Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Optimists Die First by Susin Nielson || In which this book totally befuddled my thoughts on it.

Did I love this book? No. Do I hate this book? No. *cue book reviewer crisis* I literally have no idea how to review this book, but I shall endeavour to try. I recived this book as an ARC through Netgalley (so thank you to the publishers)

- It was funny. The characters make some good jokes, and there are some hilarious situations (mostly involving cats.) 

- The characters were well done. The side characters that is, particularly Koula. She was my favourite character. I think Susin should write a whole book on Koula. I want to know so much more about her; I want to see where she goes in life.

- CATS CATS CATS! I kinda adore cats. There were a lot of cats in this book, and they were all named after book characters. #COOL

- Petula loved to read! yay for bookworm characters!

- Petula's parents were pretty awesome, very understanding and supportive. #YAY FOR GOOD PARENTS

-I really enjoyed Susin's writing style!

- Petula's 'anxiety' was not a very good representation of anxiety. It felt more like OCD (for example, she washes her hands for two rounds of Happy Birthday every time she washes her hands) I have  rather severe anxiety (it fluctuates. Sometimes it's really bad, and other times I feel more okay) , and I just....did not feel any connection with how it was represented. But I do also know that anxiety affects people in different ways, and that means that everyone's experiences with anxiety will be different. I have seen people say that they thought it was well represented, so do not take my word for law. This is simply my opinion.

- THE LOVE TROPE. This has got to be the most over used, annoying trope EVER. Basically it goes like this: Girl has mental illness. Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy somehow magically cures girl of mental illness (or something similar). And that's exactly what went down in this book. Please allow me to roll my eyes.

I gave Optimists Die First two stars because I did like it. Apart from those two major problems. However, I also did enjoy Susin's writing style. I will definitely try Susin's other books in the future. 
AND THAT WAS MY REVIEW OF OPTIMISTS DIE FIRST. Have you read it yet? If so, what are your thoughts on the representation of anxiety? Have you read any good books about anxiety? TELL ME ALL IN THE COMMENTS.


  1. I wanted to read this, but now I'm not so sure. I like romance to be a side plot. It doesn't sound like it's a side plot in this.

    On the other hand, the characters sound interesting, and I've enjoyed books that were almost pure romance before (*Cough* The Wolves of Mercy Falls *Cough*).

    Great review.

    1. If you want a short, easy and entertaining read, then go for it! Just don't expect much from the romance and stuff.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I haven't heard of this book before, but the title certainly intrigues me. I guess I should be glad I'm not an optimist... XD That's annoying that the love trope is there; it would be great to see more books where characters aren't 'miraculously healed' by love. :)

    1. hehe I guess! XD
      Yeah I was pretty disappointed that there are still books with that trope. It just really took away from the story. I think that those two characters should have been just best friends, or something.

  3. Aww...I'm sorry this was so disappointing. :( I can definitely see where you're coming from though - the romance does sound really cliche and it's a shame that anxiety wasn't represented accurately. :( Nonetheless, thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ Stories on Stage

    1. aw thanks! I'm glad you liked my review. I was rather sad that it was so disappointing, as I like books that deal with anxiety (as long as it's done right.) I think the main turn off for me was the romance :(

  4. This is exactly how I felt too!! There were plenty of funny and endearing moments but that anxiety rep??? I've seen other people say they related a lot but it frustrated me SO BAD. I thought it was mocking Anxiety and the "cure by a boy" thing just .. argh. That needs to stop. Plus I agree it seemed more like OCD than anxiety, but like just the OCD stereotypes which is annoying...and anxiety isn't something to laugh about honestly. I guess people like to tackle hard topics in that "light/fun" way, but I always feel belittled. Like someone is laughing at it behind your back, you know??? So this book and I don't get along at all.😂😂

    1. I read this book in two sittings, but the bad anxiety rep frustrated me so badly the first time, that I left it for like, three weeks before picking it up again.
      and YESSS I TOTALLY AGREE. I hate it when mental illnesses are written in that light/fun way.

  5. The cats sound really good, but the love trope is just totally meh. Thanks for the warning.

    I do tend to wash my hands multiple times when I have bouts of anxiety though. It calms me down a lot! Like I need to wash all that badness off me and suddenly it's safer when my hands are clean. Or they just start feeling dirty when I get anxious.

    1. Yeah the cats were great, the love trope, not so much lol.
      Oh dear, maybe I didn't clarify what I saying.
      Petula washes her hands in that way after using public bathrooms (and things like that)because she thinks that if she doesn't, she'll get a debilitating disease, which is an OCD stereotype, yet the author labels it as anxiety. But maybe you'll connect with the representation in this book, because anxiety affects everyone differently, and I have seen people saying that they connected with Petula, and that the author wrote the representation very well. When I have anxiety I do the whole ripping my nails and skin off with my teeth thing.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! :D