Book Review: A Semi Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

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Book Details

Title: A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares

Author: Krystal Sutherland

Date Published: September 5, 2017

Number of Pages: 368

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

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“Point is, you gotta be scared. Fear protects you. You gotta be scared right down to your bones” – he touched his fingertips to her collarbone – “for bravery to mean anything.”

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📚 Series:  No.
📚 Genre: YA Contemporary.
📚 POV: Third person.
📚 Cliffhanger: No.

⚠ Content Warnings:  Mental disorders. Anxiety. Depression. Physical abuse. Suicide.
⚠ Read if: you like to read a weirdly charming YA book that will make you laugh and then make you cry.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I will earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you, when you click on the link and make a purchase.

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 Amazon || Book Depository 

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Book Blurb from Goodreads

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. (

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About the Author

Follow her Twitter. || Visit her website.

Credit:  Lisa Fahey Photography


Author Bio from her website:

Hello. It’s me.
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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My Review

A few weeks ago, I read Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland and I loved it so much. This is mainly the reason why I decided to pick this book up.

If I were to describe this read in one sentence, it’s this: This book is quirky, weird, cute, dark and light all rolled into one.

It talks about the story of Esther Solar and the curse of having one great fear in her family. Her twin is afraid of the dark. Her father never leaves the basement. Her mother is obsessed with luck.

So far, Esther has survived without having a fear. And mainly, this is because of her Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares.

Then she meet-cutes with former childhood classmate/defender Jonah. Eventually, they decided to tackle on Esther’s list and help her find her one great fear.

Okay, as someone who had to deal with bouts of anxiety all throughout my life, I have to admit that I can relate to many things in book.

Not the wearing costumes part. Not in the phobias. But mainly, on how my emotions and thought processes work. This book was so real in the depiction of how anxiety feels and it can get really dark at times. The descriptions made by the author felt so genuine and honest, in my opinion.

Additionally, there’s power in this author’s writing style that made me want to keep on reading and get lost in the world that she built. Her writing is so vivid that I feel like I’m watching a movie in my head.

Also, the romance part of this book had a nice build up. Esther and Jonah complemented each other well and I loved how their story unfolded.

Overall, I loved how this book combined a little magic, mystery, romance, real issues, humor, family, and a whole lot of love into one unforgettable story.

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My Book Rating Breakdown

🌼 Blurb:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Main Character:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Significant Other: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌼 Support Characters:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌼 Writing Style:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌼 Character Development:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Romance: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Pacing: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Ending: ⭐⭐⭐☆☆
🌼 Unputdownability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Book Cover:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Audiobook Production: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆

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☁ FINAL VERDICT: 4.17/5 ☁

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What’s your greatest fear?

Tell me in the comments!


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2 thoughts on “Book Review: A Semi Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

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