Book Review: Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen

Hey Guys!

Its Sunday and you know what that means. It’s time for another book review! today it is time for a book that I have been wanting to read ever since I first heard about it, and that book is Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen. Let’s do this.


I am actually pretty disappointed in this book. It had so much potential to be a really brilliant book full of mental health representation, but it ended up just being a pretty standard love story with a bit of grief.

Don’t get me wrong, I did like the love story. Petula and Jacob are pretty cute together and do seem to make a pretty good couple. They really seem to help each other and pull one another back into the light. But for the most part, it just felt like a fairly standard love story. boy meets girl, both been through some shit, boy and girl get together. Simple. and pretty disappointing.

This book had the potential to be incredible. It had three characters dealing with grief and guilt, an alcoholic/drug addict and an openly gay character who had been disowned. There was so much that this book could have covered, but it didn’t. none of these stories where truly explored. You saw a little bit of Petula and Jacob dealing with their grief and a little of the other characters trying to handle their situations. But not a lot and not that well. The main character also suffered with anxiety and panic attacks and this wasn’t really explored either. It was just said to be ‘a fainting spell’. And it is casually mentioned that a another character was on suicide watch for months, but then also not explored any further then that one brief mention.

There was just so much more that this book could have done that it didn’t. it focused way too heavily on the romance side of the story and not enough on everything else. I wish Nielsen had either just stuck to a simple romance story or actually focused on the important elements of this story.

star 22 out of 5

I had such high hoped for this book and it just fell so short. It could have been so much. Have you read this one? What did you think about it? I hope that you have enjoyed todays post and I will see you all again very soon.


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