An exploration of fear and the different avenues we take in coping with them, Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen-Fernlund follows Petula, who is a pessimist and believes the world is out to kill her due to a family crisis. Because of her fears, she ends up in youth art therapy with several other students from her school. Forced to create art in a class no one wants to be in, Petula and the rest of the group have never bothered to bond with each other until the new guy shows up. Jacob waltzes into therapy and not only brings the group together, but reintroduces Petula to a world beyond her safe bubble. But Jacob is keeping secrets he’s afraid will tear his world apart. When Petula finds out his secret, she has to come to terms with how she feels about him and if he is a fear she is willing to confront. A lesson in second chances, Optimists Die First is a quick, engrossing read and can be found in the Young Adult section of the library.