The time it was about A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares

Posted September 15, 2017 by Stacee in Blog Tours, Giveaways, Interviews | 4 Comments

I absolutely loved the synopsis for A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland and signed up for the blog tour before I had even read it.  Risky? Perhaps, but it definitely paid off.  I have an obsessive sort of for this story and characters and I’m ready to start pushing this book into everyone’s hands.

Before we get to my top reasons to read and an interview with Krystal, let’s check out the book.

Title: A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares
Author: Krystal Sutherland
Pub Date: September 5, 2017
Pages: 256
Publisher: GP Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Find it: PRH | Indiebound | B&N | Amazon | 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.

Sounds good, right?

1. Please give the elevator pitch for The Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares.

It’s about a girl – Esther Solar – who believes her family was cursed by Death to each suffer one great fear in their lifetime. According to the family legend, whatever you fear will also kill you in the end. Esther’s father is agoraphobic and hasn’t left the basement in six years, her brother is terrified of the dark, and her mother fears bad luck. Esther doesn’t know what her great fear is yet – nor does she want to – so she keeps a list of fifty things she considers scary and then avoids them at all cost. That is until she reconnects with an elementary school crush, and he sets them a challenge: go out every Sunday for a year, and face one of her fears together.

2. What sparked the idea?

I was living in Amsterdam at the time, and my little sister had come to visit me. I’d hired a bike for her, because it’s the best way to get around the city, but she refused to ride it because she wasn’t a confident cyclist and was afraid of having an accident. Eventually we worked through her anxiety and she was brave enough to face her fear. We spent the afternoon cycling around the city, and the idea just kind of fell into my head.

3. Why do you love Esther and Jonah and why should we root for them?

I love Esther because she’s braver than she realizes; she’s terrified of all this stuff, but she also has the guts to face her fears. I love Jonah because he’s so self-assured, but also so kind and patient and funny.

4. What was the weirdest thing you googled while researching?

Oh my goodness, my Google search history for this book would land me in jail. How quickly do dead bodies decompose? How much blood can someone lose before dying? Also lots of research on serial killers… I’m surprised no law enforcement has come knocking yet.

5. Without spoilers, what was your favorite scene to write?

All of the scenes of Esther and Jonah faces fears together. There’s a very cinematic quality to them, because Esther sees them like movies in her head.

Speed {ish} round:

1. You find out that you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes.

I’d just gotten back from studying abroad in Amsterdam. It was my first day (first five minutes, actually) at a new causal retail job to save up for my next study abroad semester in Hong Kong. I took a phone call from my agent in the back room, found out I was getting published, and swore a lot. The first person I told was my manager; the first thing she said was, “Well, you can’t leave.”

2. What three things would you take to a desert island?

I’d be pretty happy with a Kindle preloaded with several thousand books, a hammock, and magic jug of margarita that never runs out.

3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

The Harry Potter series counts as one book, right?

4. What book character would you want to date and who would you want to be your BFF?

BFF: Hermione. I think we’d get along well. Date: I legitimately had a dream once that Voldemort was my boyfriend. We fought a lot because he didn’t give me enough attention; he was always plotting and scheming to kill Harry and I just wanted to hang out, you know? Go to the movies from time to time, maybe go get some ice cream at the beach. Eventually we had to break it off because our interests were just too different.

5. What is the one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?

Oh… so much! There’s so much information online about how to get an agent and a book deal, and what those experiences are like, but beyond that point it’s kind of a mystery. Luckily for me, one of my best friends was being published at the same time as me, so we got to go on the adventure together.

6. You wake up and discover you are Bella in Twilight. You know how it plays out. What do you do differently?

Run. Run so far away. Move to, like, New York or something. Become a… what was she even passionate about in her spare time? I can’t remember. Let’s say writing. Become a writer. Write about vampires. Write Twilight. Become an international bestselling phenomenon.

And now…

Top 5 Reasons to read A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares

The characters — I loved this group and wanted to hang out with them. They’re all so loyal to each other and it was refreshing to read characters who are so tight knit and loving without the bullshit drama that is sometimes created to move the plot along. I especially loved the relationship between Esther and Eugene.

The backstory — We get a narrative thread about Esther’s grandfather and the times that he met Death. But did he really meet Death?

The banter — I couldn’t stop cackling and I wanted to roll around in it. Example:

“You ever dress like a normal person?”

“You do realize you look like you’ve been thrift shopping with Macklemore, right?” {pg 67}

The list — Some are heavy things to be scared of and some are amusing and some are confusing and all of it is awesome.

The ending — I mean, no spoilers or anything, but yeah.

Krystal Sutherland was born and raised in Townsville, Australia—an inhospitable land where crocodiles, snakes, and jellyfish are always on the prowl. She grew up living directly across the road from the local library and spent almost every day after school (and weekends, too) having adventures between the pages of books (mainly because it was too dangerous to go outside).

She moved to Sydney for college (and safety), where she cut her writing teeth as the editor of the student magazine at the University of New South Wales. She kept gathering tales as an exchange student in Hong Kong and as a foreign correspondent in Amsterdam. Her first book, Our Chemical Hearts, was released in 2016, and was published in over twenty countries.

Her three greatest fears are heights, dark caves . . . and (perhaps worst of all) frogs.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

Huge thanks to Penguin for the invite and to Krystal for taking the time! Keep scrolling for giveaway and definitely check out the rest of the blog tour for extra goodies!

**Good Luck!!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to be one (1) of three (3) winners to receive a hardcover copy of A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland. (ARV: $17.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on September 4, 2017 and 12:00 AM on September 25, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about September 27, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Week One:
September 4 – Mrs. Leif’s Two Fangs About It – Review & Excerpt
September 5 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Chase Away the Nightmares: A Playlist
September 6 – Arctic Books – Reviews
September 7 – YA Wednesdays – Favorite Quotes
September 8 – Feed Your Fiction Addiction – Author Guest Post: Krystal’s Top 10 Addictions

Week Two:
September 11 – Swoony Boys Podcast – Dream Casting
September 12 – Twinning for Books
September 13 – Love is Not a Triangle – Author Guest Post: Would You Rather? With the Cast of ASDLOWN
September 14 – Forever Young Adult – Review
September 15 – Adventures of a Book Junkie – Author Q&A

Week Three:
September 18 – Xpresso Reads – Review & My Top 5 Fears/Phobias
September 19 – Chasing Faerytales – Review
September 20 – Boricuan Bookworms – Review
September 21 – YA and Wine – Author Guest Post: Krystal’s Biggest Fears
September 22 – A Book and a Cup of Coffee – Psychology of Phobias

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4 responses to “The time it was about A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares

  1. cyborgcinderella

    Everyone keeps talking about how good this book is and it’s making me want to read it even more than I already do!

  2. danielle hammelef

    Great review! I haven’t read a review yet on this tour that doesn’t rave about this book. I love the banter! Great characters that you want to hang out with? That means this author really knows her characters well enough to make them real. Can’t wait to read this.

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