Everyone we let into our lives has the power to hurt us. Sometimes they will, and sometimes they won’t, but that’s not a reflection of us, or our strength. Loving someone who hurts you doesn’t make you weak.
Title: A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares
Author: Krystal Sutherland
Page Count: 368 pages
Genre: Contemporary // Young Adult
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★.5
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Random House
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Buy It: Chapters Indigo
Ever since Esther Solar’s grandfather met Death, her entire family has been doomed to suffer one great fear in their lifetime—a fear that will eventually lead each and every one of them to their graves. Take Esther’s father, for instance: He’s an agoraphobe who hasn’t left the basement in six years. Then there’s her twin brother, Eugene, whose fear of the dark goes far beyond the things that go bump in the night. And her mother, Rosemary, is absolutely terrified of bad luck.
As for Esther, she’s managed to escape the curse…so far. She doesn’t yet have a great fear because she avoids pretty much everything. Elevators, small spaces, crowds—anything that might trigger a phobia is off-limits and is meticulously recorded in her semi-definitive list of worst nightmares.
Esther thinks she has it all figured out, until she’s reunited with an old elementary school classmate—and first crush—Jonah Smallwood. The encounter leaves her stranded at a bus stop and swindled out of her phone, all her cash, a Fruit Roll-Up she’d been saving, and her list—not to mention her dignity. But the theft is also the beginning of an unexpected friendship between the two, one that sends the pair on a journey of self-discovery as they try to break the curse that’s consumed Esther’s family. Together they face their greatest fears, one debilitating phobia at a time, only to discover the one fear they hadn’t counted on: love.
This doesn’t happen often to me, if at all, but I am so happy to let you know I’ve found a YA contemporary I absolutely loved!
Usually I find my books via publisher catalogues or “bookstagram” and most of all, word of mouth but every so often I’ll find a book randomly off the shelves at the bookstore. I saw the title of this one on the spine (and a little skull) and thought, okay I need to pick this up it’s clearly yelling at me. So I grabbed it and read the first chapter and I was hooked! This book made me laugh (OUT LOUD LOUDLY), it made me tear up and it made me happy.
A day later.. I’m all done and I’m so happy with it. This was a beautiful contemporary. It had a splash of magic and beautiful metaphors. It dived deep into mental health but in such a raw, honest way while staying completely charming and perfect. The writing was so smooth and very well written. I was so impressed! All around, what an amazing read. I HIGHLY recommend this one if you’re looking for a good mental health representation, a charming love story and/or a quirky different read. I’m looking forward to picking up Krystal Sutherland’s other book now!