Okay For Now Gary D. Schmidt Audiobook Review

I’m absolutely in love with Okay For Now by Gary D. Scmidt. Whether it’s the endearing characters -in particular Doug Swieteck who worships Joe Pepitone and is concerned about being a chump, the multiple themes that all built on each other, the late 1960s setting in MY state or Scmidt’s capture of the essence of growing up. Frankly, it’s love. My feelings for Okay For Now, that is.

Okay For Now, Gary D Schmidt, Audiobook cover, Doug Swieteck

Okay For Now

Okay For Now is a companion novel to The Wednesday Wars. After running his mouth to the boss, Doug Swieteck’s father loses his Long Island job and uproots the family to stupid Marysville upstate. Doug is NOT thrilled. He doesn’t exactly have the best home life.  Dad is verbally and physically abusive. His brother Christopher is a ‘dangerous criminal mind’, in that he has a reputation as a trouble maker. Doug’s other brother Lucas is in Vietnam.

Schmidt flawlessly weaves larger themes of family loyalty, hero worship and the redemptive power of art. I know of a friend who I won’t name because it was a private message who mentioned she had trouble with with multiple themes, which is fine, but I honestly liked it. Personally, I feel the lives we live don’t hinge on a single theme, but on multiple parts and I thought the various aspects of Okay For Now all had a purpose. Nothing is there for the sake of being there, rather it is all purposeful and interconnected.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about the characterization. At first Gary D. Schmidt writes the characters in a way that I was like ‘this guy is a total chump” but THEN the characters redeem themselves and I saw my earlier rage was wrong. I love when this happens. When characters MAKE FEEL ALL OF THE THINGS. Seriously, Schmidt’s characters are startlingly human – imperfections and all.

I listened to the audiobook of Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt narrated by Lincoln Hoppe. It is 9 hours and 16 minutes unabridged and is produced by Listening Library. I went to college with downstaters and so, with authority can say that Hoppe nails the accent perfectly. He doesn’t do any falsetto crap while reading – but sounds like someone looking back and remembering. As a narrator, Lincoln Hoppe infused the story and words with vocal emotion. Friends, I’ve found another narrator to add to my MUST LISTEN MORE list. I mean, if I actually had one.

Disclosure: I borrowed this audiobook from my local library.

Other reviews of Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt:

Ten Cent Notes
The Book Smugglers
Forever Young Adult

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I loved this book so much! Glad to hear that the audiobook is awesome (and unabridged).

  2. Yay, I’m glad you loved it! I think the dynamic characters totally made this book — I loved the way Doug (and everyone else) evolved, and how no one was totally good or totally bad.

  3. If you’re interested, Lincoln Hoppe narrates Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Storm. That book was very good too. I reviewed it sometime last year.

  4. I meant Stork, not Storm. Stupid auto correct.

  5. Anything that involves the word “okay” right now make my heart break. It’s a side-effect of reading TFIOS.

  6. OOOO, I loved this book to itty bitty little pieces. I can’t even think about puffins without calling the STUPID puffins anymore. I love Doug Swieteck and the audiobook left me crying all kind of tears (happy and sad) in my car. I still can’t get over the VILE thing that Doug’s father did to him. I’m glad you enjoyed it, too! Great review.

  7. This is really the first I’ve heard much of this, but I think I’ll put it on my wishlist at the library – I hope they have a copy of the audio! It sounds interesting, and I totally know how much it sucks to move away from the life you’ve always had…

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  8. Since it’s a companion book, is reading The Wednesday Wars necessary?

  9. Did not realize it’s the companion to The Wednesday Wars!


  1. […] across it in the sale. Richard Peck’s book is narrated by Lincoln Hoppe who also narrated Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt which I loved. Unfortunately, the narration was not as great as Okay For Now, I think it was […]

  2. […] the narrator is one of my favorites, Lincoln Hoppe, who narrated one of my top 5 favorite audios, Okay For Now. Also? It was super short. I mean, when the book was up for grabs on Edelweiss or Netgalley, I […]

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