Reviews of Swans & Klons: "In the meantime, I'll be sitting here contemplating Nora Olsen's Swans & Klons, a YA lesbian sci-fi novel that's one of the best pieces of new fiction I've read in a long time. . ."
-Noah Berlatsky, The Atlantic
"Swans and Klons. . . is a light-hearted, fast-paced adventure in the utopia-turns-to-dystopia mould. . . [T]his is a strikingly readable novel with appealing characters and an engaging premise that should keep young readers interested. . . The most effective literary dystopia is that which is not obviously dystopian to all, one where an idyllic life for the privileged class is possible not despite, but because of the terrible oppression of an underclass. . . This travesty, only slowly revealed to the reader, is the injustice upon which the cleverly executed conflict of the entire novel is built. . . This is a powerful story, told by sympathetic but not perfect protagonists, and with both truly frustrating challenges and enough optimistic moments to leave the idea that real change is possible."
-Djibril al-Ayad, The Future Fire Reviews
"The advantage of SF is that a world can be built in which lesbianism is the norm and there isn’t any painful coming-out process. Instead, Rubric and Salmon Jo are just people who happen to be in love. Yay."
-Daisy Porter, Queer YA
"It's a high stakes but high spirited adventure, and I recommend it for yourself and the teens in your life: it holds together well, with just the right mix of realistic teenage love and a fascinating speculative world."
-Meredith Sue Willis, Books For Readers
"The author has created a world which is vividly described and well thought through. The book covers some serious social issues but they are subtly handled. "
-Susan, Hearts On Fire
"This is a quick, fun read."
-Jessica Strider, Sci-Fi Fan Letter
"So far, in my reading experience, this is a unique plot and I always enjoy running into that. . . If there are more books to follow I will pick them up without question and I recommend this one."
-Shannon Pease, Addicted To Books
"I have to say, I'm quite impressed by this book. It falls in two of my favorite book genres- dystopian and LGBT. . . I am a huge fan of dystopian fiction, and this is the first book I have ever encountered with such a strong queer theme. . . I sincerely hope that Swans and Klons is the first book in a series, or at least a two-parter. Nora Olsen has made a new fan in me with her new, queer-friendly take on dystopian fiction. Fans of books such as Beta or Uglies should check this book out."
-Jillyn, Bitches and Prose
"I love it when society is the villain. . . It makes you feel suffocated, like there's no way the main characters can win. Yet they pull out some how. . . Lastly, the last few pages made my heart hammer."
-Kelly Matherly, Read It In Houston
Reviews of Frenemy of the People
"Frenemy of the People is in fact much superior to the film [Sixteen Candles.] Olsen's a wittier and smarter writer than John Hughes, with a broader range of interests and sympathies than Hollywood formula can manage (the book tackles everything from the housing crisis to mental disability issues, all with an immaculately light touch.)"
"This book is a slow romance, a laugh out loud comedy, and a drama with unexpected depth."
"Frenemy of the People is a really interesting and tender story... [Y]ou should make sure you get Frenemy of the People as soon as it comes out, ... because the diversity is on more than one level in this story."
Reviews of Maxine Wore Black
This book has lots going on: it’s a romance; it’s a thriller; and most of all, it’s a reworking of Daphne du Maurier’s classic thriller Rebecca... Especially notable are Olsen’s efforts to describe the difficulties trans* individuals face on a daily basis, from gender markers on IDs to choosing which bathroom to use in public. Fans of mysteries will find this an easy book to pick up. Maxine is recommended for public libraries.
Reviews of The End: Five Queer Kids Save The World
"Just what the title says: when a war breaks out in 2014, five queer teens find one another and conspire to save the planet. . . It’s a little complicated, but so is real life, and I liked this one more and more as I got deeper into it. Recommended."
-Daisy Porter, QueerYA
"Ms. Olsen tells an engrossing story that is well plotted and moves briskly along to a satisfying and believable resolution. . . There’s a lot of adventure, an amazing collection of ideas and references and a wonderful good time packed within the pages of this 267 page book. So, if you’re a teen looking for a good read, or an auntie or grandpa looking for something to give a favourite niece or nephew, I heartily recommend The End: Five Queer Kids Save the World."
-Martha Hubbard, The Future Fire Reviews
“Kudos to Nora Olsen for sending out such a powerful message to today’s young people that no matter what your circumstance, you can do anything if you truly believe you can. The five queer kids in this novel about good versus evil proved just that.”
"They are good characters, overseen by some slapstick gods and goddesses who are causing very serious problems for human beings– like a killing insanity that makes people rip each other apart for no reason. The magic/super powers part is set up very carefully and focuses less on the poof of magic and more on how the kids learn mastery of it. . . [I]n spite of people being dismembered and possibly dying of rabies, it is a good humored and uplifting novel."
-Meredith Sue Willis, Books For Readers
"Julia, Vikki, Ginger, Marly, and Skilly might be teens with abilities that surpass that of the normal teen, but that doesn’t meant they don’t also have some problems that regular teens face. . . Balancing all of these contemporary aspects with the framework of a sci-fi novel is a tall order, but Olsen does so in a way that is believable and engaging. . . In my opinion, [Olsen's] word choices lent the entire novel a quirky and charming sensibility."
-Melissa Montovani, YA Book Shelf
"As soon as I opened it and started reading I just couldn't stop. I brought it with me to every class and even recomended to one or two of my friends. I like how Julia, Skilly, Marly, Ginger and Vikki make it through their tough times by working together even though they don't always get along."
-Ethan Miller, high school student reviewer for Read For Your Future
"The End is a dystopian/time travel/sci-fi/fantasy with a cast of LGBTQ heroes that bring romance, drama, and a whole lot of action to saving the world. Olsen's characters were my favorite part of the book."
-John Jacobson, Dreaming In Books