Book Review: Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen

“Look at that and tell me what you see.”

“A half-empty cup of coffee.”

“I see a half-full mug of coffee.” He smiled triumphantly, like he’d just said something profound.

“And that’s why you’ll die before I do.”

 

I can honestly say I don’t remember what compelled me to pick this book up at the library.  Actually, I put the book on hold, which means somewhere I saw this book and thought I needed to read it – but, asking myself “why?” now isn’t bringing anything to mind.  Ultimately, it doesn’t matter why I picked it up, because I enjoyed it regardless of the situation.

I read this book on a round trip into the city (3 hrs. total) – if you’re a commuter or you have some travelling ahead of you and you can enjoy reading on whatever transportation you’re on, this is a good book to pick up.  It’s a super easy read both in terms of reading level and content.  It’s well written, but it isn’t challenging.  In fact, I was able to continue following the story even when the train car I was on was suddenly PACKED TO THE BRIM with elementary school kids on a day trip.  (Why?! Why MY train car?!?!?!)

Anyhow, this book is set in Vancouver (which I always find interesting as when I live in Canada BC is my province of residence) and it follows Petula – a high school student who is dealing with some serious fallout after the death of her younger sister.  There’s a fun rag-tag group of people around her with their own unique quirks and characteristics that are constantly challenging Petula and the way she lives her life.

That author, Susin Nielsen, was a writer for Degrassi Junior High.  The way Nielsen tells this story is certainly reminiscent of what you could see on a teen targeted show.  It’s simply a cute story but it has some unique qualities that did set it apart from a lot of other YA books out there.  (Have you seen my ranting post on YA novels?)

All in all, like I said, if you need some easy entertainment, definitely worth a pick up.

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@hopesbookmark on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

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