About The Hopeful

The dark side of ambition threatens to stamp out a young woman's freedom—and sanity—as she races against her own body in Tracy O'Neill's debut novel The Hopeful. A story about obsession, individuality, and growing up, it is set against the dramatic backdrop of the weird, glittering world of figure skating. 

Tracy O'Neill was named a 5 Under 35 Honoree by the National Book Foundation.
The Hopeful has been longlisted for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize.
Electric Literature
chose The Hopeful as one of its Best Novels of 2015.
The Hopeful made the Huffington Post list of 7 Glowing Novels in the Spotlight Right Now.

Tracy O'Neill was featured in Refinery29's list of 21 New Authors You Need to Know.
Vol. 1 Brooklyn shouted out The Hopeful in their June 2015 Books Preview.
Real Style included Tracy O'Neill in their list of Top New Authors You Need to Know Now.

"The Hopeful is a fine debut, smartly exploring the costs of obsession and trauma, the wages of daring to chase your boldest dreams. Tracy O’Neill’s gift for precise and surprising detail reveals her page after page to be a smart and compelling storyteller, whose gripping first novel is sure to thrill readers."
- Matt Bell, author of In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and Woods

"In her hypnotic debut, Tracy O'Neill has created an indelible character in Alivopro Doyle, a young woman trapped in an anguished tangle of identity and fierce ambition. Though Doyle fights to keep us at arm's length with crackling comebacks, we can't help but notice, and want to protect, her tender brokenness as she struggles to break free from a body that has failed her." 
- Karolina Waclawiak, author of How to Get Into the Twin Palms 

"In stunning prose, and with gripping emotional honesty, Tracy O'Neill's outstanding debut, The Hopeful, transports readers to the glittering, grueling, and violently ambitious world of competitive figure skating. Alivopro Doyle is a surprising and unforgettable young heroine, and the authenticity of her struggle to heal her physical and emotional scars after an injury destroys her flourishing career will have readers up all night turning pages and rooting for her redemptive recovery. Tracy O'Neill is a brilliant and bold new literary voice, and The Hopeful destined to be one of the most exciting debut novels of the year."
- Julia Fierro, author of Cutting Teeth: A Novel 


"The book soars in its descriptions of figure skating, capturing its strange and brutal beauty and achieving a beauty of its own in the process." - Kirkus Reviews

"Debut author O’Neill sets her novel in the world of competitive figure skating, but ultimately it’s a universal story about aspiration and imperfection... a new spin on the sports novel, rarely relying on easy metaphors and instead using Ali’s thwarted ambition to explore other ideas of heredity, ambition, maturity, failure, and, yes, hope." - Publishers Weekly

"O’Neill is the author of a debut novel that examines the darkness and obsession underlying the measured, lovely sport of figure skating... O’Neill’s personal story about the detrimental pressures of sports is ultimately both a beautiful narrative and a political statement worth listening to." - Huffington Post 

"Surprise. Intensity, Humor. Sadness. Trauma. Obsession. You will find all of these elements in Tracy O’Neill’s new book, The Hopeful... The Hopeful is a wonderful novel that keeps your attention from page one." - Adoption.com

"Written with an original literary grace all her own." - The Rumpus