Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen
Publication Date: February 21st, 2017
Age Group: Young Adult
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. . .
First of all, I have to say I got this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley, Wendy Lamb Books and Random House Children's.
The moment I saw the cover I was hooked, to be honest. And I'm so glad I read this book!
I'm a nearly-certified cat lady so this book was right up my alley! Mix that with some serious funny writing and dialogue and you get a book that you read in no time. It all felt very quirky and sometimes dorky but it did deal with some serious issues like guilt, grief...stealthy cat turds (someone should take Anne of Green Gables to a vet, she has a problem).
Now, what I didn't like as much. I felt a bit off at how Petula dealt with Jacob's secret. I understand that she was mostly shocked about the lie, but she still felt a little harsher than necessary. I don't want to add spoilers so I'll leave it at that. But if anyone wants to talke to me about it, go for it! I understand that maybe this won't bother anyone else...and who said main characters had to be perfect anyways?
All in all it was a very fun, quick read that managed to deal with serious topics in a very easy way.