Download Optimists Die First Audiobook

Optimists Die First Audiobook, by Susin Nielsen Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Susin Nielsen Narrator: Julia Whelan Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2017 ISBN: 9781524723033
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Award-winning author Susin Nielsen has written a laugh-out-loud and heartrending novel for fans of Robyn Schneider’s Extraordinary Means and Cammie McGovern’s Say What You Will.
 
Beware: Life ahead.
 
Sixteen-year-old Petula de Wilde is anything but wild. A former crafting fiend with a happy life, Petula shut herself off from the world after a family tragedy. She sees danger in all the ordinary things, like crossing the street, a bug bite, or a germy handshake. She knows: life is out to get you.
 
The worst part of her week is her comically lame mandatory art therapy class with a small group of fellow misfits. Then a new boy, Jacob, appears at school and in her therapy group. He seems so normal and confident, though he has a prosthetic arm; and soon he teams up with Petula on a hilarious project, gradually inspiring her to let go of some of her fears. But as the two grow closer, a hidden truth behind why he’s in the group threatens to derail them, unless Petula takes a huge risk. . .

Praise:
“Nielsen writes with sensitivity, empathy, and humor.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred
 
“Nielsen excels at depicting troubled, clever teenagers in familiar environments.” —School Library Journal, Starred 

“[An] empathic and deeply moving story, balanced by sharply funny narration and dialogue.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred

“A poignant exploration into the nuances of healing.” —Quill and Quire, Starred Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Narrator Julia Whelan expresses this YA heroine’s sardonic tone so well that sixteen-year-old Petula risks becoming an unlikable character. Thankfully, Whelan is also expert at conveying the story’s witty tone, Petula’s fragility, and the chemistry she has with Jacob…Whelan also portrays minor characters’ unique traits, preventing them from being flat characters who merely represent issues…Whelan balances grief and heartbreak with humor and hope. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • Nielsen writes with sensitivity, empathy, and humor. Kirkus Reviews, Starred 
  • Grief and guilt permeate Nielsen’s (We Are All Made of Molecules) empathic and deeply moving story, balanced by sharply funny narration and dialogue. Publishers Weekly, Starred
  • The dialogue is effortless, the plot moves at a fast pace, and the scenes come alive. . . . a poignant exploration into the nuances of healing. Quill and Quire, Starred
  • Heartbreaking and hopeful, this is a solid choice for readers looking for a book to make them cry and laugh at the same time. Booklist
  • Susin Nielsen once more brings readers a story that is infused with light-hearted humour, even as it touches on numerous weighty issues. Canadian Children's Book News
  • Here, as in Nielsen’s previous award-winning novels, her use of first-person narration is compellingly believable. The short chapters sprint by with sitcom pacing and snappy dialogue . . . This novel is about how good people can make mistakes and then learn to accept them. Vancouver Sun
  • Nielsen excels at depicting troubled, clever teenagers in familiar environments. School Library Journal, Starred
  • “Nielsen writes with sensitivity, empathy, and humor, believably lightening Petula’s constant efforts to cope. Every character…comes across as a unique human being, however minor the part. Another lovely outing from Nielsen.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Nielsen has created a compelling, precociously paranoid protagonist and a bevy of wisecracking, heartwarming characters. But perhaps 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 in familiar environments.”

    School Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Heartbreaking and hopeful, this is a solid choice for readers looking for a book to make them cry and laugh at the same time.”

    Booklist

  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

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About the Author

Susin Nielsen, a Gemini Award–winning author, got her start writing sixteen episodes of the hit television show Degrassi Junior High, and four of the books in the Degrassi book series. Since then, she has received two Canadian Screenwriter awards and has written and story-edited many TV series, including Ready or Not, Madison, The Adventures of Shirley Holmes, Edgemont, and two animated series, What About Mimi and Braceface.

About the Narrator

Julia Whelan, winner of numerous Earphones Awards, won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Romance Narration in 2013 and has also been a finalist for an Audie Award in other years. She was named one of AudioFile magazine’s Best Voices of 2010, and two of her audio narrations were shortlisted for the American Library Association’s notable recordings of 2010. Her narration of Jandy Nelson’s The Sky Is Everywhere earned a place in the first round of 2011 Grammy nominations for Best Spoken Word Album. She is a former child actor who has appeared in multiple films and television shows, most notably ABC’s Once and Again. After receiving her college degree, she returned to the film industry and is also a writer.