Optimists Die First

Optimists Die First

Book - 2017
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Since her sister's death, Petula de Wilde sees danger in everything. A mandatory art therapy class with a groups of teenage misfits is the worst part of each week. She wants nothing to do with them-- especially Jacob and his prosthetic arm. When they work together on a project, he helps her with her fears. But a secret he's been keeping from her could unravel everything...
Publisher: New York : Tundra Books, ©2017.
ISBN: 9781770497825
Characteristics: 228 pages ;,22 cm


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WCCLS_BryceK Oct 15, 2018

Irreverent but sincere. Would recommend for a quick light-hearted read that's trauma-related, in case that's something you needed right now.

Optimists Die First is a romance book about Petula De Wilde. Petula came across a tragedy that caused her to become pessimistic and overly cautious, leading to her participation in a youth art therapy class, YART for short. In YART, there are other misfits who have also gone through hard times, and are there to express themselves through art. Early in the book, she meets Jacob Cohen, a boy with a prosthetic arm, and begins to open up herself as she works on a project with him in YART. I liked how the characters in the book were described - they had depth and had gone through a sort of tragedy or problem in their life. The book seems simple at first, but as more details and scenarios are uncovered, the book contains depth, and there is a sort of twist. I recommend this book to people who want to read a romance with some drama. - Sam

Mar 26, 2018

Whenever someone suggest a book I put it on my "For Later" shelf at the library (as long as it is one they have). If they've been on that shelf for a while I forget where I got the recommendation for... which is the case for this book. The hubby and I actually grabbed the audio book for our three week road trip and figured we'd give it a listen while we were on the road. I didn't know anything about it when I grabbed it, but I have to say, I really enjoyed it (as did the hubby). It was a short "read" (the audiobook was very quick compared to others we have listened to in the past), but it packs a good punch. The main character, Petula, does her best to minimize risks because she fears the absolute worst. It is great to see her come out of her shell around the band of misfits she has assembled around herself and how they help each other grow and evolve. I thought it was a great story of love, healing, overcoming losses and finding new beginnings. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

Dec 29, 2017

Rating: 5/5 This story is a very original and interesting concept. The main character, Petula is haunted by the death of her beloved sister after her sister dies by choking on a button that Petula sewed for her. She is afraid of everything and is isolated due to her anxiety. In a support group, she meets a boy that has a darkness beneath his happy exterior. As she learns to move on from her trauma, she realizes that the boy she thought she knew has secrets of his own. This story shows that one stupid decision can affect the course of your life. At times, I was angry at the characters for not being forgiving of people's mistakes.
@sunsetzuzu of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

Incredible! I was amazed at how this story engaged me so well, I couldn’t put the book down! It was as though I was living inside of the book and experiencing the troubles Petula, the main character, was going through. I have developed a love of realist young adult books but each time I read a book like this one, it always takes me by surprise the diction the author uses and the way they engage the reader. After Petula goes through a family tragedy, she begins to see the world as a terrible and dangerous place full of disease and harm. This all slowly begins to change after a boy shows up to her school and is involved with an art therapy with Petula. Following this exciting journey and showing the evolution of Petula will change how you see the characters and learn what one secret can do in a relationship. I would highly recommend this fantastic book to teenagers and fans of romance novels and you will quickly learn why once you begin to read the book! I would give this book a rating of 4 out of 5.
- @booklover327 of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

JCLChrisK Oct 19, 2017

An engaging and moving study of a character--plus her entire supporting cast--dealing with grief and guilt of various types. 3.5 stars.

samdog123 Sep 15, 2017

Two years after Petula's younger sister dies in a tragic accident, she and her family have not been able to overcome their overwhelming grief. When Petula meets Jacob at an art therapy class, she begins to see the world in a different way and slowly overcomes her anxieties. A great companion read to the Hero of Room 13B.

Aug 10, 2017

This book begins with the usual, and normally I would have put down a typical teenage love story, but what really hooked me was the interesting characters and unordinary plot as the story unraveled. The author manages to make one pessimist and one optimist fall in love, adding more spice to the story. The setting is set in Vancouver, a place we are well familiar with. Another story well written, well worth the four and half stars.

Aug 06, 2017

I honestly didn't think much of this book in the beginning. However, as the plot unrolls, and more facts and characters came into play, I was hooked. This book is quite interesting because it will provide a new point of view for a lot of people-a pessimist's view. (At least for me, it did). At any rate, this book is what people would call an "oddball story", but I think that adds to the richness of this story. This book is full of surprises and plot twists, and I think you'll follow along until the entire plot rolls out. Another great book.

Jul 29, 2017

Susan Nielsen is an incredible author. I fell in love with her story, 'We are all Made of Molecules' because of it's unique perspectives and ideas. After reading this, I decided to read 'Optimists Die First'. This book follows a 16 year old girl called Petula. A family tragedy has caused her to be very closed off to the world. She is now scared of many things from bacteria to aeroplanes to walking near building sites becuase of the risks. Every week she goes to the dreaded therapy class that is meant to help her out of shell through the form of art. During one of her sessions, she meets an unexpected friend. This story is about Petula's recovery and her new view of the world with the help of a special someone. I would recommend it to anyone over the age of 11. It was really well written and I enjoyed it very much.

Jun 27, 2017

Optimists Die First by Susin Neilsen, was an outstanding book. I love how she always in-cooperates her characters from other books into the one you are reading. Her stories are full of sometimes relatable (or sometimes just understandable and not relatable) plots. They are all set in modern Vancouver, so living in Vancouver allows me to set a more realistic setting and not something I just imagine would be perfect.

The story in general was about a teenage girl named Petula, she has really big fears or phobias. Petula is a safety geek, if anything could be somehow dangerous like drinking out of a glass glass, she would either stop you or run away screaming. That was all until Jacob came along, someone with guilt and fears. Jacob doesn't like to share his fears but instead helps everyone else conquer theirs. Doing that makes everybody love him and for Petula.... well don't get me started. All is well until Jacob drops the bomb about the REAL truth of what happened in his accident which caused his fears. Jacob leaves everyone shocked, will Jacob figure out how to explain himself??

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Aug 10, 2017

donutwombat thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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JCLChrisK Oct 19, 2017

Either they were stupid, or they were optimists. Most likely both. "I will outlive you all," I muttered under my breath.


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