You Know I'm No Good (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Mia Dempsey has been going downhill since Freshman year: bad grades, drinking, sleeping around. When she is sent to Red Oak Academy she meets Vera who asks her “are you bad, or just not good?”. That question percolates through the rest of the book as Mia works through the situations that brought her to Red Oak and the reader realizes that many of the girls would not be there if they were boys. Finally a therapist asks Mia about herself, not her dead mother, bringing to light the trigger moment for her behavior.

A heart-wrenching story of girls at a therapeutic boarding school - their bickering, their painful pasts, and their attempts to help and support each other. I particularly loved that Mia’s situation was not simplistic. There was clearly a combination of circumstances and events that made her particularly vulnerable to tumbling downhill.

— Caroline


This razor-sharp novel from Printz Honor winner and Morris Award finalist Jessie Ann Foley will appeal to fans of Rory Power and Mindy McGinnis.

Mia is officially a Troubled Teen™— she gets bad grades, drinks too much, and has probably gone too far with too many guys.

But she doesn’t realize how out of control she seems until she is taken from her home in the middle of the night and sent away to Red Oak Academy, a therapeutic girls' boarding school in the middle of nowhere.

While there, Mia is forced to confront her painful past at the same time she questions why she's at Red Oak. If she were a boy, would her behavior be considered wild enough to get sent away? But what happens when circumstances outside of her control compel Mia to make herself vulnerable enough to be truly seen?

Challenging and thought-provoking, this stunning contemporary YA novel examines the ways society is stacked against teen girls and what one young woman will do to even the odds.

About the Author

Jessie Ann Foley’s debut novel, The Carnival at Bray, was a Printz Honor Book, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book, a YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults title, and a William C. Morris Award finalist. Her second novel, Neighborhood Girls, was an ALA Booklist Editors’ Choice and a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults title. Sorry for Your Loss, her third novel, was an Illinois Reads selection. You Know I’m No Good is her fourth novel. Jessie lives with her husband and three daughters in Chicago, where she was born and raised. To learn more about Jessie, visit her online at

Praise For…

"When I love a book, I just inhale, absorb, consume. This book is so good and beautiful and true." 
— Carrie Mesrobian, William C. Morris Award Finalist 

"An instant winner, reminiscent of the classic Speak, with a caustically funny and searching teen protagonist."
— School Library Journal

“This is a thoughtful examination of sexual assault, trauma, and misogyny. . . Remarkably moving.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Arresting dialogue and tender moments showcase the girls’ distinct and lively personalities while offering striking examples of the way society ignores teenage girls’ experiences.”
Publishers Weekly

“For teens—especially girls—still finding that place between vulnerable and armored, this will be a balm.”

"A captivating portrait of a girl at war with herself, this novel grapples with complex social issues in the guise of one young person’s trauma . . . Recommend this to readers who want a more contemporary, inclusive alternative to Kaysen’s Girl, Interrupted.
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062957085
ISBN-10: 0062957082
Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Publication Date: October 13th, 2020
Pages: 320
Language: English