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Farewell Tour of a Terminal Optimist

John Young


Also available as: Paperback

Range: KelpiesTeen eBook 288 pages ISBN: 9781782504498 Publication date: 20th July 2017
Genre: School Theme: Empathy
Winner of the Scottish Teenage Book Prize 2019
Longlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2018

Quick-witted, sharp-tongued Connor Lambert won't take it any longer: the bullying, the secrets, the sympathy. He's been dying from cancer for years, but he’s not dead yet. He's going down fighting.

Forming an unlikely friendship with fellow juvenile delinquent Skeates, the pair stage a break out and set off on a crazy tour across Scotland -- dodging the police, joy riding and extreme partying -- to find Connor's dad, an inmate at Shotts prison.

But Connor's left two things behind -- the medication he needs to keep him alive, and the girl who makes living bearable.

A fresh and bold debut novel full of heart, guts and raw emotion. Farewell Tour of a Terminal Optimist is a brilliantly funny, thrilling exploration of friendship, identity and mortality populated with witty, sharply drawn characters.


'This book draws the reader in with the ups and downs of both boys' lives. -- Recommended'
-- School Library Connection

'Sweet , [...] incredibly funny, and tremendously exciting.'
-- The Bookwitch

'A bold and brilliant debut.'
-- Keith Gray, author of Ostrich Boys and Creepers

'I normally dislike books about dying teens, but this one had me feeling all the feels. I laughed (often), my heart raced during the get-aways, and yes, I even cried. Real tears!'
-- Cindy Huskey, GoodReads

'I enjoyed the writing a lot. I also loved the unique voice the main character has. His life is very tragic but he's just so inspiring. I can't wait to hold the physical copy in my hands.'
-- NetGalley

'Think John Green with a heavy dose of modern Scottish culture.'
-- Goodreads

'[The book] celebrates friendship and making the most of life. It is a really uplifting read.'
-- Lisa Talks About

'a fun read. . . I liked the characters and the unexpected bromance between Connor and Skeates.'
-- My Paper Infinity

'A life-affirming read and a great adventure'
-- Groomsport Parish magazine

'[A] very emotional story, but at the same time was absolutely hilarious! I really enjoyed reading Connor and Skeates' adventure across Scotland and all the ups and downs they faced along the way... The characters were realisitic and funny, the storyline was exciting and it was hard to put the book down. I would definitely recommend this book to teenagers looking for a quick, funny and emotional read.'
-- Julia Narine, Boroughmuir High

'I loved that the novel was set in Scotland! I liked the characters Connor and Skeates, and enjoyed the evolution of their relationship which was really sweet. It was exciting to read as you never knew what trouble or difficulty they would run into... overall I think it was a great debut novel.'
-- Mairi McBrien, Boroughmuir High

'Normally I don't like this type of YA book, but what I really liked about this one was the Scottish setting. It's like John Green but with a little bit of Scottish culture... I would recommend this book to people who like reading YA books about reality, and people who enjoy stories set outside the US, because the Scottish setting is a great bonus.'
-- Joana Dimitrova, Craigmount High

'OMG this book was a major tearjerker for me. Connor and Skeates have an unusual friendship but aren’t all friendships? The fact that Connor has terminal cancer but is trying to live his life to the fullest is heart-warming. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this!'
-- Goodreads-Taylors Reviews

'A couple of unique twists. More importantly, the background attitude is unique.'
-- NetGalley reader

Farewell Tour of a Terminal Optimist


John Young is a writer who is originally from Belfast and lives in Edinburgh. A former lawyer, he founded and runs The Teapot Trust, a children’s art therapy charity, with his wife Laura. He was a Scottish Book Trust New Writer Award winner in 2013.

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