Title: Optimists Die First
Author: Susin Nielsen
Genre: YA/Mental Illnesses
My Rating: 5/5
Beware: Life ahead.
Sixteen-year-old Petula de Wilde is anything but wild. A former crafting fiend with a happy life, Petula shut herself off from the world after a family tragedy. She sees danger in all the ordinary things, like crossing the street, a bug bite, or a germy handshake. She knows: life is out to get you.
The worst part of her week is her comically lame mandatory art therapy class with a small group of fellow misfits. Then a new boy, Jacob, appears at school and in her therapy group. He seems so normal and confident, though he has a prosthetic arm; and soon he teams up with Petula on a hilarious project, gradually inspiring her to let go of some of her fears. But as the two grow closer, a hidden truth behind why he’s in the group could derail them, unless Petula takes a huge risk. . .
I received this book via NG in return for an honest review.
I adore this book! I I am so glad I read it. I honestly didn't think it would be thus good.
When I first started, it was really hard for me to get into and the "former best friend" thing got annoying really fast. But the more I read, the more I related to Petula. It felt like the author stalked my life and stuck it in a book. Lol
I'm not understanding how people keep saying this book makes a mockery of mental illness and that she was magically healed when she met a guy... It didn't happen like that at all.
Honestly, it's a hearbreaking mind numbing heartwarming story that shows us no matter what we are going through or have been through, we can get through it and there is always someone there to help even if we don't realize it.
When somthing traumatic happens, it's not just something you get over. It alters you in so many ways and it is so hard to open up to anyone. It's really hard to admit you need help. But if you have the right people like Petula did, anything is possible. Jacob helped her so much. Oh my gosh I'm so thankful for his character. I admit I did get mad close to the end when the rug got ripped out from under our feet, I didn't blame Petula for being mad. I would have done the same thing. But I'm glad they got past it. They are perfect for each other. Where one is weak, the other is strong and helps.
When traumatic things happen, people tend to move away to start fresh... Personally, I think Jacob was Petula's fresh start. Which is why she trusted him and he was able to help her get over her fears. He wasn't there when it happened so she didn't see him as someone judging her all these years..... I think it's safe to say I love their relationship lol
I loved all the diversity of characters. None were alike in anyway and that couldn't have been an easy task to write about. But Susin did it. Lol
The only character I hated with a passion is Rachel. All through the book we know her as the former best friend... But later Petula tries to make amends and it works till someone calls them freaks... Suddenly she's not sure she can be friends with Petula. Not to mention Rachel gets butthurt when she doesn't want to go back to her house. Like really? You have a perfect family while hers is going through hell and you're gonna be a hero about it. I felt like Rachel only wanted to be friends when it was convenient for her. Because she would literally blow in straight out of the blue and leaves you wondering "what in the hell are you doing here? Don't you have hair to bleach and a mall to shop at or something?" She's like one of those girls that'll smoke in your face, say they'll never tell so you spill all your secrets then everyone knows about them the next day.
There really isn't much else to say about this book. Once you start reading you won't want to stop. It's a perfect pace that keeps you sucked in and so vivid that it's like you're living the book. I would definitely recommend this. I wish I could rate more than 5 stars.