her unflinching clarity around why people are drawn together magnetically despite themselves makes for an engrossing read.”—InStyle
“Cecilia Rabess spins a smart, tangly romance at Goldman Sachs between Jess, feminist mag employee turned lone Black woman analyst, and white, conservative Greenwich-born Josh.”—Vanity Fair
“One of my favorite books of the years so far. This is a love story, a work story and an incisive look at race and gender politics. But primarily it’s a love story, one of the most suspenseful and engaging I’ve ever read.”—ELIN HILDERBRAND, via Instagram
“Assured…. A blistering study of what it means to date your political opposite…. Rabess’s deeper interest, it seems, lies in interrogating whether two people who are fundamentally different can be together at all.”—The Guardian
“Rabess displays a sharp sense of humor, and her examination of entitlement and staying true to yourself in the modern political world rings painfully real.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Jess, a left-leaning Black woman, and Josh, a moderate Republican, have almost nothing in common. They do, however, share an alma mater and work for Goldman Sachs. What begins as a tense connection undergirded by political difference develops quickly into a snarky, and exhilarating unlikely love story.”—The Boston Globe
“One of the most anticipated releases of the summer…an incisive, bold novel about the complicated relationship between Jess, a Black liberal 20-something working in tech, and Josh, her white conservative.”—Shondaland
“A brilliantly uncomfortable look at relationships across the political aisle…. a thought-provoking, unsettling and whip-smart debut novel…. Everything’s Fine is at turns an electric romance and a critical examination of white privilege, class consciousness and the argument over whether it’s better in life to be happy or right.”—PureWow
"In Rabess' timely debut novel, Jess and Josh are opposites - they have clashed over their views during college, and Jess expects more of the same when she joins Josh's team at Goldman Sachs. As a Black woman in banking, Jess faces obstacles that Josh, as a White man, may not comprehend, yet neither of them can deny an attraction to the other. With the 2016 election looming, a volatile cultural and political landscape forces Jess and Josh to reckon with a relationship defined by their differences, and they find that the closer you are to someone, the harder it is to villainize them."--San Diego Tribune
“A fascinating, complicated, discussion-worthy debut…. It would be easy to label this book an enemies-to-lovers rom-com of the Hepburn-Tracy genus, but that doesn’t capture the unconventional aspects of Rabess’ depiction of her characters…. A hot book on a hot topic, well worth reading and arguing about.” —KIRKUS REVIEWS
“An intriguing cliffhanger makes this an excellent pick for book clubs that enjoy rousing debate.”—BOOKLIST
“Rabess hits the scene with one of those full-throated, fully-realized debuts that everyone is sure to be talking about.”—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY Staff Picks for Summer Reads, Literary Fiction
“It’s an open-hearted, funny novel that knows love is never straightforward—and everything is not always fine.”—THE SKIMM
?“Could this be the bittersweet, sexy, painful, fully embodied romance for our tumultuous American decade? Cecilia Rabess brings a microscope, a scalpel, a mordant sense of humor, a virtuosic feel for scene, and a tender heart to the will-they-won't-they of Jess and Josh. Everything's Fine is a romance, but it's also an astute analysis of elite workplaces, politics, and social mores, and a serious exploration of the way that two people can move so differently through the very same space. I devoured this novel, a bold, singular debut from an extraordinary writer."—LYDIA KIESLING, author of The Golden State
"This blurb could be a string of heart-eyes emojis. Everything’s Fine manages to be funny, felt, and riveting, all at once—a story for anyone who’s ever fallen in love that’s less than straightforward. Cecilia Rabess is equal parts comedian and sorcerer, reminding us that none of us are (only) as we appear."—RACHEL KHONG, author of Goodbye,Vitamin
"A subtle, ironic, wise, state-of-the-nation novel, sharp enough to draw blood, hidden inside a moving, intimate, sincere and very real love story--or vice versa. Either way, it's a wonderful book by a fantastic new talent."—NICK HORNBY, New York Times bestselling author of High Fidelity
“I could not put this brilliant book down. Rabess’s writing is so sharp and funny, and her observations so attuned to our times, that the pages absolutely flew. Everything’s Fine is the love story our world needs right now, and Rabess deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for giving it to us.”—RACHEL BEANLAND, author of Florence Adler Swims Forever and The House Is On Fire
“I love this timely and clever debut! Cecilia Rabess is a skilled storyteller who offers up perfect observations and delightful details about working in finance, being in your 20s, and navigating romance. This book is both entertaining and wise, a page-turner that explores race, class, sex, and ambition and how love and compromise work (or don’t) in our current political climate.”—JENNIFER CLOSE, bestselling author of Girls in White Dresses
“I could not put this book down. Everything's Fine is smart, sexy and surprising, with an ending that truly made me gasp. I loved it!”—NORA MCINERNY, author of Bad Vibes Only and host of Terrible,Thanks for Asking
“A stunning debut” —MEG MASON, bestselling author of Sorrow and Bliss
“A brilliantly observed novel about what it means to lose yourself as a young woman. So funny but also incredibly true”—NINA STIBBE, author of Love, Nina
"Rabess's humor is on-point, and the chemistry between the leads is electric; each scene between them is fraught with a double-edged sword--after they hook up, Josh starts talking dirty and Jess responds, 'Way to ruin the moment, you creepy loser,' before they have sex again. This is sure to spark conversation."”—Publishers Weekly