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A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares

A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares

by Krystal Sutherland

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.

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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.

Praise for A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares:
An Amazon Editor's Favorite YA Book for Fall 2017 
An Amazon September Best of the Month Pick — YA/Teens

A Hello Giggles Best of September Pick
A Bustle Best of September YA Pick
A 2017 B&N Best Young Adult Book

“Imbue[d] with energy, fascinating histories, wisps of humor and, ultimately, grace. . . Equal parts inspiring and good fun.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

[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.”—Kirkus Reviews

“[A] darkly ironic tale about an offbeat dysfunctional family.”—Publishers Weekly

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

[I]mmediately hooks readers . . . Libraries should purchase this for readers looking for something quite out of the ordinary.”—VOYA

Dark, magical, and humorous, this is a quirky and cohesive novel about fear, depression, and obsession with death.”—Booklist

“[A] magical take on mental illness that feels very real.”—Bustle

“The story is fantastic. Making the most of magic realism and with a perfectly paced plot, easy-to-love characters, and a touching array of interesting and relevant topics, Sutherland’s book should be on everyone’s bookshelves…an alluring exploration of the human mental landscape.”—The Nerd Daily
 
Entirely pure pleasure, a sweet and heartfelt story of love, fear, and mental illness. It’s funny and touching in all the best ways.”—Vox


Praise for Our Chemical Hearts:
Indies Introduce Summer 2016 Pick
Autumn 2016 Kids' Indie Next List – "Inspired Recommendations for Kids from Indie Booksellers"

The most romantic read of the season is an arguably anti-YA story… It’s the complex chemistry between Henry and Grace that touches the heart and doesn’t let go.”—USA Today

“Eloquently conveying the complexity of love and grief, debut novelist Sutherland creates a story filled with intriguing and memorable characters.”—Publishers Weekly 

“This much-buzzed-about debut captures the messy, awkward, all-consuming emotions of a teen’s first love.”—Entertainment Weekly, Fall Books Preview

“This magnificent debut from 26-year-old Australian author Krystal Sutherland tracks the unlikely romance of Henry Page and Grace Town, two very different teens chosen to edit their high school paper together…You could probably learn a thing or two from [Henry’s] and Grace’s emotional odyssey.”—Teen Vogue, “October’s Best New YA Books”

 “This book delves far deeper than the typical high school romance, and its savvy wordplay and Henry’s self-deprecating charm will win over fans of Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower and John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars.”—School Library Journal

“I'm sorry to have to do this to you, but the love story of Henry and Grace is going to kick you in the emotional gut.”—Bustle, “Best New YA Novels Coming in October”

  • Pages: 368 Pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Imprint: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN: 9780399546617
Penguin Teen