Waiting on Wednesday: A Semi-Definitive List of Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

New WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we highlight a title we’re looking forward to reading. You can find their website here.


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.

Reasons I want to read this:
1. There’s a black cat on the cover. I love these little buggers and never bought into the whole bad luck thing, but I assume since they’re traditional viewed as bad omens there will be an appearance. Maybe Esther will luck out and it will be kittens? Maybe she’ll adopt one from a shelter? Who knows…
2. Cursed by Death? That’s interesting enough, but then each member of the family feels the effect of the curse in their own terrifying way. That’s interesting. What would mind be? Does Esther have one? Will she break the curse? Is it breakable?
3. This could easily be some kind of horror movie or mystery thriller and I’m curious to see how it’s going to work as a contemporary young adult book. Esther and Jonah, experimenting to conquer the list of nightmares…will they be successful? What kind of crazy adventures will this entail? Will there be roller coasters for a fear of heights? Boating for a fear of water? There are so many interpretations to the possible fears on this list of Esther’s that I have no idea where it’s going to go!
I’m really curious how in-depth this is going to go, how the fears will be treated, and how the curse itself will be “defeated”, if it in fact can be. The idea feels like it’ll go one way, but the genre feels like it would go another. This book comes out in September and I sure as heck already have it preordered so I’ll find out ASAP upon release!
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