> Skip to content

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 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.

Reviews

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.

Bookpage

[A] darkly ironic tale about an offbeat dysfunctional family.

Publishers Weekly

A funny, touching story filled with memorable characters and big issues.

http://babblingbooks.com.au/a-semi-definitive-list-of-worst-nightmares-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 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.

VOYA

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.

Vox

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780143573913

    August 28, 2017

    Penguin

    272 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781760142674

    August 28, 2017

    Penguin eBooks (AU YR)

    272 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Krystal Sutherland

Our Chemical Hearts

Recommendations

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
How To Be A Bawse
Alice-Miranda At School 1
Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator
Midnight Jewel
Trash
Noughts & Crosses
If I Stay
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Why I Love Footy
Thirteen Reasons Why
Old School: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (BK10)
The Witches
You Choose AFL: Footy Fever
Pippa's Island 1: The Beach Shack Cafe
Wreck
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
Juliet, Nearly a Vet collection 1
Friday Barnes 6: Danger Ahead
Library Of Souls