Optimists Die First

Written by Susin Nielson


Petula is the typical amazonian-sized, anxiety-wrought, socially-inept teenage girl just trying everything in her power to avoid imminent death. After she gets paired with a strange bionic boy to create a skit for an English project, she is forced to court her demise by inviting(?) him over to film. Though Petula would rather curl up in her self-made quilts with her cats and watch cat videos, she finds herself going out more and more, taking greater risks of getting the flesh-eating disease from a paper cut (that really happened before – look it up).

This book was amazing! It was funny, sad, angering, victorious; a total roller coaster of emotions! I loved all the characters and all their strange little quirks. They all develop very well (though sometimes predictably) and are so relate-able. It is a strange story that ends up not really going anywhere, but it is the perfect read for anyone who feels they can never come back after a tragedy.

Review by Carlos Ramos, Student Aide, Granger High School Media Center
Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 9-12

Optimists Die First
Written by Susin Nielson
Wendy Lamb Books
224 pages
Release Date: February 21, 2017
An advanced reader copy was provided by the publisher.

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