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  • "Susin Nielsen has produced a richly comic story featuring a cast of mismatched, engaging characters"

    Marilyn Brocklehurst, Guardian, The Best New Children's Books supplement
  • "Entertaining but also poignant"

    Claire Hennessy, Irish Times
  • "One of the most talented teen writers working today"

  • "Grief and guilt permeate Nielsen’s empathic and deeply moving story, balanced by sharply funny narration and dialogue."

    Publishers Weekly, starred review
  • "Nielsen writes with sensitivity, empathy, and humour"

    Kirkus, starred review
  • "The novel’s greatest strength is its handling of the characters’ very real burdens with sympathy, wit, and not an ounce of melodrama. Nielsen excels at depicting troubled, clever teenagers"

    Starred review, School Library Journal
  • "Optimists Die First is both funny and heartbreaking. Fans of Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor And Park will love it."

    Red Magazine Online
  • "Nielsen has such a gift for creating authentic teenagers... Infused with offbeat humour, this is a book with a great voice and a big, big heart"

    Fiona Noble, The Bookseller
  • "A contemporary story written with compassion, empathy and wit"

    Best New Children's Books Guide, produced by the Publishers' Association and published in the Guardian 2018
  • "Readers will be gripped by Petula’s story and the way she tells it; Nielsen gives her a totally authentic teen voice, loaded with cynicism, sarcasm, humour and flashes of hope."

    Andrea Reece, Lovereading

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