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


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Raw and Poignant Exploration of Mental Health: A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

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A Raw and Poignant Exploration of Mental Health: A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland
A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares
Krystal Sutherland
Genre: Contemporary, Mental Health, YA
Publication date: September 5, 2017
by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

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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.
-A copy was provided by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers for review-

Everyone raved about Our Chemical Hearts when it came out last year but because my tbr is overflowing and I am always short on time, I never did get around to reading it. A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares immediately caught my attention because it had such a cutesy title, cover & blurb but don’t let any of that fool you because this book will fucking break your heart.

A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares is such a raw, poignant exploration of mental health and I don’t even know where to begin unpacking my feels for those books. (But also, can we all agree that unpacking feels for books you love is so much harder than talking about books you hate?)

Esther Solar believes her family has been cursed and that is why they are doomed to have ONE GREAT FEAR that will take over their lives and eventually lead to their deaths. Her father is agoraphobic, her mom afraid of bad luck and her brother afraid of the dark. Esther may have many fears but she hasn’t quiet discovered the ONE GREAT FEAR that will take over her life and eventually lead to her death. Her way around this issue is to slowly catalog all her fears and to avoid everything so that nothing has the chance to become her ONE GREAT FEAR. I think we can all agree that isn’t the best idea either so when Jonah swoops back into her life, she is forced to reexamine her family, her identity and what she is really afraid of.

Let’s be clear though, this is not the kind of book where a boy saves in and saves the damsel in distress. The boy swoops in and steals $50, her phone and a fruit roll-up before he is useful at all to the mc. But also, just generally, Jonah and Esther have a give and take relationship that isn’t as obvious at first but becomes more obvious as you get to understand their dynamic and Jonah better (since the book is only told from Esther’s point of view.)

I love how beautifully this book dwells into mental illnesses and how it unpacks the many different layers of how it can impact one’s life. It doesn’t stigmatized and doesn’t romanticize what is going one while at the same time offers tools to the readers.

The characters in The Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares, the relationships b/w friends, family & romantic interests and the exploration of mental health make it a strong package but also, the underlying tale of Death (the character) is so intriguing and adds another exciting dimension to the novel. Overall, this book is one you don’t want to miss out on and really, you should just push it to the tippy-top of your TBR if you’re in need for a book that will make you cry and laugh at the same time!

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

A Semi-Definitive List of My 5 Worst Fears/Nightmares

A Semi-Definitive List of My 5 Worst Fears/Nightmares

Posted by on 09/18/2017 • 3 Comments

Hey hey hey! A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares is an important book that addresses mental health/phobias so I decided to share some of my fears/nightmares with y’all. Things are about to get weirdly personal (but also a little silly because that’s just who I am so if you’re not into that, I say it’s time to close your browser or email and do something else.

A Semi-Definitive List of My 5 Worst Fears/Nightmares

1. When I was a kid, I developed an odd fear of heights that never went away. When I was a kid, it wasn’t that the height scared me but more that I would lose something or someone important to me. Now it’s both?

2. Dying alone. I know a lot of people will share this…

An Exhilarating Journey: Warcross by Marie Lu

An Exhilarating Journey: Warcross by Marie Lu

Posted by on 09/07/2017 • 1 Comment

*exhales loudly*

Listen, this book is going to change everything. Are you a non-gamer and kinda wondering if this will really be your thing? The answer is YES. To be fair, I do play occasionally play multi-player Nintendo games with friends but, I am not a gamer and usually don’t have a long enough attention span to actually play anything on my own aside from Mario Kart. Warcross is amazing and has the ability to appeal to almost everyone (so it might not appeal to people who live under rocks and don’t know what books are *shrugs*)

The hype behind this book is INTENSE and honestly, that kind of hype is usually terrfiying to me and might even be terrifying to you but I read Legend by Marie Lu 6 years ago…

#PlayWarcross: My Dream Warcross Team

#PlayWarcross: My Dream Warcross Team

Posted by on 09/04/2017 • 0 Comments

Hello, hello friends. I’ve been sitting on this post for a while because life is hard but also because coming up with the perfect Warcross team is also hard. There are so many good characters to choose from for the individual roles but I really wanted to get together a team that would complement each other in terms of their personalities and help each other make up for their faults. SO. I PRESENT TO YOU:

THE RED HOT LONES

Team Captain: The captain has the most difficult task of leading a group of rag-tags so finding the person fit for the job requires a lot of thought and care. While there are many great people out there capable of being a leader, I went with Yelena from Poison Study because even…

ARC Review: Journey’s End by Rachel Hawkins

ARC Review: Journey’s End by Rachel Hawkins

Posted by on 10/27/2016 • 4 Comments

Are you looking for a spoopy read for the Halloween season? Have you considered picking up a delightful middle-grade Halloween-esque novel? If so, consider reading this charming novel. I am a huge fan of Rachel Hawkins’ Hex Hall and Rebel Belle series’ so I was all about this book but it wasn’t quite what I expected (not in a bad way.) It has a lot of the fun feel from her YA books but the characters don’t sound the exact same and I LOVE that. They aren’t just the same characters but a little younger and in a different setting.

Journey’s End is a small town located in the middle of nowhere Scotland but it is unlike most small towns because of the magical fog. I think we’ve seen enough scary movies to…