Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Review: Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen

by Susin Nielsen
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: February 21st, 2017
Purchase: [Amazon] [Chapters/Indigo]
Sixteen-year-old Petula De Wilde is anything but wild. A family tragedy has made her shut herself off from the world. Once a crafting fiend with a happy life, Petula now sees danger in everything, from airplanes to ground beef.

The worst part of her week is her comically lame mandatory art therapy class. She has nothing in common with this small band of teenage misfits, except that they all carry their own burden of guilt.

When Jacob joins their ranks, he seems so normal and confident. Petula wants nothing to do with him, or his prosthetic arm. But when they’re forced to collaborate on a unique school project, she slowly opens up, and he inspires her to face her fears.

Until a hidden truth threatens to derail everything.

I have absolutely adored several of Susin Nielsen's titles in the past, most of which include the likes of The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen , Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom, and We Are All Made of Molecules. Each of those titles had something new to offer to the book word. If it wasn't for it's unique premise, or snarky characters, it was for it's meaningful words and messages to it's readers. When it came to Optimists Die First, I was positive I'd enjoy it, too. I felt that it's synopsis portrayed a character I desperately needed to know, and I couldn't wait to eagerly dive into Susin's latest and discover, for myself, the life of Petula De Wilde.

Optimists Die First, regrettably, was not my cup of tea. Although I had been so eager to learn more about Petula and her aversion to being out in the world, I felt that there was so much not only about her, but her family and world that was missing. I had expected to see more about her struggle and crippling anxiety, but I instead found a story that I've read many times before. And although Optimists Die First was exceptionally well written, I felt that it, sadly, was not enough to keep me completely invested. Even so, the premise behind Optimists Die First was promising and the tale of Petula was intriguing, however I do still wish there was much more.

Fans of Susin Nielsen's past titles are highly encouraged to give Optimists Die First a read, however if you're a reader who is looking for a title that strongly delves into mental illness, then this, sadly, is not the title for you.

2.5 / 5 Cupcakes

This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited without the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

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