"Heartbreaking and compelling." (Observer)
"[Hyland] brings the long-forgotten teenage sensation of drowning in life's uncomprehended complexities horribly alive." (The Times)
"Hyland's biting debut novel tells of teen anguish in a world that treats such anguish as a crime. Unlike Mean Girls, Hyland's novel doesn't borrow from romantic comedy to dab out the ugliness of adolescence . . . Her dry and fantastically sarcastic voice serves a judicious helping of cheek to peddlers of the American Dream." (Time Out New York)
From the Back Cover
"Heartbreaking and compelling." Observer
Lou Connor, a gifted, unhappy sixteen-year-old, is desperate to escape her life of poverty in Sydney. When she is offered a place as an exchange student at a school in America it seems as if her dreams will be fulfilled . . .
How the Light Gets In is an acutely observed story of adolescence, shot through with spiky humour. In Lou Connor M.J. Hyland has created a larger-than-life heroine who captivates the reader with her vivacity and vulnerability,
from hopeful beginning to unexpected, haunting end.
"Hyland nails the alternating excitement and embarrassment of being a teenager . . . a writer grappling with serious questions about how we make our way through the world."
New York Times
"An astonishingly well-written slice of reality."
"Hyland excels at atmosphere . . . she brings the long-forgotten teenage sensation of drowning in life's uncomprehended complexities horribly alive."
"An intriguing and disturbing work which shimmers with edgy brilliance."