From the author of Our Chemical Hearts comes the hilarious, reality-bending tale of two outsiders facing their greatest fears about life and love—one debilitating phobia at a time.
Ever since Esther Solar’s grandfather met Death, her entire family has been cursed 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 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 recorded in her semi-definitive list of worst nightmares.
Esther thinks she has it all figured out, until she’s reunited with an old classmate—and first crush—Jonah Smallwood. An unexpected friendship between the two develops and together they face one phobia at a time, only to discover the one fear they hadn’t counted on: love.
“Rainbow Rowell devotees, John Green junkies, and fans of This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales will find a lot to love here. ”
School Library Journal
“A story that is both uproariously funny and thought provoking. Deftly weaving irony within her narrative . . . A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares is earmarked to be a classic.”
“[A] darkly ironic tale about an offbeat dysfunctional family. ”
“A funny, touching story filled with memorable characters and big issues.”
“A bewitching book . . . Sutherland’s fertile imagination makes this book a deep dive into the intricacies of family, friends, and personal history . . . A fresh and compelling look at mental illness.”
“A touching, hilarious and relatable book for older teens about depression, anxiety, facing your fears and learning to accept help when you need it most . . .”
Tamsien West, Books + Publishing
“[I]mmediately hooks readers . . . Libraries should purchase this for readers looking for something quite out of the ordinary. ”
“Krystal Sutherland' new book, A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares, is the kind of charmingly quirky YA novel that in five years will absolutely become a cult classic teen movie that underperforms at the box office.”
CBCA Book of the Year Awards
Notable Book • 2018 • Older Readers