ARC Review: "A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares" by Krystal Sutherland

A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

Ever since Esther Solar's grandfather was cursed by Death, everyone in her family has been doomed to suffer one great fear in their lifetime. Esther's father is agoraphobic and hasn't left the basement in six years, her twin brother can t be in the dark without a light on, and her mother is terrified of bad luck.

The Solars are consumed by their fears and, according to the legend of the curse, destined to die from them. 

Esther doesn't know what her great fear is yet (nor does she want to), a feat achieved by avoiding pretty much everything. Elevators, small spaces, and crowds are all off-limits. So are haircuts, spiders, dolls, mirrors and three dozen other phobias she keeps a record of in her semi-definitive list of worst nightmares. 

Then Esther is pickpocketed by Jonah Smallwood, an old elementary school classmate. Along with her phone, money and a fruit roll-up she d been saving, Jonah also steals her list of fears. Despite the theft, Esther and Jonah become friends, and he sets a challenge for them: in an effort to break the curse that has crippled her family, they will meet every Sunday of senior year to work their way through the list, facing one terrifying fear at a time, including one that Esther hadn't counted on: love.



I received an e-ARC from NetGalley in exhange for an honest review!

Esther Solar's family is cursed. Her grandfather met death when he was alive and since then all of her family members suffer from a phobia which eventually will kill them.
Or is that the truth?

"A Semi Definite List of Worst Nightmares" was a 180 degree turn from Krystal Sutherland's first novel "Our Chemical Hearts". There is humor, mystery, romance and a good dose of magical realism, should I dare to mention.

Esther sees herself as someone ugly, fat too ginger for her own good and tries desperately to keep her family from crumbling. Her best friend is selective mute, so both Esther and her brother know how to use sign language.

Enter Jonah Smallwood, a boy who lives in a tortured family, yet tries desperately to escape his life, by creating movies. When he decides t help Esther to overcome her list of possible fears, a funny emotional journey begins.

And secrets are uncovered.

I enjoyed this book whole-heartily! Some scenes, like the ones with the lobsters and the geese were hilarious! And some others, were heart-breaking (Trigger warnings for suicide attempt, domestic abuse, physical abuse).

But Esther and Jonah matured through the course of the book, although there was ONE final scene (you'll see which one I mean) that made me cry. Because if everything they learnt about Esther's Grandfather was true, then my lovely couple needs more time!

Overall, this book is very enjoyable and maybe one of the best contemporaries, I've read in 2017. ;)

About the author:

I am Krystal Sutherland, writer of books. Or, more specifically, I am the writer of one lonely book, OUR CHEMICAL HEARTS, which is being published in September 2016 by Penguin in the US and ANZ, and Hot Key in the UK. 

I was born and raised in Townsville, in the far north of Australia. Since escaping to Sydney in 2011, I've also lived in Amsterdam, which was awesome but cold, and Hong Kong, where I currently reside (though I speak neither Dutch nor Cantonese). 

Growing up, I never dreamed of being a writer. I wanted to be a) a florist, then b) a volcanologist, then c) an actress. It wasn't until shortly after my 18th birthday that I sat down to write my first (terrible) novel. 

OUR CHEMICAL HEARTS, thankfully, is slightly better than that hot mess. Nonetheless, I am notoriously bad at explaining what it's about, except to say that it involves the terribly tragic and awful experience of falling in love for the first time. 

I have no pets and no children, but in Amsterdam I owned a bicycle called Kim Kardashian. It was somewhat difficult to get along with. I was fond of it regardless. 

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