Review : Optimists Die First by Susin Nielson

Now her anxiety is getting out of control, she is forced to attend the world’s most hopeless art therapy class. But one day, in walks the Bionic Man: a charming, amazingly tall newcomer called Jacob, who is also an amputee. Petula’s ready to freeze him out, just like she did with her former best friend, but when she’s paired with Jacob for a class project, there’s no denying they have brilliant ideas together – ideas like remaking Wuthering Heights with cats.

But Petula and Jacob each have desperately painful secrets in their pasts – and when the truth comes out, there’s no way Petula is ready for it.  (From: Goodreads)

Title: Optimists Die First 
Author: Susin Nielson

Genre: YA, contemporary, mental-health, grief-counselling 

Publisher: – Random House Children’s (US), 2017.02.21/ – Penguin Random House UK Children’s, 2017.05.02

Edition: e-ARC 

(*I’ve received this book as an ARC from Random House through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*) x2

‘But age aside, studies show that in general, optimists die ten years earlier than pessimists.’

⭐⭐⭐⭐ optimistic stars!!!

I am a pessimist.  No joke.  Thus, when I came across this title on NetGalley, I was thrilled to want to read this book!   When I read THAT quote, I was so happy that I could live a little longer.  (JK)  Moreover, both of the covers look really cute.

This is a book about grieving, but mostly about how to let go and forgive yourself.  

The Good 

interesting The use of the words and the conversations are sometimes funny.

I got the glue gun for Christmas.  Rachel didn’t get a One Direction boyfriend, but she did briefly go out with a boy who had hair like Niall’s.

personality Each person had their own specific personalities.

plot twist The plot twist is so good that you couldn’t see it coming.  Yes, you were wondering whether something was wrong, but you didn’t know.

The Bad 

the ending I don’t really like the way the story ends.  I’ll discuss more later.

I’d like to talk about the characters 😱

Petula Harriet De Wilde 

I feel that we are so similar, on being pessimistic.  Some people are born to be optimistic.  Whereas, some are born to be pessimistic.  Yes, I believe there are also these gray area people.  

I am a pessimist which means that I worry about a lot of things.  (And honestly, I want to make a scrapbook like hers.)

☑ Triple check before crossing a street 

☑ Never walk near a construction site

☑ Look over your shoulder just to be sure that no one is following you 

Well, I’m not that intense.  The shoulder thing I only do it on dark days like cloudy days, rainy days, or during the nighttime, or when I’m walking through dark lanes.  

– Remi’s Kind Note: A big worrier or not, just be careful when you walk through dark lanes!


She was a alcoholic and drug abuser.  She is that kind of person that always tells you the harsh truth, always speaks what’s on her mind.


He was brought up in a religious family.  And he is gay.  He tried to commit suicide before, but failed.  

‘Suicide,’ Koula said.  ‘You of all people should be able to say that word, Alonzo.  You’re the expert.’

‘Nope.  Amateur.  My attempt failed.’

Jacob Cohen

The movie weirdo.  The new kid.  He’s obsessed with movies.  He’s got a robotic arm which I think it’s pretty cool.

‘Go on, shake it,’ he said.  ‘It has twelve different grip patterns.’


She used to be Petula’s best friend, but things happened.  Could they still be friends again?  (Hint: you know what will happen.)


He was in deep grief or his mother’s drowning (suicide?).  He’s probably my favourite character in this story because everything he said, the way he acted, just reminded me of a little brother that I’ve never had.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read contemporary, wants to know more about mental-health, or simply just wants to be surprised.  You should try it!

Why, in so many YA books, the first time that male characters tell female characters they are beautiful is when girls are shirtless with only bras on?

That bothers me everytime.

This is my unspoiled review of Optimists Die First.  Let me know what you think!
If you’re not okay with spoiler, I’m here to say goodbye to you in advance and I wish you have a nice day.  If you’re okay with spoiler, feel free to keep reading.  






I don’t like the ending.  I don’t think Petula should get back together with Jacob.  He lied.  He lied multiple times when everyone told the truth and only the truth.

Yes, they would definitely judge him if he had told them the truth in the first place.  However, now he’s just got himself judged more with a badge of liar.  

And…yeah, I know he was afraid.  Fine.  Everybody could be friends in the end.  But getting back together?  Nah.  Not a good idea.  

Drunk and drive and kill.  It’s a serious business.  A lot of drunken drivers have taken away a lot of lives but their owns.  If I were Jacob’s ex-bestfriend’s parents, no, I would never forgive him.  He is unforgivable.


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