I'll get right to it; A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland is a quirky book about the Solar family, who have been cursed by Death himself to have one great fear that will lead to their demise, and it's an absolutely fantastic book! The book is told from the point of view of Esther, a 17-year-old who wears costumes instead of normal clothing, is best friends with her twin brother (who is petrified of the dark) and someone she genuinely thought was a ghost until others began acknowledging her when they started school, and keeps a list of anything that she thinks could even possibly become her one great fear. Anything that makes the long, long list is avoided from there on out. Lobsters? Nope. Moths? Don't even talk about them! Thunderstorms? That's a strong "no." She religiously adds to her list until one day, while waiting for the bus, her childhood crush reappears and swindles her out of her phone, money, Fruit Roll-Up, and list. Then, when she may or may not encounter said crush later that day at a very illegal party, the adventure begins. One by one, they begin conquering her fears by having her address them headfirst (kind of like a very informal, more fun version of an exposure) in an attempt to lure Death and get him to remove the curse from her family.
This book is wild. I flew through it in less than two days. The writing style was stunning, the parallels were beautiful, and the dialogue was hilarious enough to make me laugh aloud at some parts. The book would border on the supernatural and then snap right back to reality, leaving you scrambling to figure out if curses and magic were real and where the lines between reality and the magical air surrounding the Solars lays. Anyone who has been following my blog for a while now knows that I've had intense brain fog for the majority of four years now; it's hard enough to do essential tasks like homework, so elective ones such as reading... or blogging... have been nearly impossible. It's still painful, even years later, but it's easier than it was when it first started, and I'm even more thankful when I have a good couple of days that allow me experiences like getting to read A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares. It's a story I'm planning on rereading sometime soon, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new book!
(The only thing I would like to mention is that the topic of mental illness and suicide is approached at some point within the novel, so for anyone who is extra sensitive to those topics, it's definitely something to be aware of before putting this book on your to-read list.)