Malorie Blackman is one of those authors that is extremely popular with primary and lower secondary audiences and teachers, and indeed this is probably how I received my first 'experience' of Blackman, with 'Hacker', although that was some years ago now! Next, the fantastic 'Noughts and Crosses' series in my mid-teens - I was blown away by these, and they truly are modern classics.
I would like to say the same about this book, and to an extent it was. The plot is compelling (essentially train crash, lots of different nightmares, family issues...), if possibly slightly contrived with all the nightmares, and by the last couple of nightmares you can tell what's going to happen in them. There is a note from Blackman at the end of the novel in which she says that some were already in anthologies of short stories, and 'The Stuff of Nightmares' does seem to sometimes be no more than a collection of short shories at some points.
Another small criticism of Blackman is that I found it hard to determine the target audience for this book - the writing, particularly as it is first person. is at times very basic, leading me to believe it's for a younger audience, but the events of the nightmares described (albeit in a more psychological than physically horrifying and gory way) and the use of words such as "ephemeral" for example, makes me think that a slightly older audience is intended.
However, I am somewhat missing the point here, as Blackman manages to write a novel that uses fantastical metaphors to deal with harsh realities of life, and of family. Although there is some problem what her target audience is, and the disconnectedness of some of the stories doesn't make the book as big a page-turner as, say, 'Noughts and Crosses', 'The Stuff of Nightmares' is a substantial read, and I would not hesitate to recommend it to readers wanting to find an exciting book for a young adult.