Tag Archives: anxiety

Optimists Die First

Optimists Die First Book Cover Optimists Die First
Susin Nielsen
Young Adult Fiction
Wendy Lamb Books
February 21, 2017

Award-winning author Susin Nielsen has written a laugh-out-loud and heartrending novel for fans of Robyn Schneider's Extraordinary Means and Cammie McGovern's Say What You Will. Beware: Life ahead. Sixteen-year-old Petula de Wilde is anything but wild. A former crafting fiend with a happy life, Petula shut herself off from the world after a family tragedy. She sees danger in all the ordinary things, like crossing the street, a bug bite, or a germy handshake. She knows: life is out to get you. The worst part of her week is her comically lame mandatory art therapy class with a small group of fellow misfits. Then a new boy, Jacob, appears at school and in her therapy group. He seems so normal and confident, though he has a prosthetic arm; and soon he teams up with Petula on a hilarious project, gradually inspiring her to let go of some of her fears. But as the two grow closer, a hidden truth behind why he's in the group could derail them, unless Petula takes a huge risk. . .



“Optimists Die First” was a decent enough book about anxiety and a quick read, but it was missing that something extra to push it over into good.  It also seemed to resolve things way too quickly.  I can’t recommend nor not recommend it.  Read the description and give it a try if it piques your interest.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.


Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Underage Drinking

10 Things I Can See From Here

10 Things I Can See from Here Book Cover 10 Things I Can See from Here
Carrie Mac
Young Adult Fiction
Knopf Books for Young Readers
February 28, 2017

Maeve, a sufferer of severe anxiety, moves in with her recovering alcoholic father and her very pregnant stepmother and falls for a girl who's not afraid of anything.



“10 Things I Can See From Here” is one of the best books that I have read about anxiety disorder.

The way the story is written does an excellent job of showing the stream of consciousness that happens when something triggers anxiety.  At times I was feeling the anxiety creeping in to my own head.  The novel is by no means a one-trick pony, either.  The issues of coming out, gay bashing, familial drug abuse, divorce, step-family dynamics, and first love are tackled head-on.  All of the characters are developed, and for the most part, likable.

I can’t stress this enough: My favorite part is that it did not follow the false trope of mental health issues being solved by meeting the right person.  Salix helps Maeve, but she is not a miracle cure.  Only Maeve’s dad can kick his drug habit, no matter how hard his family tries to help.  Good lessons, in my opinion.

I recommend “10 Things I Can See From Here” for anyone looking for books about anxiety or a wonderful lgbt romance.  Yay for diverse books!

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.


Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Hate Words, Drug Abuse